RUSH: So here I am, in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Saturday night. I’m up there in a nice, lavish, suitable, more than suitable for me, suite and box with a host of friends and associates, watching USC-Nebraska. During a time-out, I decided to pull out the trusty iPhone, because I’ll tell you, TV time-outs in college football are longer than pro games, two-and-a-half, three minutes. So I pull out the trusty iPhone, and I see if I’ve gotten any mail. I didn’t have any mail. I checked the Drudge page, and I see this headline: ‘Greenspan Book:’ or something like that, ‘Iraq War Was for Oil.’ I said, ‘What the hell is this?’ I started showing it to the people sitting next to me, and I said, ‘What the hell is this?’ So we all started talking about theories, and I read some of the stuff that was being said about the book, and I said, ‘This doesn’t compute. This makes zero sense. Praising Bill Clinton as a hero?’
I said, ‘This sounds like Colin Powell wrote the book. It sounds like Bob Rubin wrote the book. Is the Greenspan book here about establishing the legacy of Bill Clinton?’ Well, it turns out that the whole reference to the Iraq war being for oil was totally purposefully taken out of context by the Times of London on Sunday, totally off context. Greenspan said really nothing of the sort. What he said actually makes some pretty good sense. Here’s what I mean about having to clean up messes when I come in here. That reverberated all over the world. We’re not going to get that back. We’ve got all these fringe kooks, and who knows who else, now thinking that the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, impeccable reputation, unchallengeable, thinks that Bush and Halliburton were in on this for just the purpose of securing the world’s oil supply for themselves, and it wasn’t that at all.
RUSH: Here’s the thing about the Greenspan circumstance: The internet just went nuts starting Saturday night with this headline that Greenspan said two things. He said, basically, that the Iraq war was ‘for’ oil, and that Bill Clinton was a hero, and there was a third thing. He was criticizing Bush left and right. … I said, ‘Criticizing Bush for what? What is this?’ When I start hearing a defense of Clinton in the Greenspan book, I start trying to connect the dots. I start reading the stitches on the fastball. I’m thinking, ‘Bob Rubin has gotta be involved in this somehow.’ You know, Bob Rubin is a high-finance guy, treasury secretary, probably knows Greenspan, and inside the Beltway legacies are crucial. This is the thought process I’m having as I read that one headline, and I read a couple of subheads, too. I’m trying to put this all together. This doesn’t make any sense: Defend Bill Clinton? Somebody has to have gotten to Greenspan to somehow put in his book that Clinton was great and Bush was not, and the reason I thought this is because all of these people that worked with Clinton — like Rubin and Madeleine Albright, you name ’em — as Clinton’s legacy goes, so go theirs. They’ve got as much of a selfish reason to want their legacies to be good as they do Clinton’s. They are inexorably linked.
You know, and I don’t put anything past the inside-the-Beltway crowd when establishing their legacies. So I got home, and I didn’t think much about it yesterday, because I knew I would be doing intense program prep last night and this morning. One of the things that I did find out came from when I went back and I looked at some of the news that was made when Greenspan announced his memoirs. Here are just a couple passages that I found during some research. ‘Though he will use a ghostwriter to collaborate on the book, he said, ‘I plan to do the first draft and the last draft, but the ghostwriter is going to do everything else.” Now, that would explain the oil and the war confusion. Then I began to read even further. ‘Peter Petre a senior editor-at-large at Fortune magazine, coauthor of the best-sellers by [Schwarzkopf] and Tom Watson, Jr., the IBM chairmen, will help recently retired Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan write his memoirs, according to an article in the Tuesday New York Times.’ This is, again, from way back before the book was actually written. This is the announcement of it. I saw this and I said, ‘Something’s really at play here.’ I’m not sure, based on what he said last night with Lesley Stahl, that he even knows what was in his book, based on a story by Bob Woodward in the Washington Post today.
Here’s the headline: ‘Greenspan: Ouster of Hussein Crucial for Oil Security.’ What Greenspan was saying was not that the war was ‘for oil.’ Now, listen to me on this, folks. He never said that the war was ‘for oil,’ and it’s not in his book in that way. (It might be in the book that way. Frankly, I haven’t seen the book. It might well be close enough to that in the book. This is why I say he may not even know what’s in his book based on the fact that some ghostwriter wrote the damn thing.) ‘Greenspan said in an interview that the removal of Saddam Hussein had been essential to secure world oil supplies, a point he emphasized to the White House in private conversations before the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Greenspan, who was the country’s top voice on monetary policy at the time that Bush decided to go to war in Iraq, has refrained from extensive public comment on it until now. He made the striking comment in a new memoir out today that Iraq is largely about oil.’ They took the ‘about’ in that sentence and changed it to ‘for.’ That changes the whole meaning! By the way, folks, what’s so bad about that? Even if that were the case, oil is crucial. Oil is like the blood supply of the world, whether you like it or not, and securing the free flow of oil market prices is crucial to growing economies and maintaining growing economies. The idea that there’s something immoral about this in the first place is a little plot the left has hatched here to somehow condemn oil as some sort of poison.
Of course, that they have done. But in this interview with Bob Woodward in the Washington Post, he clarified that sentence — and this is a 531-page book and this is what they took out of it over the weekend. He clarified the sentence. ‘He said that while securing global oil supplies was not the administration’s motive, he had presented the White House with the case for why removing Hussein was important for the global economy. ‘I was not saying that’s the administration’s motive. I’m just saying that if somebody asked me, ‘Are we fortunate in taking out Saddam?’ I would say it was essential.” Folks, do you realize what a profound difference this is? Now, in his book he says the Iraq war is largely ‘about oil.’ In his interview, he said, yeah, yeah, but it was about securing global oil supply — and that he advised Bush to do it for that reason and that Bush rejected that as the reason! So what we had over the weekend was a purposeful taking out of context of something in Greenspan’s book — and again, I’m trying to be polite here. I’m not sure that he even knows what’s in his book, given he had the ghostwriter, given a number of other things. But they are purposefully using his comment in the book, wrongly. They take it out of context and give it the interpretation that they want to advance their native, their agenda on this. The sad thing is that that’s out there now, and that’s been out there for two days. Well, yeah, Saturday night, Sunday, and most of today. It’s out there, especially among these dummkopfs and these socialists around the world, not to mention the America left, who get caught up in all these conspiracy theories. One other thing, too. The criticism of Bush, by the way, is sensible! It’s about the overspending. It’s about not vetoing spending bills. It has nothing to do with anything other than that in the book, anyway.
RUSH: One more thing here from the Washington Post today on the Greenspan interview: ‘Though Greenspan’s book is largely silent about Iraq, it is sharply critical of Bush and fellow Republicans on other matters, denouncing in particular what Greenspan calls the president’s lack of fiscal discipline and the ‘dysfunctional government’ he has presided over. In the interview, Greenspan said he had previously told Bush and Cheney of his critique. ‘They’re not surprised by my conclusions,’ he said.’ And to that extent, if his criticism of out-of-control spending happens to wake up some Republicans, then so be it. But, ‘As for Iraq, Greenspan said that at the time of the invasion, he believed, like Bush, that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction ‘because Saddam was acting so guiltily trying to protect something.’ While he was ‘reasonably sure he did not have an atomic weapon,’ he added, ‘my view was that if we do nothing, eventually he would gain control of a weapon.’ His main support for Hussein’s ouster, though, was economically motivated.’ It was the original reason for the invasion of Kuwait, to get their oil. Then Saddam had plans to go to Saudi Arabia, take over those fields. He had to be stopped. Free flow of oil market prices, folks. World can’t live without it.
You run around, I don’t know if you see them or not, I sometimes do — and I did not see one of these when I was in Nebraska, by the way. You run around and you see these dip squirts with these bumper stickers on the back of their stupid, dented little cars that say, ‘No blood for oil.’ Oil is the blood of a free society in this country. There’s no two ways about it. You can wish it weren’t true; you can wish it were something else, but it is what it is. Here, by the way, is Greenspan talking last night. You want to know something interesting about this? On 60 Minutes, Lesley Stahl did not ask him about Iraq. Now, I know the interview was done earlier than yesterday and maybe she did ask him about Iraq; I don’t know. Maybe they edited it out because they knew that the whole thing had been taken out of context. I just wanted to point that out. There was nothing about oil in the interview last night, very little about it. Lesley Stahl and Greenspan had this exchange about Mrs. Clinton.
STAHL: Do you think she can handle the presidency?
GREENSPAN: Certainly. I think she’s unquestionably capable. The question is, is she the best person for the job?
GREENSPAN: My tendency would be to vote Republican.
STAHL: Now the Drive-Bys are totally leaving this out. They’re doing everything they can to avoid covering Greenspan on Hillary. ‘My tendency would be to vote Republican.’ I’m sure he’s got a battle inside the house because his wife is Andrea Mitchell, NBC News, Washington. She might have had a hand in the book. Hell, I don’t know, folks, I’m just telling you what I suspect here. Big mess, big, big mess to clean up.
RUSH: All right, to the phones, to Dallas. This is Marilyn. Welcome, and it’s nice to have you as first up today.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. It’s good to talk to you.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: I’m reading the Greenspan book, and I did find it be really politically balanced and he’s pretty involved in it, with very — seems to be giving details. And I was thinking, there cannot be a definitive book of our time without you in it, and sure enough, page 158, he talks about the fact that when Clinton wanted to put money into Mexico to bail them out, that I think Gingrich and the ’94 Congress — well, Gingrich wanted the ’94 Congress to approve this. So he called Greenspan, according to his story here, and asked him if he would call you, because he said some of the freshmen congressmen actually are calling themselves the Dittohead Caucus. So Greenspan said he did call you, and he said that, ‘Rush listened politely as I laid out my arguments, and thanked me for taking the time. This surprised me. I expected Rush Limbaugh to be much more confrontational.’
RUSH: And you are asking if this is true?
RUSH: It is true, every word of that’s true. In fact, the call came, I was in my New York office at the time, and the call came from Chairman Greenspan, and he said that Speaker Gingrich had asked him to call to explain the Mexican bailout, because they thought that it was an important thing for trade and they needed to keep the Mexican economy afloat, they didn’t want it to default in any way, and he explained why he was in favor of it. Whenever I hear this, though, that people expect me to be some bombastic, confrontational, ‘Who the hell do you think you are calling me? Don’t you know I’m busy,’ kind of guy, I’m one of the most polite people that you would ever run into. If the chairman of the Federal Reserve is going to call me, I’m going to listen to what he says. It stuns me. But I’m glad he put that nice reference in there. It’s exactly what happened. It did happen. By the way, this is not the first that it’s been reported. Somehow it leaked out, and I got calls from the media, so I called back to Greenspan’s office and said, ‘I don’t know if this call was off the record or not,’ and, ‘Oh, no, no, perfectly fine, we don’t care if anybody knows about it.’ So it got reported sometime after. It wasn’t long after, maybe a month or two. It could have been longer than that. It did take awhile for it to filter out, but he didn’t have any desire suppressing it or denying that it took place, he freely admitted it, so I don’t think that he thought that there was anything untoward. I have not heard from him since.
CALLER: Hm-hm. Well, I think it’s a good book. I hope as I read through it that I don’t find too much Bush-bashing, but I think a lot of it’s true. He said he didn’t like all the spending Bush approved, and none of us do.
RUSH: Well, you know, Greenspan is a Libertarian Republican. That’s how he describes himself. I don’t know if you heard the sound bite in the first hour, but he was asked last night in his profile on 60 Minutes what he thought about Hillary. ‘She’s very capable, but I’m voting Republican.’ Of course, the Drive-Bys are leaving that alone. They’re too busy having orgasms today over the fact she’s finally presented her health care plan.
RUSH: We had audio sound bites of that. Yeah, the criticism of Bush, I think from what I’ve read, Greenspan simply says, ‘Please veto some of this. This is irresponsible.’ But it’s not criticism of Bush on the war, like this leak over the weekend about the Iraq war was for oil. That was purposefully done. That was taking this book totally out of context. Greenspan has to be fit to be tied over it, because it’s not at all what he said.
CALLER: Well, you keep up the work against Hillary’s health care plan. You’re our best hope.
RUSH: I appreciate that, Marilyn, thanks much. Great to talk to you. Andrew in New York City, you’re next. I appreciate your patience. Welcome to the program.
CALLER: Hey, stand-by-you dittos, Rush.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: Your presumption that Greenspan wouldn’t read his own book even though it’s done by a ghostwriter, I don’t really agree with that. I mean, according to the interview last night, he’s reading agricultural reports for light reading.
RUSH: Look, you have to understand here that this whole series of events coupled with — do you understand, did I not convey — if I didn’t, it’s my fault — did I not convey my degree of shock and outrage when I’m at the football game in Lincoln on Saturday night and I fire up during a time-out the Drudge Report on my iPhone, and I see that Greenspan says war was for oil? Then I see a subhead, praises Clinton as hero, rips Bush. What the hell is this? Then I start researching. I find out about his ghostwriter. He’s just going to write the first draft and the last draft, and I’m thinking, ‘Does he even know what’s in the book?’ The timeline next was, I find out he did this interview with Bob Woodward where he says exactly what he said in the interview about the book, but it’s not what he wrote.
CALLER: Well, I mean, you’re the host, and I’m just a caller, but I mean the man, whenever the man had loud flatulence the economy rose and fell, so I just think he probably would have read the book beforehand. That’s my only point.
RUSH: Well, I’m not suggesting that Alan Greenspan is Charles Barkley. But I’ll never forget when Barkley’s autobiography came out, there were a bunch of questionable passages in it, and the press said, ‘Charles, what the hell is this?’ He said, ‘I was misquoted.’ People started scratching their heads, ‘How do you get misquoted in your autobiography?’ He said, ‘That’s not what I said, that’s not what I wrote, that’s not what I meant to say.’ It was just hilarious. Don’t misunderstand. I am not impugning chairman Greenspan. In the timeline of events, none of this made any sense. I was just sharing with you the thoughts that were popping into my fertile little gray cells, and they’re always popping. The neurons in there never stop, even when I’m sleeping. My brain rebuilds itself, unlike most people’s. That’s why I don’t remember my dreams; my brain is too busy doing other things, reminding me of things that I’m thinking about when I’m sleeping. I wake up and I’m smarter. It just happens.
RUSH: Billings, Montana. Greg, welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. God bless your parents because there’s a lot of us out here that don’t know where we’d be if you weren’t there, pal.
RUSH: Well, thank you very much, sir. (laughs) I appreciate it.
CALLER: Hey, I read those headlines on Drudge this weekend as well, and I have a little bit of a different take, in reference to Greenspan bashing Bush and praising Clinton. It kind of confirmed a long suspicion that I had about it. I believe that Clinton and Greenspan were in collusion in putting the brakes on the economy in 2000. Even after the market crashed, they kept on raising interest rates and raising interest rates, and I think that he was a whole setup to make him look better. And I think, my take on it —
RUSH: Wait a minute. Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! How did that make Clinton look better?
CALLER: Well, you know, the economy got blamed on Bush, just through the whole press of it all, but I think maybe the brakes got slammed on a lot too hard and they didn’t know the impact just because of other variables within the economy.
RUSH: That’s quite a charge you’re making. Greenspan colluded with Clinton to raise interest rates in order to make the…?
CALLER: I’m saying that’s what my suspicion of the deal was, and I’m saying it just seemed like — when they were raising interest rates after the market had crashed in March of 2000, they kept on raising interest rates all through that summer. Now, why on earth were they still doing that with the market being bad?
RUSH: My question to you is, on behalf of the audience, ‘How does that help Clinton?’ How does raising interest rates make the economy look better under Clinton? When we’re already at 2000, it’s his last year in office.
CALLER: Well, because the economy was so strong, he wanted to set — I believe you were even one that were possibly saying this — up whoever the next successor was, that the economy was all in the hands of Bill Clinton.
RUSH: Yeah, but that’s because we found that Clinton was cooking commerce department statistics on the health of US businesses. He was inflating profitability and so forth by 30% in reports. I think as far as Greenspan is concerned — and Bernanke, the current chairman, is doing the same thing. These guys are paranoid about inflation. Inflation is the one thing that scares the death out of them. They’re obviously going to spend more time on that than they are the credit crunch and other things like the subprime lending scandal and so forth. But we’ll see if rates come down this month. They have another meeting here. Is it this month or is it October? I think it’s this month. But, whatever, the ‘experts’ are predicting rates will come down. The fed will drop some rate like a half percent or quarter percent.