Limbaugh on kidnapping of peace activists in Iraq: "I'm telling you, folks, there's a part of me that likes this"

Video ››› ››› JEREMY SCHULMAN

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On November 29, nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh read an Associated Press report about the apparent kidnapping of four Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) activists by an Iraqi insurgent group. Limbaugh announced that "part of me likes this." He explained: "Well, here's why I like it. I like any time a bunch of leftist feel-good hand-wringers are shown reality."

After suggesting that the story "could all be BS ... could all be a stunt," Limbaugh said, "We'll take it face value at first." Addressing the kidnapped CPT activists, Limbaugh said, "[Y]ou've met the bad guys, and you tried your technique on them, and now you're blindfolded in a room with guns pointed at you and knives at your throat. I don't like that." He then added, "But any time a bunch of people that walk around with the head in the sand practicing a bunch of irresponsible, idiotic theory confront reality, I'm kind of happy about it, because I'm eager for people to see reality, change their minds, if necessary, and have things sized up."

After a caller informed Limbaugh that CPT had recently ended an "Adopt-A-Detainee" letter-writing campaign in which religious congregations and anti-war groups were urged write letters protesting alleged abuses of detainees, Limbaugh added:

LIMBAUGH: [A]s warped as these people are, you know they're going to blame Bush for this. ... They wouldn't have been kidnapped because they wouldn't have been there in the first place if Bush hadn't gone and caused the war and created all these terrorists. I mean, these people are liberals, they're warped. Well, I mean, that's why there's -- I'm telling you, folks, there's a part of me that likes this. Probably, even with this, though, you know, they're not going to see the light of day. They're not going to --

At that point, Limbaugh paused before saying, apparently to someone in his studio, "I know, let them take me out of context. I don't care anymore."

From the November 29 broadcast of The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: "Aljazeera has broadcasted an insurgent video today, shows four peace activists taken hostage in Iraq, with a previously unknown group claiming responsibility for the kidnappings. The unknown group is the Swords of Righteousness Brigade, and they said the four were spies working undercover as Christian peace activists, according to Aljazeera. Aljazeera said that it could not verify any of the information on the tape. The aid group Christian Peacemaker Teams has confirmed that four of its members were taken hostage on Saturday. German television broadcast photos today showing a blindfolded German woman being led away by armed captors in Iraq. Six Iranian pilgrims, meanwhile, were abducted by gunmen north of Baghdad. The pictures of Susanne Osthoff were taken from a video in which her captors demanded that Germany stop any dealings with Iraq's government, according to Germany's ARD television. Germany has ruled out sending troops to Iraq and opposed the U.S.-led war."

Yeah, all right. Now, let's take this at face value just for a moment. This could all be BS. I mean, we've never heard of the Swords of Righteousness Brigade. This could all be a stunt, but let's take it -- well, let's take it both ways. We'll take it face value at first, then we'll look at it as a stunt second. I said at the conclusion of previous hours -- part of me that likes this. And some of you might say, "Rush, that's horrible. Peace activists taken hostage." Well, here's why I like it. I like any time a bunch of leftist feel-good hand-wringers are shown reality. So here we have these peace activists over there. I don't care if they're Christian or not. They're over there, and as peace activists, they've got one purpose. They're over there trying to stop the violence. Now, if this German group fits the mold, they are probably blaming the United States and coalition forces for all of this. But more importantly, they believe that if they just go there, like these idiotic human shields before the war, if they just go there -- "Mr. Limbaugh, it's real simple, something you wouldn't understand because you've never been to conflict resolution. But it's real simple. If we go there, and we show them that we are people of peace, and that we want to stop the violence, and that we don't hold them responsible, they will see and understand that this is the way to bring peace."

Fine, they get kidnapped. They get kidnapped at gunpoint. If that version of this is true, then -- OK, you've met the bad guys, and you tried your technique on them, and now you're blindfolded in a room with guns pointed at you and knives at your throat. I don't like that. But any time a bunch of people that walk around with the head in the sand practicing a bunch of irresponsible, idiotic theory confront reality, I'm kind of happy about it, because I'm eager for people to see reality, change their minds if necessary, and have things sized up.

[...]

LIMBAUGH: Here's [caller] in Fort Wayne, Indiana. [Caller], glad you called, sir, welcome to the program.

CALLER: Thanks, Rush. Yeah, getting back to the Christian Peacemaker Teams that evidently had some people kidnapped, it's sadly ironic that three months ago they ended a year-and-a-half campaign that they called Adopt -- excuse me -- Adopt-A-Detainee, where they were writing letters to U.S. officials and Iraqi officials on a detainee's behalf. And what's ironic or sad about this --

LIMBAUGH: Wait. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Detainee? You mean, by "detainee," you mean prisoners? American prisoners-of-war like when we take Al Qaeda and put them in Al Qaeda [sic] or Abu Ghraib? Those detainees?

CALLER: Yes. Yes, and those in Iraq. A whole campaign. They were writing letters on their behalf to U.S., Iraqi, and other officials. And what's really sad about this is, in this instance, to whom would they write a letter? Who can they write to make sure that these people are going to be treated as well as U.S. people treated Iraqis or Al Qaeda people?

LIMBAUGH: Holy cow, this is amazing. Did they have an Adopt-A-Detainee program?

CALLER: They did. They did. The CPT did.

LIMBAUGH: You are kidding. I was making a joke.

CALLER: No. From March 2004 to --

LIMBAUGH: You mean, you mean, what they did was set up Iraqi -- well, not Iraqi -- but Al Qaeda and terrorist detainees with U.S. citizens or world citizens as letter-writers, pen pals, this kind of thing? So I, if I wanted to, could adopt Mohammed down at Club G'itmo --

CALLER: Yes.

LIMBAUGH: -- and have an ongoing camp -- you've got to be kidding.

CALLER: Absolutely.

LIMBAUGH: This is the bunch that got kidnapped?

CALLER: Yes, yes.

LIMBAUGH: Hubba, hubba, hubba.

CALLER: From March 2004 till September 2005. A year and a half. They had this whole campaign where they were --

LIMBAUGH: Why did they stop the campaign? Do you know?

CALLER: That I don't know. I don't know.

LIMBAUGH: Probably because they didn't get any participants.

CALLER: Well, could be.

LIMBAUGH: Or not enough to sustain it. All right, so they were having all these letters written, and they were having these letters written to government officials in the United States.

CALLER: Protesting abuse.

LIMBAUGH: Protesting abuse at Abu Ghraib and Club G'itmo and so forth.

CALLER: Correct.

LIMBAUGH: Now here they are, held at knifepoint and gunpoint as hostages, and who are they going to write letters to?

CALLER: Who would they write a letter to now? How are they going to try to stand on their own behalf?

LIMBAUGH: Yeah, as warped as these people are, you know they're going to blame Bush for this.

CALLER: Sure.

LIMBAUGH: They wouldn't have been kidnapped because they wouldn't have been there in the first place if Bush hadn't gone and caused the war and created all these terrorists. I mean, these people are liberals, they're warped. Well, I mean, that's why there's -- I'm telling you, folks, there's a part of me that likes this. Probably, even with this, though, you know, they're not going to see the light of day. They're not going to -- I know, let them take me out of context. I don't care anymore.

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, War in Iraq
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