Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: Let’s turn to the nomination of Gina Haspel. Gina Haspel has been chosen by Trump to be the director of the CIA. She’s been the deputy director for a number of years, and the way the CIA and the Department of Justice in many ways… The way they’re structured is that the deputy… At the CIA especially, the deputy is the day-to-day operations director. There is a director of operations, but the deputy director is generally the lifer who has reams and reams of CIA experience in the field, at Langley, and basically is in the know of pretty much everything important going on.

There’s nobody at the CIA who knows everything going on everywhere in the world. I asked this once of General [Michael] Hayden. I ran into him at a Steelers game in Pittsburgh when he was… I think he had just left the directorship. And I asked this of Rumsfeld when he was at the Pentagon. I asked them both. I asked of Rumsfeld, “Is there somebody in the Pentagon that knows everything the Department of Defense is doing that day?” He said (laughing), “No. That’s not possible. We’re all over the world. That’s why so many things are delegated.

“I mean, you have to trust people. That’s why you have a defense policy. That’s why you have objectives and people on the ground.” He said, “You know, Rush…” and he was talking about both the Department of Defense and the CIA here. ‘Cause Rumsfeld has experience with both. He was telling me, “Rush, at the CIA, there are operatives who literally are on their own. We don’t even know where they are. They’re trained, they’re around the world, and they can insert themselves in any hot spot they think they’re needed.”

Some of this is for deniability for the United States government, but there are a lot of highly trained people that are basically… They act as independent contractors. You won’t find them on the payroll, but they do not have to get specific permission to conduct ops. And that both surprised me and didn’t when I stopped to think about it. General Hayden, I asked, “As director of the CIA, do you know everything people have their hands in?” He said, “No, it isn’t possible,” which I understand, but it still boggles my mind.

You’re thinking of CEO of a company. Let’s take Tim Cook at Apple. I mean, I’m just sharing with you questions I ask myself, ’cause I’ve never been a CEO. You know, I would love to interview CEOs for The Limbaugh Letter, but they’re not gonna answer political questions, so I don’t. But do they know? Does Tim Cook know everything going on at Apple? Like, if I said, “Tim, what’s coming in beta 6 of iOS 11.3?” Would he know? And people say, “Probably not. That’s too localized. He’s working on things that are 20 years down the road, 10 years down the road.”

I say, “He’s gotta have some knowledge of what’s… He’s gotta know what the next iPhone’s gonna be, right? He has to have signed off on it.” “Well, maybe not signed off on it, but he certainly knows.” These things… You know, things I haven’t done are the things I’m really most curious about and how they’re done well, and being a CEO is one of those things. I’m CEO of the EIB Network, but it’s not a massive global concern, and since I am EIB, I know everything EIB is doing ’cause I’m it. (interruption)

Well, now, you laugh in there but there’s no other show here that I have to be worried about what’s going on there. I know the sales effort, the promotion, the marketing efforts, affiliate relations. I know all that ’cause it doesn’t happen without me. But that’s not true in major, big-time corporations or even some mid-size/small businesses. Well, the director, the deputy director of the CIA is as close as you’re gonna get to the person who knows and assigns what’s going on in CIA, and that’s who Trump has picked.

The forces of opposition are marshaling, and they are led by John McCain. All you have to do is put “torture” in a sentence containing the nominee’s name, and you’re guaranteed to get opposition from McCain. Rand Paul is signing on to opposing her for similar reasons. Now, you’ve only got 52 votes in the Senate, and already two of them are gone, all because of torture — and the torture has to do with waterboarding 9/11 suspects! She’s considered un-confirmable because of that. Let me read to you from the New York Times:

“The CIA’s first overseas detention site was in Thailand. It was run by Ms. Haspel, who oversaw the brutal interrogations of two detainees, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. Mr. Zubaydah alone was waterboarded 83 times in a single month, had his head repeatedly slammed into walls and endured other harsh methods before interrogators decided he had no useful information to provide. The sessions were videotaped and the recordings stored in a safe at the CIA station in Thailand until 2005, when they were ordered destroyed.

“By then, Ms. Haspel was serving at CIA headquarters, and it was her name that was on the cable carrying the destruction orders.” Now, it turns out that Ms. Haspel worked for a CIA interrogation specialist by the name of Jose Rodriguez, and it turns out that Lesley Stahl at 60 Minutes did a profile or an interview of Jose Rodriguez. That interview and sound bites from that interview are among my all-time favorite audio sound bites here on the EIB Network.

So I would like to travel back in time to the Grooveyard of Forgotten Sound Bites. We’re gonna go back to April of 2012, CBS 60 Minutes, Lesley Stahl is interviewing… He was by then former CIA interrogation specialist Jose Rodriguez. He was the one who interrogated the big kahuna, the grand pooh-bah, the head sheik, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was the actual nuts and bolts, X’s and O’s planner and architect of the 9/11 attacks. Bin Laden stood back there and took the credit, but it was this guy who actually drew up the plans.

And he was interrogated, and he was waterboarding a lot by Jose Rodriguez, and it was the waterboarding that got the truth out of him. The question boils down to: Is waterboarding torture or not? Well, to McCain it is; and to Rand Paul it is; to the Democrats it is; to the CIA it wasn’t. So Lesley Stahl’s question to Jose Rodriguez — and if you haven’t heard this, you’re gonna love it. “So, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was subjected to waterboarding, specifically 183 pourings of water in about six separate sessions.” Jose Rodriguez said the average pour lasted 10 seconds.

Let me define the terms here. You’ve all seen waterboarding portrayed on TV now. They strap a perp to a bench or a table level and maybe even head down just slightly, and then they grab a rag, a towel, and they put it over the perp’s head — including covering the mouth and the nostrils — and then they grab the water. It’s in a pitcher, it’s in a glass, it’s in a large tumbler, whatever, and they pour it on the face of the perp. The perp begins to get the sensation that he is drowning and begins to panic immediately.

It is said that nobody can withstand it, that nobody can survive it except this guy, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, 183 times — and a pour is 10 seconds, means they pour the water for 10 seconds on you. Remember the reporter Christopher Hitchens volunteered to undergo official waterboarding to find out what all the hubbub was about, and he couldn’t handle even one time, he said. However, it is training for the Navy SEALs. You have to be able to survive this and be unaffected by it before you can pass. I think it’s the SEALs. It might be some other Special Forces branch.

But if it’s part of training, then, ergo, it isn’t torture. I haven’t tried it. Everybody who hasn’t thinks when they look at it, “Hey, I could beat that. Just hold your breath! Just hold your breath.” But what happens is that they angle the board down just slightly, your head just slightly lower than your feet, and the water starts running down your nose. You can close your mouth but you can’t close your nose. The water rolls down your nose, down your throat, and you start gagging and spurting and coughing while the water continues to be poured into you and you end up spitting it out and so forth.

It’s, from what I’m told, scary as heck because it is something that makes you think you’re dying. So here’s the question again: “Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was subjected to waterboarding 183 times in six sessions…” Jose Rodriguez explains…

RODRIGUEZ: Can I say something about Khalid Sheikh Mohammed? He’s the one that was responsible for the death of Danny Pearl, the Wall Street [Journal] reporter. He slit his throat in front of the camera. I don’t know what type of man it takes to cut the throat of someone in front of you like that, but I can tell you that this is an individual who probably didn’t give a rat’s ass about having water poured on his face.

STAHL: He never believed for one second you were gonna kill him?

RODRIGUEZ: No. And let me just tell you: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would use his fingers to count the number of seconds because he knew that in all likelihood, we would stop at ten. So this doesn’t sound like a person who is afraid of dying.

RUSH: Okay. So Khalid Sheikh Mohammed slits Danny Pearl’s throat — and this was on TV. If you wanted to look at it, you could find it. He was a Wall Street Journal reporter who had his throat cut early on in all the War on Terror, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed survived 183 waterboardings, okay? So now Lesley Stahl has that answer. Now she starts getting into the humane aspects of this, and this is where it gets funny.

RODRIGUEZ: No! He gets a good night’s sleep. He gets his Ensure. By the way, he was very heavy when he came to us and he lost 50 pounds.

STAHL: What! His Ensure? You mean like people in the hospital who will drink that stuff?

RODRIGUEZ: Yes. Dietary manipulation was part of these “dire techniques.”

STAHL: So sleep deprivation! Dietary manipulation! I mean, this is Orwellian stuff. The United States doesn’t do that.

RODRIGUEZ: Well, we do.

RUSH: (laughing) “Well, we do!” “Well, we do!” Then the question that she asked (summarized), “So… So what happens in the waterboarding business?” And be prepared to play the answer again. “What happened? Does he break down? Does he start crying? Did Khalid Sheikh Mohammed fall apart?” (replaying of sound bite) “Well, we do!” That’s 60 Minutes, and notice he is toying with her. He is acknowledging that she thinks making prisoners drink Ensure is “dire.” It’s one of the CIA’s “dire interrogation techniques.” You know, she’s just lapping it all up.

Now, Ensure is… You all know. It’s what’s given to people who don’t want to eat or who can’t eat. It’s a high dose of calories in a small, little bottle of beverage, and it’s designed to get calories in people who have lost their appetite, don’t want to eat for whatever reason. So it’s actually a health aid. These guys go on hunger strikes so the they forced him to drink the Ensure, and Lesley Stahl says, “We just don’t do that! That’s horrible! We don’t do that kind of stuff.” Oh, but we do. “Dire techniques.”

Anyway, that’s the man that Ms. Haspel worked for and is now said to be unqualified. The New York Times story declares that waterboarding is torture and that this woman has happily and eagerly engaged in it. But of course we have to go back — and you can do this — to 2013, 2014, when the War On Terror… Actually even before that, before the war in Iraq, shortly after 9/11. We had Nancy Pelosi suggesting that waterboarding wasn’t enough, that if we’re gonna get serious about stopping these people, we can’t stop at such piddly little things as waterboarding.

The U.S. military waterboard as part of survival training. Anyway, so that’s what she’s up against and we’ll have to wait and see how it falls out. Trump likes her. She’s eminently respected in the building from what I’m told. She’d be the first female director. For you Vince Flynn fans, she’d be Irene Kennedy. So now it’s the Democrats… Let it be known, the Democrats are gonna mount an offense, mount an effort to deny a woman — the first woman — her chance to be director of the CIA.

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