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Limbaugh's "Phony Soldiers" [plural] Controversy

Rush Limbaugh is now under the microscope for his outrageous on-air claim that soldiers who support our withdrawal from Iraq are "phony soldiers." Rush's comments have been widely condemned and, as you'd expect from the lying, smearing right, he's now claiming his remarks were taken out of context.

Apparently Rush believes he can escape controversy by just lying to his audience, and in defending himself Limbaugh went so far as to play a heavily edited audio excerpt -- claiming it was a complete transcript -- and then lie to his audience about what it says. The right wing blogosphere appears only too happy to extend the lie, especially with the sting of the racist, bigoted remarks of Fox News idol Bill O'Reilly still fresh on their cheek.

So let's examine exactly what Rush said. Keep in mind that Rush is claiming that phony soldiers [plural] was a reference to just one soldier, and not a smear against other soldiers who support our withdrawal. No. no -- Rush lies and claims he was only talking about one soldier.

I was not talking, as Contessa Brewer said here, about the anti-war movement generally, I was talking about ONE SOLDIER with that phony soldier [singular] comment...


It's a blatant lie, and the dishonesty of the right has continued from there, with Chief Chickenhawk Rush Limbaugh himself doing the heavy lifting. Rush goes on to play an audio clip that he claims exonerates him, and the clip he plays, has a full minute and a half of audio removed from it.

That's right, Rush claims to be playing a transcript of what actually happened...

Media Matters had the transcript, but they selectively choose what they want to make their point. Here is -- it runs about 3 minutes and 13 seconds -- the entire transcript, in context, that led to this so-called controversy.

...but he's removed over a minute of audio, despite his claim that he's providing the "entire transcript" - more lies!

Nonetheless, Rush couldn't remove all of the references to soldiers [plural], and here's a short list of those references that remain in his heavily edited lie transcript:

CALLER: And what's funny is they never talk to real soldiers [plural]... they like to pull these soldiers [plural] out of the blue...

LIMBAUGH: (interrupting) the phony soldiers [plural]...

CALLER: (agreeing) the phony soldiers [plural] [...]

LIMBAUGH: Here is a morning update we did talking about fake soldiers [plural] [...]

LIMBAUGH: This is a story of who the left props up as heroes [plural], and they have their celebrities. One [singular] of them [plural] was Army soldier Jesse MacBeth. [...]

Limbaugh does indeed go on to detail his opinion of MacBeth, but it is clear from the multiple references to phony soldiers [plural] that he's referencing more than just MacBeth.

Right wing liars -- don't you just love them? [plural]

Update: Rep. Mark Udall (UT-D) is reportedly preparing to introduce a resolution condeming Limbaugh's attack:

110TH CONGRESS 1ST SESSION H. CON. RES. Honoring all Americans serving in the Armed Forces of the United States and condemning the attack by broadcaster Rush Limbaugh on the integrity and professionalism of some of those Americans.


Mr. UDALL of Colorado submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on


Honoring all Americans serving in the Armed Forces of the United States and condemning the attack by broadcaster Rush Limbaugh on the integrity and professionalism of some of those Americans.

Whereas on September 26, 2007, the broadcaster Rush Limbaugh told a nationwide radio audience that members of the Armed Forces who have expressed disagreement with current policies of the United States regarding military activities in Iraq are ''phony soldiers''; and

Whereas such a description constitutes an unwarranted slur on the integrity and professionalism of members of the Armed Forces who exercise their constitutional right to express their opinions regarding public policy in a manner consistent with good order and discipline: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring),

SECTION 1. Congress makes the following findings:

(1) Americans serving in the United States Armed Forces have volunteered for such service and have not been drafted for that purpose.

(2) Those who serve in the Armed Forces deserve the respect of all Americans for their willingness to undertake that service.

(3) Those who serve in the Armed Forces do not relinquish their constitutional right to express their opinions regarding public policy in a manner consistent with good order and discipline.

(4) The dedication and honor of Americans serving in the Armed Forces should not be impugned because of their exercise of such right.

SEC. 2. Congress --

(1) recognizes the service of all members of the Armed Forces serving in good standing and with honor to defend the United States, and the personal sacrifices made by them and their families;

(2) commits to judge the merits of the opinions of members of the Armed Forces regarding the policies of the United States, including those related to military actions in Iraq, without prejudice or personal bias, including refraining from unwarranted personal attacks;

(3) condemns in the strongest possible terms the personal attacks made by the broadcaster Rush Limbaugh impugning the integrity and professionalism of Americans serving in the Armed Forces who have expressed opinions regarding military actions in Iraq;

(4) honors all members of the Armed Forces and civilian personnel serving in harm's way, as well as their families; and

(5) pledges to debate any supplemental funding request or any policy decisions regarding the war in Iraq with the solemn respect and the commitment to integrity that the sacrifices of these members of the Armed Forces and civilian personnel deserve.

Here's additional reaction to Limbaugh's smear of troops who oppose the war as being "phony soldiers"...

Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards criticized Rush Limbaugh on Friday for referring to some members of the military as "phony soldiers." [...]

Edwards and the campaign of fellow Democrat Chris Dodd took issue with the radio talk show host's characterization of Iraq war veterans who have spoken out against the war. Limbaugh was responding to a caller who argued that anti-war groups "never talk to real soldiers." [...]

Edwards called on Republicans to denounce Limbaugh in the same way they came down on Democrats after the liberal advocacy group MoveOn.org ran an advertisement criticizing Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq.

"All these Republicans went running to the mic and the TV cameras when MoveOn ran their ad about General Petraeus. Now let's see if they really mean it," Edwards said. "Let's see if they'll speak out against Rush Limbaugh. Let's see if they'll challenge him about men and women who have worn the uniform of the United States."

Don't hold your breath on that one... but there's more:

{Democrat Chris] Dodd's spokesman, Hari Sevugan, also weighed in.

"It's ironic, if not remotely surprising, that Rush Limbaugh -- who makes his living shooting his mouth off -- would impugn the patriotism and service of American troops simply because they have voiced their opposition to this failed policy," he said in statement. "It's clear that he has no idea what the brave men and women of our armed forces are ostensibly fighting for."

and more...

Right Wing Nuthouse: "Having said that, Limbaugh is a goose for saying it. And he owes an apology not just to anti-war military people (and ex-military) but to the entirety of the United States Armed Forces."

The Jaundiced Eye: "Someone Take the Shovel Away from Limbaugh [b]ecause he's just digging himself in deeper with this sad attempt to clarify his troop bashing comments."

Seeing Limbaugh and his jack-booted squad of defenders lie to America (and deleting over a minute of audio while they lie claiming it's a complete transcription) then spin, spin spin - instead of just issuing a simple apology -- is amazing.

Edwards and Udall are, in my opinion, going too far asking Republican brass to denounce Limbaugh by drawling an analog to the right wing's reaction to the MoveOn ad. Conservatives were totally out of line asking Democrats to denounce the free speech rights of MoveOn, and Edwards is out of line here suggesting that Limbaugh's right to malign American troops who disagree with Republicans is worthy of condemnation.

It isn't - it's just par for the course when it comes to the "say anything - lie anytime" right wing media. Hang it out there and let Rush continue to lie in his defense if he wants to do that.

Nonetheless, Limbaugh indeed maligned members of our military, and owes them an apology as a result -- not more lies.

Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

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Comments (14)


Hey,Lee Wacko,their's plenty of phony soldiers,but thats the kind of people you support,not actual fighting soldiers who get wounded or killed for their service,does the Stolen Valor Act ring any bells in your hollow head.

Lee Ward:

You're not suggesting that applies here, are you BFF?

Rush said he was only talking about one soldier - Jesse MacBeth.

Was he lying?


Tell me the names of the other phony soldiers he named other than Macbeth.

Lee Ward:

Are you kidding? Limbaugh is a gutless chickenhawk - he wouldn't dare slime real soldiers by name.


Are you calling phony soldiers the "real" soldiers?


If you folks want to try and get rid of O'Reilly and Rush before the 2008 elections (RE: Instapundit) you're going to have to do a lot better than this.

Your style over substance politics isn't going to resonate anymore with the general electorate. Once again, Rush was right. These are phony soldiers (plural) and there are thousands of them. Jesse is just the poster boy leading the chorus.

You all continue to praise these phony soldiers, we'll stick with General Petraeus.


Lee, try hard to comprehend English.

"This is a story of who the left props up as heroes [plural], and they have their celebrities. One [singular] of them [plural] was Army soldier Jesse MacBeth."

Yes, Rush was talking about one (Jesse MacBeth)of which their are more than one (plural). It's called giving an example.

Similar to sentence construction so as, "There are losers (plural) in the Presidential primaries, one (singular) of them is Joe Biden." It is illustrating one of a group of more then one, yet you are only talking about one in particular.

Lee Ward:

Rush, to this day, keeps saying he was only talking about a "phony soldier" not "phony soldiers", but it clear that he used soldiers - plural. Engineers confirms that Jesse MacBeth was one of a group of soldiers Rush was referring to, proving that Rush is lying now when he says he was only speaking of one soldier.

In the YouTube video making the rounds Rush actually has the gall to call this the "phony soldier" controversy, despite the fact, as I and others have documented, that Rush was talking about soldiers.

So, engineer, if Rush was talking a group, as you confirm, why is he now denying that he referenced soldiers (plural)?

Oh what a tangled web he weaves, when first the Chief Chickenhawk of the slimy right practices to deceive... caught in his own web of lies. Tsk tsk, fat boy.

Did you catch this? Rush is the number one idol in this right wing blogger survey - they all aspire to lie as well as he does.

I guess that shows us who the right's heroes are - people like Rush who slime US soldiers then lie about it. ugh!


Here's the take of another "phony soldier".

I'm confused...:

I don't get it, why don't you just post the whole transcript instead of chopping it apart?

CALLER: Hi, Rush. Thanks for taking my call.

RUSH: You bet.

CALLER: I have a retort to Mike in Chicago, because I am serving in the American military, in the Army. I've been serving for 14 years, very proudly.

RUSH: Thank you, sir.

CALLER: I'm one of the few that joined the Army to serve my country, I'm proud to say, not for the money or anything like that. What I would like to retort to is that, what these people don't understand, is if we pull out of Iraq right now, which is not possible because of all the stuff that's over there, it would take us at least a year to pull everything back out of Iraq, then Iraq itself would collapse and we'd have to go right back over there within a year or so.

RUSH: There's a lot more than that that they don't understand. The next guy that calls here I'm going to ask them, "What is the imperative of pulling out? What's in it for the United States to pull out?" I don't think they have an answer for that other than, "When's he going to bring the troops home? Keep the troops safe," whatever.


RUSH: It's not possible intellectually to follow these people.

CALLER: No, it's not. And what's really funny is they never talk to real soldiers. They pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and spout to the media.

RUSH: The phony soldiers.

CALLER: Phony soldiers. If you talk to any real soldier and they're proud to serve, they want to be over in Iraq, they understand their sacrifice and they're willing to sacrifice for the country.

RUSH: They joined to be in Iraq.

CALLER: A lot of people.

RUSH: You know where you're going these days, the last four years, if you sign up. The odds are you're going there or Afghanistan, or somewhere.

CALLER: Exactly, sir. My other comment, my original comment, was a retort to Jill about the fact we didn't find any weapons of mass destruction. Actually, we have found weapons of mass destruction in chemical agents that terrorists have been using against us for a while now. I've done two tours in Iraq, I just got back in June, and there are many instances of insurgents not knowing what they're using in their IEDs. They're using mustard artillery rounds, VX artillery rounds in their IEDs. Because they didn't know what they were using, they didn't do it right, and so it didn't really hurt anybody. But those munitions are over there. It's a huge desert. If they bury it somewhere, we're never going to find it.

RUSH: Well, that's a moot point for me right now.

CALLER: Right.
RUSH: The weapons of mass destruction. We gotta get beyond that. We're there. We all know they were there, and Mahmoud even admitted it in one of his speeches here talking about Saddam using the poison mustard gas or whatever it is on his own people. But that's moot. What's more important is all this is taking place now in the midst of the surge working, and all of these anti-war Democrats are getting even more hell-bent on pulling out of there, which means that success on the part of you and your colleagues over there is a great threat to them. It's frustrating and maddening, and why they must be kept in the minority. I want to thank you, Mike, for calling. I appreciate it very much.

Here is a Morning Update that we did recently, talking about fake soldiers. This is a story of who the left props up as heroes. They have their celebrities and one of them was Army Ranger Jesse Macbeth. Now, he was a "corporal." I say in quotes. Twenty-three years old. What made Jesse Macbeth a hero to the anti-war crowd wasn't his Purple Heart; it wasn't his being affiliated with post-traumatic stress disorder from tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. No. What made Jesse Macbeth, Army Ranger, a hero to the left was his courage, in their view, off the battlefield, without regard to consequences. He told the world the abuses he had witnessed in Iraq, American soldiers killing unarmed civilians, hundreds of men, women, even children. In one gruesome account, translated into Arabic and spread widely across the Internet, Army Ranger Jesse Macbeth describes the horrors this way: "We would burn their bodies. We would hang their bodies from the rafters in the mosque."

Now, recently, Jesse Macbeth, poster boy for the anti-war left, had his day in court. And you know what? He was sentenced to five months in jail and three years probation for falsifying a Department of Veterans Affairs claim and his Army discharge record. He was in the Army. Jesse Macbeth was in the Army, folks, briefly. Forty-four days before he washed out of boot camp. Jesse Macbeth isn't an Army Ranger, never was. He isn't a corporal, never was. He never won the Purple Heart, and he was never in combat to witness the horrors he claimed to have seen. You probably haven't even heard about this. And, if you have, you haven't heard much about it. This doesn't fit the narrative and the template in the Drive-By Media and the Democrat Party as to who is a genuine war hero. Don't look for any retractions, by the way. Not from the anti-war left, the anti-military Drive-By Media, or the Arabic websites that spread Jesse Macbeth's lies about our troops, because the truth for the left is fiction that serves their purpose. They have to lie about such atrocities because they can't find any that fit the template of the way they see the US military. In other words, for the American anti-war left, the greatest inconvenience they face is the truth.

Oh, after reading it I figured out why you never posted it. It disproves your point. Sorry about that.

Lee Ward:

no apology needed - lol -- all you did was prove my point.

Do you see anywhere in that passage where Limbaugh metions phony soldiers again? Nope, he doesn't.

Making my readers plow through two minutes of irrelevant conversation is unnecessary, as your text shows.

I'm confused...:

It wasn't 2 MINUTES it was just two paragraphs.

You're a liar.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

It was one minutes and 45 seconds, as timed by Media Matters.


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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