During his radio show Rush Limbaugh claimed that President Obama apologized to the terrorists today for the actions of the past 8 years. Limbaugh said, “Were I a terrorist, I would have been prompted to give his speech a standing ovation today.” What Limbaugh is so very upset about is the idea that detainees should have rights and trials.
Here is the audio courtesy of Media Matters:
Limbaugh said, “Most people find nothing wrong with keeping these people at Guantanamo Bay. Had I been a terrorist, were I a terrorist, I would have been prompted to give Obama’s speech a standing o today. It would have been tempting to give him a standing ovation, because essentially Barack Obama apologized to terrorists all over the world for the past eight years of the previous administration.”
Here is the segment of Obama’s speech that Rush considers to be an apology, “Unfortunately, faced with an uncertain threat, our government made a series of hasty decisions. And I believe that those decisions were motivated by a sincere desire to protect the American people. But I also believe that – too often – our government made decisions based upon fear rather than foresight, and all too often trimmed facts and evidence to fit ideological predispositions. Instead of strategically applying our power and our principles, we too often set those principles aside as luxuries that we could no longer afford. And in this season of fear, too many of us – Democrats and Republicans; politicians, journalists and citizens – fell silent.”
The president continued, “In other words, we went off course. And this is not my assessment alone. It was an assessment that was shared by the American people, who nominated candidates for President from both major parties who, despite our many differences, called for a new approach – one that rejected torture, and recognized the imperative of closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay. Now let me be clear: we are indeed at war with al Qaeda and its affiliates. We do need to update our institutions to deal with this threat. But we must do so with an abiding confidence in the rule of law and due process; in checks and balances and accountability.”
In Rush’s mind calling for America to adhere to its core values and principles is akin to apologizing to terrorists. There was no apology in this speech. If anything, Obama continued the notion of a war on terror. When people like Rush Limbaugh support torture, they are rejecting the democratic values that built this nation.
People like Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh think that they can revive the politics of fear and lead the GOP to victory. It won’t work because people aren’t afraid anymore. Many Americans were ashamed of what their nation had become under George W. Bush. Many people want a nation that really doesn’t torture, and is a role model for democracy, but this is exactly what Rush Limbaugh has labeled as un-American today.