Seven times. Rush Limbaugh during his illustrious career has seen fit to quote me or comment on me seven times. With one neutral exception, Rush attacked me or disparaged me. Despite his repeated claims that he is right 99% of the time, he has been wrong or misinformed when going after to me. I made a couple of attempts to speak with him and get his show to make corrections in the past. So far, Rush has shown no interest in setting the record straight or hearing me out.
I will walk you thru the details in a bit, but want to point out another "one degree" of separation. Rush is a big Vince Flynn fan. Vince died some years back, prematurely, from a bought of prostate cancer. If you go back and read the acknowledgments in Vince's first five books, I am credited with helping him get details about the CIA and the Special Ops forces properly presented. I also introduced Vince to a retired Navy SEAL Commander who was an expert on nuclear weapons. Vince relied on my friend for his book, Memorial Day.
Unfortunately, the war in Iraq ruptured our friendship. I was against the war and believed it was a phenomenal strategic mistake. This was the period when Vince became a Rush buddy and helped promote that foolish war. I think time has vindicated my judgment on that matter. Still, despite Vince's decision to turn against me, I mourned his loss. We shared cigars (he was a lightweight) and golf. Rush appropriately grieved over the loss of Vince.
So let's turn to Rush and me. He first mentioned me while quoting my comments on Fox and Friends (yes, I was once a Fox talking head):
Shadow of Doubt
Mar 5, 2002
Daschle told Russert of the deceptively misnamed “shadow” government, “We didn’t know anything about it.” But guess what former CIA operative Larry Johnson told the world on Tuesday morning’s Fox & Friends on Fox News Channel? Daschle not only knew about the facility, but he was sent there on Sept. 11th!
“Daschle was there,” Johnson said, “along with Gephardt, Lott, and Hastert. Now, maybe what’s going on is the four leaders of Congress don’t want the other 531 folks to know that, hey, they were taken to the secret facility while the rest of the guys and gals were left out.” Let’s see if this revelation is picked and members of the press ask Senator Daschle about it.
How did I know this? A friend who was at the Top Secret facility told me about it.
Next is the Valerie Plame saga. Valerie and I were in the same Career Trainee class at CIA. We entered on duty in September 1985. Every single member of our class (there were more than 50 of us) were undercover. Valerie was in the Case Officer track. When she completed the course she was destined for work in clandestine operations.
Wilson Elevator Doesn’t Go to Top Floor
Nov 1, 2005
RUSH: Now, let’s take a look at this. “This has never been about Valerie or me.” That’s all this is about! That, pure and simple, is all this has ever been about. It’s Valerie and him. But even after saying, “This has never been about Valerie or me,” he says, “It’s always been about the 16 words in the State of the Union.” Yeah, we had to disprove those to prove Bush was lying. Then second, about who leaked Valerie’s name. If the second thing it’s about is who leaked Valerie’s name, how can you say it’s never been about you or Valerie? This guy is slimy, folks. I’m telling you.
We got more from Wolf Blitzer with the guy. Blitzer says, “Well, even though some of your supporters were on this program last week, Larry Johnson, former CIA officer, they say your decision and your wife’s decision to let her be photographed represented a major mistake because if there were people out there who may have been endangered by her name, certainly when people might have seen her picture, they could have been further endangered.”
Joe was not slimy. He made the mistake of speaking out against the Iraq was and became a lightening rod for the Bush Administration. I was part of a group of intelligence officers who had left the Agency who spoke out in defense of Valerie. Despite the raft of lies told about her, she was serving as a Non-Official Cover Officer aka NOC (pronounced KNOCK). That meant she did work overseas on non-diplomatic passports. I caught while engaged in her CIA activities she had no Diplomatic protection and could have been executed.
I stand by my comment that I thought the photo of Valerie and Joe in his convertible was a mistake. But Valerie was and is a patriot. We disagree politically but we are friends. We still talk on occasion. We politely disagree and remind each other that this is how America should be. We can believe different things but love America.
Rush really teed off on me over the Michelle Obama "Whitey Tape." This was a Clinton Campaign dirty trick. I got the "tip" from Sidney Blumenthal. I was unwittingly used to smear Michelle Obama. More about that in a bit.
Rush is dead wrong in claiming (see below) that I "had the tape." At no point did I ever claim to have the tape or to have seen the tape. I simply wrote about what I had heard.
Drive-Bys Cast Rush as Villain in Nonexistent Michelle Obama Tape
Jun 13, 2008
RUSH: To the audio sound bites we go. This is — I was going to say it’s amazing. It’s not amazing. They’ve taken a two-week-old story, the Drive-By Media and the Obama campaign working in solidarity, a two-week-old story that has been put to bed. There is no Michelle whitey tape. The Obama campaign has said so. After the Obama campaign said that, after Obama himself said it, nobody’s out there claiming that there is. The first guy that said there was, was a Democrat by the name of Larry Johnson, who was also discredited earlier on when he said that Karl Rove had been indicted by Patrick Fitzgerald. A Democrat started the rumor. The rumor was given foundation by another Democrat, the lovable and huggable Bob Beckel on the Fox News Channel’s early morning show Fox & Friends. He went out there, and he said, ‘I don’t like to repeat rumors. I’m not going to specify what this is, but I’m worried about it. I’m really worried about this. I’m worried it’s going to drop tomorrow,’ the day after some series of primaries. Two or three weeks old here. This, of course, caused some to say, ‘Whoo, look at what Beckel said!’ This has been classic rope-a-dope on the part of the Democrats in conjunction with the Drive-By Media.
How the AP Used Rush to Start Narrative on the Whitey Rumor
Jun 16, 2008
Now, the real genesis of this is a left-wing Democrat hack, a guy by the name of Larry Johnson. He said he had the tape; he started the rumor. Larry Johnson is the guy who spread the rumor that some of the Drive-Bys picked up because they were so excited about it, that Patrick Fitzgerald had indicted Karl Rove on a Friday afternoon, long before Libby had been indicted.
As you know, Rove was never indicted, but the left-wing blogs picked it up and some of the Drive-Bys. They were just dying to go with it. Some of them rumored that it existed, because they didn’t want to be cut out of this if it was true, they wanted to be in on the scoop. This is the guy that started this rumor. It was started three weeks ago, or maybe a month ago now. Maybe even longer than that. I didn’t comment on it for three weeks. Then I saw Bob Beckel on Fox on the Tuesday night, I think, of the South Dakota and the Montana primaries, and there was Beckel, and he was all worried. He said he’s heard a lot of rumors, heard a lot of stuff. This thing is going to hit tomorrow. Normally he ignores this kind of thing, but this really had him worried this could be a huge problem. It was worse than her thesis, Michelle Obama’s thesis at Princeton or wherever it was that she went to college. So after that I said, ‘Whoa, I mentioned that Bob Beckel mentioned this!’
Who Started the Rumor, Barry?
Jun 18, 2008
OBAMA: This has unfortunately become a habit in our politics, where anything is fair game, and we just make things up about people. The fact that people have tried to make her a target based, essentially, on a couple comments in which she was critical of what’s happening to our American dream, and the enormous difficulties that people are experiencing — difficulties that she hears directly as she’s traveling across the country — I think is really distressing, and you know I’ve said publicly before, and I’ll say it again: I think families are off limits. I would never consider making Cindy McCain a campaign issue, and if I saw people doing that, I would speak out against it. And the fact that I haven’t seen that from John McCain I think is a deep disappointment.
RUSH: Awwwwwwwwwww! (crying) ‘McCain won’t criticize people who are criticizing my wife!’ Look, McCain’s got a lot on his plate, Senator. Why is it McCain’s responsibility to denounce these people? Besides, Senator Obama, you and I both know who got this whole thing going. We know what you’re talking about. You’re talking about The Tape, the rumored tape. The ‘whitey’ tape which nobody’s ever seen, doesn’t exist. I’m not trying to spread the rumor. He knows what we’re talking about here. That’s what he was talking about, and we all know that it was a Democrat blogger that started that whole thing. Larry Johnson, who is working for the Clinton campaign, that’s who started this whole thing, and he knows it, and why it’s up to McCain or any of us to denounce this liberal blogger is beyond me.
Who knew? I am a "liberal" blogger? Not quite. Here is what actually happened regarding the now infamous Whitey Tape.
I was an ardent supporter of Hillary in 2007 and 2008. I had previously briefed her in 2007 on the war in Iraq and found her, at least in a one-on-one setting, to be very intelligent and very well informed. But that was then. Her subsequent conduct as the Secretary of State, especially how she mishandled the Benghazi incident, ended any chance that I would ever support her for any role in which the lives of American military, diplomats or intelligence officers are on the line.
After that briefing, I found myself as an unofficial member of the Clinton for President team via my friendship with Sid Blumenthal. I had enormous respect for Sid and his wife. I thought they were good people. The only thing I now know for certain is that they are fiercely loyal to the Clintons.
As the contest between Hillary and Barack Obama heated up, Sid would call me from time to time with suggestions of articles I could write or pieces that could be run on my now defunct blog–NoQuarterUSa.net. I was more than happy to help. I believed then (and have been vindicated by the passage of time) that Barack Obama was just a pretty face with no significant experience and he would be a terrible President.
Then came the fateful phone call from Sid Blumenthal in late May 2008. He told me he had learned of a tape that was circulating in restricted circles that featured Michelle Obama using the derogatory phrase, “whitey.” Armed with that tidbit of gossip I turned to an old friend in the media community and he too confirmed he had heard the same thing (stupidly, I never considered the possibility that Sid was spreading this far and wide and that I was getting blowback).
When I mentioned the possible existence of this tape to a Republican friend of mine and former CIA colleague in California, I was shocked when he said, “I have a friend who has seen and heard the tape. That was enough for me. Based on these two sources, I wrote the story up at NoQuarterUSA.net.
It went viral. But nothing surfaced. I became uneasy. So I went back to Sid and pressed him for more information. He in turn sent me to David Brock of Media Matters. (I had met Brock previously at the Blumenthal home watching election returns in 2006.) Brock told me that the information came from female friend who insisted she had seen and heard the slur by Michelle Obama.
The matter became more confused when the Obama campaign sent out an email to their campaign workers claiming that Michelle said “WHY DID HE” rather than the pejorative, “WHITEY.” That led me to believe there was substance to the Blumenthal/Brock rumor.
Ultimately the story died out. No tape surfaced, but I bore the blame as the “Whitey” guy. With the benefit of hindsight I now understand that I was an unwitting but willing tool in a David Brock dirty trick. No such tape ever surfaced. I can only conclude that the desperation of the Clinton campaign to win was so extreme that they would stoop to use a racist meme to smear Obama.
I regret what I did in writing the story up. But it did not originate with me. It came from people closely tied to Hillary Clinton.
Rush went completely off base with his claim that I, little old me, started the story that Obama was born in Kenya. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Here is what Rush said.
Trump Drops Stink Bomb on NBC
Apr 7, 2011
The original claim that Obama was not legally qualified to be president was started by Democrat operatives, which is one of the things that made me suspicious about it. The claim got started by a guy named Larry Johnson, who’s been a spokesman for the Democrat Party. He’s the same lunatic who wrote a New York Times op-ed claiming we had no reason to worry about Islamic terrorists. This is about a month before 9/11. The guy who started the Obama birth certificate rumor, Larry Johnson, is the same guy who claimed he had tapes of Michelle Obama calling people “whitey.” Now, this has not deterred me. The last time I got in trouble on this subject was (chuckles) I had a guy on the phone talking about Obama and “the messiah” and all this stuff.
I said, “Well, wait a minute. Don’t be too quick to condemn Obama as a messiah because he’s got a lot in common with God. God doesn’t have a birth certificate, either.” Well, I caught hell on the leftist blogs for that, if you will recall. You remember that? Yeah, “God doesn’t have a birth certificate, either.” So where is all this coming from that I have been a lapdog on all this? I have studied the issue. “Dear Rush…” I got an e-mail here during the break. “Dear Rush: What’s it like? I can’t imagine what it’s like getting nagged from a woman on the radio that I wasn’t married to. I’m very impressed at your composure. Gregory Kaplowitz.” (laughing) Patience is my middle name — and Kindness. I’m probably the politest host in the history of talk radio. I take great pride in that. https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2011/04/07/trump_drops_stink_bomb_on_nbc/
Rush and his staff, if they cared one whit about truth, could have searched my blog (NoQuarterUSA) for any such claim. I never wrote it and I never believe it. In fact, I always insisted that Obama was born in Hawaii. i did write extensively, however, on Obama's adoption by the Indonesian husband of his mother, Lolo Soetoro. The Obama campaign went to great lengths to hide this fact and minimize the fact that he was a citizen of Indonesia while a young boy. When you are eight years old you do not have a lot of say if your mother's new husband wants to adopt you. That is what the Obama team was trying to hide.
The last time Rush deigned to call me out on his show was almost 9 years. I bet he wants to go back and change his commentary in light of what happened to Donald Trump. This concerned an NSA whistleblower, Russ Tice. Russ tried to warn the American people that the NSA was collecting illegally phone conversations and emails of American citizens. In light of what has been done to Donald Trump and others associated with his campaign, we know that Tice was right.
Rush, regrettably, tried to defend this indefensible conduct. At the time, he attacked Mr. Tice because what Russ had to say was an indictment of the Bush Administration. Yet, when this news broke in 2011 Bush was no longer President. It was Obama. And guess what? Obama took the spying to a new level.
Supposed NSA “Whistleblower” Tied to Wilson/Plame
May 19, 2011
RUSH: This is Bill Gertz’s story in the Washington Times today. “A former National Security Agency official wants to tell Congress about electronic intelligence programs that he asserts were carried out illegally by the NSA and the Defense Intelligence Agency. Russ Tice, a whistleblower who was dismissed,” which means fired, “from the NSA last year, stated in letters to the House and Senate intelligence committees that he is prepared to testify about highly classified Special Access Programs, or SAPs,” What an appropriate name for some guy like Russ Tice to be associated with, “that were improperly carried out by both the NSA and the DIA. ‘I intend to report to Congress probable unlawful and unconstitutional acts conducted while I was an intelligence officer with the National Security Agency and with the Defense Intelligence Agency,’ Mr. Tice stated in the Dec. 16 letters, copies of which were obtained by The Washington Times. The letters were sent the same day,” the same day, the same day, “that the New York Times revealed that the NSA was engaged in a clandestine eavesdropping program that bypassed the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court. The FISA court issues orders for targeted electronic and other surveillance by the government.”
All right, now, this smells from the get-go. In the first place, good ol’ boy Russ Tice is not a whistleblower. May I read to you what a whistleblower is, as legally defined? “A federal agency violates the whistleblower protection act if it takes or fails to take or threatens to take or failed to take a personnel action with respect to any employee or applicant because of any disclosure of information by the employee or applicant that he or she reasonably believes evidences a violation of law, rule or regulation.” The bottom line here is that a whistleblower does not go public. . . .
Clarice Feldman today at one of our favorite blogs, the American Thinker, has done a little research, too, on this, and has found out that this guy Tice is part of a group called the National Security Whistleblowers. This group was formed in August of 2004. If you look up the group, the National Security Whistleblowers group, you’ll notice that the founder, director, and chief spokesperson of the group is Sibel Edmond.
She’s faced a real uphill battle in her struggle with the FBI which fired her. Her story about why she was fired from the FBI has a number of variations — although she, like Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame, numbers among the darlings of the people that hate George W. Bush. Also other members of the National Security Whistleblowers, Daniel Ellsberg, Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Shaffer, Ray McGovern, Larry Johnson. These are members of VIPs, V-I-Ps, the group that encouraged intelligence agents to leak. This is the group that shopped Joe Wilson and his story — and if you’re wondering who Larry Johnson is he was in the CIA with Valerie Plame, is close to her. They seem to have been behind much of the Plame-Wilson story. This whole VIPs NSW group has ties, it appears, to the Valerie Plame-Joe Wilson story. This guy’s letters go to Congress and at the same time the New York Times James Risen story appears about all of this.
It seems to me that we have an orchestrated, premeditated campaign with the media as willing accomplices and participants. But I’m going to tell you what I think. I think this is all an attempt to divert our attention, because I don’t think Russ Tice is the guy leaking all this stuff. I don’t think Russ Tice is in this. I think the leakers are in Congress. I think the leakers are in the Senate. I think that they probably feel that they’re going to have some sort of protection because of their positions. But whoever the leakers are, we’re going to someday find out. We’re going to find out who leaked all this stuff to James Risen. We’re going to find out who his sources are one way or the other. That is going to happen, and it is not going to be Russ Tice. Now, I’m not going to name any names because I don’t know but my guess is that these leakers are part of a coordinated plan in the Democratic Party because we know of the Rockefeller memo from 2002 or 2003, which spelled out this very strategy that the Democrats are unfolding right now. You just wait and see if this is not the case.
I would welcome a chance to sit down with Rush and discuss these events. He owes me at least one apology. But I hold no grudge. I think Rush, despite his errors and mistakes, provides great commentary, unique insights and is very entertaining. I was saddened to learn that he is battling cancer and hope that he finds a cure.
I hope he finds a cure, too.
Diana Croissant says
I understand the acclaim Rush received last night. And certainly I would not wish is illness on anyone, friend or foe. He was certainly a force in his time.
His style offended me most. I am always less sure of my political point of view than I am convinced I am right. Rush often just seemed to sure of himself.
Maybe someone will point out your post to him, and you will get a chance to talk with him.
If you want to see a class presidential candidate’s comment goggle Tulsi and Rush Limbaugh.
I am not a fan of Rush but this is terrible news for anybody and I hope the best for him,.
Sidney Blumenthal is a peer of Lee Atwater (of Willie Horton fame) as an unscrupulous, cunning and underhanded smear planter. Worse in fact, because Atwater at least pointed to a real system failure, though not one that could be laid at Dukakis’ feet, while Blumenthal’s “whitey tape” and “foreign born” rumors were made up out of whole cloth and engineered to set people like Larry up to take the heat for them. Atwater, facing early death, repented for his ways while Blumenthal and the Clinton machine are as smugly unaccountable as ever.
Blumenthal seems like the kind of trickster Roger Stone wanted to be ever since he was in thrall of Nixon’s operatives. But the biggest trick Stone ever played was on himself when he perjured with an irrelevant and inconsequential lie.
The only good thing about Blumenthal is his son Max who co-hosts The Grayzone videos and podcasts with Aaron Maté. Family gatherings must be interesting.
Christian J Chuba says
RL, he was great at analyzing politician speak and media bias which made him immensely popular to an audience who
at that time was scorned by both.
On politics, he is an ideologue, which means you are right when the world conforms to your beliefs and wrong when it doesn’t. This is why I soured on him and those like him. I joked with a friend, ‘rats, I missed his 12 o’clock monologue, now I’ll have to wait for his 1pm monologue but I’ll never know what he said at 12.’
Did he ever change his mind on any subject? (a serious not a rhetorical question).
I much prefer Michael Savage, someone I regularly disagree with but he strikes me as a curious person and an independent thinker. I like Lionel (Lionel Nation) haven’t heard him for a long time but he had a wicked, irreverent humor, I remember laughing; very therapeutic.
I don’t think I am being harsh or mean, just an honest assessment.
Larry J, Pardon the pedantism, I arrive only to tidy a spelling error. I mean no criticism, but as the article will remain for posterity perhaps a simple correction is in order.
“bought of prostate cancer.”
I believe you mean ’bout’.
Anyway I love the various recollections and clarifications which I knew not of before. Especially school for spies! Any chance of confirming journalists are still trained? Specifically UK ones?
Let F says
I have loved reading your blogs and have learned so much through you. what Sid and clinton did to you just reflects what happened to donald trump. wow.. same play book still. only on a much wider scale. Thank you for your blogs,I enjoy reading and getting more informed with each one you release.