Bush administration allegations of ties between Saddam Hussein and Islamic terrorists disproven
- September 9: A just-declassified report from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence proves that while Bush and his administration's officials were flatly stating that there were proven ties between the regime of Saddam Hussein and terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda, in fact those ties were long known not to exist. (The report fails to assert the corollary fact -- that Bush and his officials lied the US into a war that has lasted for well over three years and cost tens of thousands of lives.) Analysts and officials in a number of US intelligence agencies have tried and failed for years to make administration officials acknowledge this. The report says that, far from aligning himself with al-Qaeda and Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Hussein repeatedly rebuffed al-Qaeda's overtures and tried to capture al-Zarqawi. (Bush has said that the presence of al-Zarqawi in Iraq before the war was evidence of a link.) The report says in part, "Saddam Hussein was distrustful of al-Qaeda and viewed Islamic extremists as a threat to his regime, refusing all requests from al-Qaeda to provide material or operational support." Tariq Aziz, the detained former deputy prime minister, has told the FBI that Hussein "only expressed negative sentiments about [Osama] bin Laden." The report also proves that defectors from Ahmad Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress deliberately misled and lied to Pentagon and CIA officials about the status of Iraq's nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. Warnings that the INC had long ago been penetrated by Iranian intelligence, and was likely serving Iranian interests, were ignored or belittled, says the report. As recently as August 21, 2006, Bush was still telling the country that there was proof that operational links existed between al-Zarqawi and Hussein, but a CIA assessment in October 2005 concluded that Hussein's government "did not have a relationship, harbor, or turn a blind eye toward Zarqawi and his associates," according to the report. "The president is still distorting. He's still making statements which are false," says Democratic senator Carl Levin, an intelligence committee member.
- The partial report has finally been made public after three years of heavy infighting between Republican loyalists who want the report to remain sealed, and Democrats and Republicans who want the truth to be told. White House press secretary Tony Snow, a former Fox News pundit, attempts an ironic spin on the report, dismissing it as "old news" and descending into complete falsehood: "In 2002 and 2003, members of both parties got a good look at the intelligence we had and they came to the very same conclusions about what was going on." The committee report's conclusions are based on the Democrats' findings because two Republicans, Olympia Snowe and Chuck Hagel, supported the findings: "After reviewing thousands of pages of evidence, I voted for the conclusions that most closely reflect the facts in the report," Snowe says. "Policy-makers seemingly discounted or dismissed warnings about the veracity of critical intelligence reports that may have served as a basis for going to war." Committee chairman Pat Roberts, one of Bush's strongest Senate supporters, insists despite the evidence that INC exiles did not fundamentally shape the critical assessment of the Iraqi threat in the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate, but the report flatly contradicts Roberts, as Snowe emphasizes in her statement. Information from a wildly unreliable INC source, code-named "Curveball," was included in a key National Intelligence Estimate, and in then-Secretary of State Colin Powell's infamous February 2003 address to the United Nations. Those citations came despite two April 2002 CIA assessments, a May 2002 Defense Intelligence Agency fabrication notice and a July 2002 National Intelligence Council warning -- all saying the INC source was likely coached by the exile group into fabricating the information.
- In a classified January 2003 report, the CIA concluded that Hussein "viewed Islamic extremists operating inside Iraq as a threat." But one day after that conclusion was published, Levin notes, Dick Cheney said the Iraqi government "aids and protects terrorists, including members of al-Qaeda." The long-debunked story of 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta meeting with an Iraqi intelligence official in Prague before the attacks is still being promoted by Cheney and other administration officials. In February 2002, the DIA concluded that "Iraq is unlikely to have provided bin Laden any useful [chemical and biological weapons] knowledge or assistance." A year later, Bush said, "Iraq has also provided al-Qaeda with chemical and biological weapons training." "It is such a blatant misleading of the United States, its people, to prepare them, to position them, to, in fact, make them enthusiastic or feel that it's justified to go to war with Iraq," says John Rockefeller, the committee's vice chairman. "That kind of public manipulation I don't know has any precedent in American history." (Washington Post, BBC)
Trail of bin Laden "stone cold"
- September 10: The trail leading to the capture or death of Osama bin Laden has gone "stone cold," says a US counterterrorism official. The US commandos whose job it is to run bin Laden to ground haven't received a credible lead in over two years, no informant tips, satellite images, or electronic intercepts, according to US and Pakistani officials. "The handful of assets we have have given us nothing close to real-time intelligence" that could have led to his capture, says the counterterrorism official. Though three months ago, Bush gave the order to "flood the zone" with more CIA agents and Special Forces commandos, part of the problem is no one knows quite what "the zone" is. "Here you've got a guy who's gone off the net and is hiding in some of the most formidable terrain in one of the most remote parts of the world surrounded by people he trusts implicitly," says T. McCreary, spokesman for the National Counterterrorism Center. "And he stays off the net and is probably not mobile. That's an extremely difficult problem." Many believe that bin Laden's capture or death will be more of a symbolic victory in the war on terror than anything actual, as for years, al-Qaeda has shown the capability to strike without bin Laden's leadership. "Will his capture stop terrorism? No," says Democrat Jane Harman, vice chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, "But in terms of a message to the world, it's a huge message." Part of the reason why bin Laden has gone unmolested for so long is that in March 2002, Bush ordered most of the special operations troops and their CIA counterparts in the paramilitary division that were leading the hunt for bin Laden in Afghanistan to prepare for war in Iraq, according to Flynt Leverett, then an expert on the Middle East at the National Security Council. "I was appalled when I learned about it," he says. "I don't know of anyone who thought it was a good idea. It's very likely that bin Laden would be dead or in American custody if we hadn't done that." The White House still will not specifically confirm that such troop redeployments took place, though they are common knowledge among the military and the press.
- Another problem with the bin Laden manhunt is that the Pakistanis, never an enthusiastic partner of the US in the war on terror, have virtually ceased any attempts to find bin Laden, who is believed to be in the no-man's land on the Afghan-Pakistani border. "The dirty little secret is, they have nothing, no operations, without the Paks," says a formercounterterrorism officer. Most of the efforts in Afghanistan are directed at battling the viciously resurgent Taliban and the armed clans of opium growers who resist efforts to curb their harvests and sales. And yet another problem is lack of materiel, specifically the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, often thought to be the best bet of finding bin Laden in real time. Lieutenant General John Vines, who commanded US troops in Afghanistan in the summer of 2003, says in July of that year, US forces under his command thought they were close to striking bin Laden, but had only one drone to send over three possible routes he might take. "A UAV was positioned on the route that was most likely, but he didn't go that way," Vines recalls. "We believed that we were within a half-hour of possibly getting him, but nothing materialized." Like most US military equipment, most of the UAVs formerly alloted to Afghani operations were long ago redeployed for Iraq. Even more troublesome are the never-ending turf wars between the Defense Department and other US departments and organizations. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's territoriality is "legendary," according to a number of agency officials, and has consistently hindered operations. For example, in early November 2002, a CIA Predator drone killed a top al-Qaeda official in the Yemeni desert. Instead of being pleased with the strike, Rumsfeld was blisteringly angry that the CIA, and not the Defense Department, was credited with the kill. Rumsfeld blasted General Michael Hayden, now the head of the CIA but then the head of the NSA, for sharing intelligence with the CIA and ordered that intelligence sharing be halted. (Hayden denies such a conversation ever took place, and some intelligence is still shared between the NSA and the CIA.) Rumsfeld has also insisted that his own operation, the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) lead the manhunt for bin Laden. The months it took to redirect the group from long-range operational planning to hunting for bin Laden was months bin Laden was all but ignored by US forces. Even today, no one person or organization is specifically in charge of finding bin Laden. "There's nobody in the United States government whose job it is to find Osama bin Laden!" one frustrated counterterrorism official shouts. "Nobody!"
- The same problem is encountered in finding and taking out secondary al-Qaeda leaders such as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who has been reported as dead, and Ayman al-Zawahiri, of whom a Pakistani intelligence official says, "He keeps popping on television screens. It's miserable, but we don't know where he or his boss are hiding." (Washington Post)
- September 11: Dick Cheney asserts that the domestic debate over the war emboldens the terrorists and insurgents who oppose America, and affirm their conviction that they can underminie the resolve of the American people. "They can't beat us in a stand-up fight -- they never have -- but they're absolutely convinced they can break our will, [that] the American people don't have the stomach for the fight," Cheney says on NBC's Meet the Press. Cheney says US allies in Afghanistan and Iraq "have doubts" the US will finish the job there, "[a]nd those doubts are encouraged, obviously, when they see the kind of debate that we've had in the United States. ...Suggestions, for example, that we should withdraw US forces from Iraq simply feed into that whole notion, validates the strategy of the terrorists." In other words, Cheney is saying that dissent is collusion with America's enemies.
- While Cheney unapologetically defends the reasoning for the invasion of Iraq, and says that the administration would have done "exactly the same thing" even if it knew before the war what he grudgingly acknowledges knowing now -- that Iraq did not have stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, he is forced to admit that he had been overly optimistic in predicting a quick demise to the Iraqi insurgency. More than a year ago, in May 2005, Cheney proclaimed the insurgency was in its "last throes." Since then, more than 1,000 U.S. troops have died and sectarian violence has intensified. "I think there's no question...that the insurgency's gone on longer and been more difficult [than] I had anticipated," he says. But, Cheney again makes the same kind of rosy predictions that he is now admitting were overstated, when he says that 2005 will be seen as a "turning point" in Iraq's history because of elections that have led to a democratic government.
- Cheney's remarks draw scorn from Democrats. "Vice President Cheney's influence over our nation's foreign policy and defense has made America less safe," says Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. "The vice president was a chief architect of the effort to manipulate intelligence to build a case for invading Iraq; he ignored the threat of insurgencies, he took our eye off the ball in Afghanistan, and today he made clear that he would do nothing different."
- Cheney bobs and weaves, ducking questions posed by interviewer Tim Russert about his panoply of mistakes in his predictions about the war's progress. He disputes the idea that most Americans are now opposed to the war, in spite of polls saying that a solid majority of Americans do indeed oppose the occupation. Cheney also continues to refuse to admit the error of his long-standing assertions about the connections between Iraq and al-Qaeda, refusing to admit that 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta did not visit with Iraq intelligence agents in Prague in the months before the attacks, as has long been shown. When told that the Senate Intelligence Committee has reported that the CIA had thoroughly debunked the idea of any prewar relationship between al-Qaeda and Hussein's government. Cheney blandly ducks the issue by saying he hasn't read the report. (Washington Post)
- September 11: The Nation reports on the management consulting firm founded by former Republican New York mayor and 9/11 "hero" Rudolph Giuliani, Giuliani Partners. Giuliani hired many of his former New York governmental colleagues from his days as mayor to join him: among others, former city corporation counsel Michael Hess became a managing partner, and former fire commissioner Tom Van Essen and former police commissioner Bernard Kerik became senior partners. The only partner not one of Giuliani's City Hall crowd was Roy Bailey, the former finance chair of the Texas Republicans, who helped raise money for Giuliani's abortive 2000 Senate campaign against Hillary Clinton. Bailey helped finance the new company, whose reported start-up payroll was $10 million a year.
- Normally, the fact that a former politician -- even a future presidential candidate like Giuliani -- had opened a management services firm after leaving office would not be newsworthy for this site. But, Giuliani's firm is something different from the norm. Giuliani is not selling management expertise, but attempting to cash in on his aura as, in the words of reporters Dan Collins and Wayne Barrett, "America's Mayor -- the man whose cool-headed 9/11 leadership had taken on mythic proportions." Collins and Barrett point out that while Giuliani's first term as mayor brought him renown as a crime fighter who made New York livable again, his second term was a slowly escalating disaster before 9/11. Giuliani's career was marred by a seemingly endless series of political disputes with everyone from school leaders to neighborhood representatives, musuem boards, rival politicians, and even hot-dog vendors. And while the rest of the country remained (and still remains) blissfully unaware of how unprepared Giuliani left the city to a terrorist attack, refusing to learn the lessons from the 1993 World Trade Center attacks, New Yorkers were all too aware of Giuliani's failings.
- Collins and Barrett report that, now that Giuliani is barnstorming the country in preparation for a presidential campaign, his record deserves more intensive scrutiny that it has previously received. And the reporters focus particular scrutiny on Giuliani's management company. Giuliani Partners' initial press releases religiously avoided any mention of the attacks; instead, Giuliani is hailed as the man who "returned accountability to city government and improved the quality of life for all New Yorkers." But when their clients, who were very frequently companies in trouble, told the world they had just hired a renowned team of "crisis managers," no one pretended their critical expertise came from handling snowstorms or subway fires. Giuliani's 9/11 reputation stood him in very good stead, and won his company contracts with firms from almost every part of the country, from troubled nuclear power plants to helping WorldCom establish a "model form of corporate governance," to help Delta Airlines with its bankruptcy. It also signed a number of contracts with firms in New York, some of which were directly affected by 9/11. (For an extensive recounting of Giuliani Partners' contracts, particularly the ethically questionable contracts with PhRMA, Entergy, and Nextel, see the article at the link below.)
- Collins and Bartlett note that Giuliani Partners keeps its financial dealings very much under wraps. They write, "Giuliani Partners attempts to present itself as just another vehicle for Rudy Giuliani's fight for justice. 'We take these things on if there's good to be done,' said Michael Hess. But most of the deals it has made were like the Nextel one -- patently about a client's hope to cash in on Giuliani's fame, to borrow a little of his crime-fighting aura or to make use of the Partners' many connections in the increasingly profitable business of homeland security. Rick Perkal, a senior managing director at Bear Stearns Merchant Banking, told Newsday that his company had been impressed by Bernard Kerik's membership on a federal panel that was supposed to give the Department of Homeland Security advice on, among other things, what it ought to be purchasing. Bear Stearns had agreed to invest up to $300 million in new security-related ventures identified by Giuliani Partners, and Perkal said, 'Being an adviser in Homeland Security, what has been helpful to us is that he understands the needs of the country. When we look at opportunities, companies that come up for sale, he can say: "This is a good company. I think it has good growth prospects."' But the American public seems indifferent to such conflicts of interest. A June Quinnipiac University poll showed that Giuliani had the highest rating among nineteen national leaders and potential 2008 presidential candidates, ahead of John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama." (The Nation/AlterNet)
- September 12: House Majority Leader John Boehner, a Republican, stops just short of accusing his fellow Democrats of treason by aiding and abetting terrorists. Boehner says to reporters, "I listen to my Democrat friends, and I wonder if they're more interested in protecting terrorists than in protecting the American people." The charge is so shocking that a reporter actually gives Boehner the chance to rescind the charge, asking if he really means to accuse Democrats of treason. Instead, Boehner says, "I said I wonder if they're more interested in protecting the terrorists. They certainly don't want to take the terrorists on in the field." Boehner is merely firing one of the louder shots in the Republicans' coordinated attacks on Democrats as the midterm elections near; Washington Post Dana Milbank observes acerbically, "The arrival of Treason Season, heralded by the charged address President Bush gave on Monday's 9/11 anniversary, is right on schedule." Boehner is aided and abetted in the charges by Senator Rick Santorum, who finds himself on the short end of his own political battle in his Pennsylvania district. On the floor of the Senate, an enraged Santorum yelled, "If you listen to the Democratic leader, our lesson is: ...Let's put domestic politics ahead of the security of this country. That's the message."
- Of course, such charges of treason, appeasement, and abetting the enemy are nothing new. Milbank cites just a few examples. Back in 2002, Bush declared on September 23 that Senate Democrats were "not interested in the security of the American people." Republicans gained seats in the midterm elections, aided by the voters' perception that Democrats were weak on security. On September 23, 2004, with both a presidential and a Congressional election coming up, Bush told reporters that Democrats' statements about Iraq "can embolden an enemy." A few days earlier, Republican John Thune said the words of his opponent, Senate Democratic leader Thomas Daschle "embolden the enemy." Bush and Thune won in November. So, judging by recent history, accusations of treason and aiding & comforting the enemy have worked well for Republicans.
- Whether the same lines will work this time around -- though polls are showing that Santorum is closing with his opponent, Bob Casey. Milbank writes, "As is often the case, Vice President Cheney launched the current round of sedition suspicions. The idea "that we should withdraw US forces from Iraq," he told NBC's Tim Russert on September 10, "validates the strategy of the terrorists." Bush reprised the assertion during his highly partisan "commemorative" speech of September 11, saying to his listeners, "The worst mistake would be to think that if we pulled out, the terrorists would leave us alone. They will not leave us alone. They will follow us.... If we yield Iraq to men like bin Laden, our enemies will be emboldened." As Milbank observes, "That was milder than Cheney, but not exactly the non-political speech the White House proised when it requested network time."
- Democrats are responding with more fire and outrage than in previous "treason seasons." Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid called the coordinated accusations from Bush, Boehner, and Santorum, among others, a "ploy," saying that Bush "obviously was more consumed by staying the course in Iraq and playing election-year partisan politics than changing direction." Santorum flew into a rage on the Senate floor in response to Reed, snarling, "The very people that planned the attacks are the people who are in Iraq," contradicting the conclusions of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Santorum added that Democrats "can't face the reality that we have a dangerous enemy out there, an enemy that wants to destroy everything we hold dear." Boehner, visibly calmer, accused Democrats of being "the ones out there making statements." As for the White House's response to Boehner's accusations of Democratic treason, press secretary Tony Snow told reporter David Gregory, "I'll get back to you on it." When Gregory then asked, "Can you describe how it's possible to oppose the president on the war on Iraq without emboldening the terrorists?" Snow responded, "Yes, absolutely," but not if it means pulling out of Iraq. "That would embolden the terrorists." I leave it to the reader to parse the not-so-veiled accusation in that statement. (Washingtopn Post)
- September 12: Conservative television host Glenn Beck tells his CNN audience, "The Middle East is being overrun by 10th-century barbarians. That's what I thought at 5 o'clock this morning, and I thought, 'Oh, geez, what -- what is this?' If they take over -- the barbarians storm the gate and take over the Middle East (this is what I'm thinking at 5 o'clock in the morning) -- we're going to have to nuke the whole place." (MediaMatters)
Marines conclude war in Anbar province has been lost
- September 13: Marine Major General Richard Zilmer, commanding troops from his headquarters in Fallujah, that US-led military operations may be "stifling" the insurgency in Anbar province, but are simply not strong enough to defeat it outright. Anbar encompasses 30% of Iraq's land mass, containing the key cities of Ramadi and Fallujah, and is a central area in what is known as the "Sunni Triangle." Zilmer does not dispute a classified report from Anbar's Marine intelligence chief, Colonel Pete Devlin, that says US and insurgent forces are locked in a stalemate in Anbar. "For what we are trying to achieve out here, I think our force levels are about right," says Zilmer. "Now, if that mission statement changes -- if there is seen a larger role for coalition forces out here to win that insurgency fight -- then that is going to change the metrics of what we need out here." Zilmer is admitting, indirectly, that the US mission, at least in Anbar, has changed -- now the goal is not to defeat the insurgency, but merely contain it. Zilmer says that while more troops than his 30,000 would be required to defeat insurgent forces in the short term, what is needed for a real nationwide defeat is progress on the economic and political fronts that will undercut popular support for the insurgency. In his report, whose existence was leaked to the Washington Post on September 11, Devlin reports that the war for Anbar province has essentially been lost, and that, because of a void in government, al-Qaeda has moved in to fill that leadership void. There is almost nothing the military can do to improve the political and social situation there, Devlin concludes. One Army officer sums up Devlin's report, saying that in Anbar province, "We haven't been defeated militarily but we have been defeated politically -- and that's where wars are won and lost." Devlin has the reputation of being one of the Marine Corps' best intelligence officers, with a tendency to be careful and straightforward, according to a Marine intelligence officer. Hence, the report is being taken seriously as it is examined inside the military establishment and also by some CIA officials. "From what I understand, it is very candid, very unvarnished," says retired Marine Colonel G. I. Wilson. "It says the emperor has no clothes." (AP/USA Today, Washington Post)
- September 13: Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee charge that the National Security Agency (NSA) has played politics in its support for its secret, illegal program to wiretap Americans' phones in their efforts to intercept terrorist phone calls. On July 27, after most members were briefed on the surveillance program, the NSA supplied committee chairman Pat Roberts, a Republican, with "a set of administration approved, unclassified talking points for the members to use" as described in the document, according to a letter written by Democratic senator John Rockefeller, the ranking minority member of the committee, to NSA director Keith Alexander. Among the talking points were "subjective statements that appear intended to advance a particular policy view and present certain facts in the best possible light," Rockefeller writes. The cleared statements included "I can say the program must continue" and "There is strict oversight in place...now including the full congressional intelligence committees," as well as "Current law is not agile enough to handle the threat posed by sophisticated international terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda" and "The FISA should be amended so that it is technologically neutral." FISA refers to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the current law. Rockefeller, joined by six committee Democrats, write that the statements "appear intended to advocate particular policies rather than provide guidance on classification. ...We believe that it is inappropriate for the NSA to insert itself into this policy debate." Alexander has tried to accuse Democrats of requesting the talking points, which makes no sense considering that no Democrats were supplied with the document, and the document seems written to advance Republican arguments in favor of the program. Alexander now says that the document was "misperceived as political." (Washington Post)
GOP congressman pleads guilty to fraud connected with Jack Abramoff
- September 14: After months of denying any wrongdoing, Republican House member Bob Ney of Ohio agrees to plead guilty to criminal charges in the Congressional corruption probe centered on disgraced, convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Ney will plead guilty to fraud and to making false statements. Though each charge carries a recommended sentence of five years in prison, if Ney cooperates with all the requirements of the plea, the prosecution has agreed to recommend a lighter sentence of 27 months. Ney is the first lawmaker to admit to wrongdoing in the investigation surrounding Abramoff. Ney admitted to accepting all-expense-paid and reduced-price trips to play golf in Scotland in August 2002, to gamble and vacation in New Orleans in May 2003 and to vacation in New York in August 2003. The total cost of all the trips exceeded $170,000, prosecutors said. Ney also admitted accepting meals and sports and concert tickets for himself and his staff. In return, Ney sponsored, worked for, and voted for legislation desired by Abramoff and his clients. (CBS News)
- September 14: On a little-noticed voice vote, the House passes HR 5295, the Student Teacher Safety Act of 2006, which requires any school receiving federal funding -- virtually every public school in the nation -- "to adopt policies allowing teachers and school officials to conduct random, warrantless searches of every student, at any time, on the flimsiest of pretexts. Saying they suspect that one student might have drugs could give officials the authority to search every student in the building." According to the bill, any school system that fails to adopt such rules will lose large chunks of their federal funding after 2008. The national Parent-Teacher Association responds, "Though we laud your efforts to make our classrooms safer, we believe this legislation fails to create constructive policy that will actually improve the safety of students and school personnel. Instead, as noted in Sec.2(13) of the bill as introduced on May 4, 2006, this legislation will only 'help to insulate teachers and school officials who conduct student searches from lawsuits.' In this age of zero-tolerance policies, we must be cautious to not overextend the government's reach. We must allow schools and districts to set policy according to the needs and special circumstances of that school and community. Further, this legislation fails to provide any resources to reduce drugs and violence in our schools. In fact, the funds that would be denied schools that fail to comply with this legislation are the very resources intended to help make our schools safer." The bill is opposed, not just by the PTA, but by the National School Boards Association, the American Association of School Administrators, the American Federation of Teachers, and the Great City Council Schools.
- Congress's own legal advisors, the Congressional Research Service, says that schools not only must ensure that such searches are reasonable, related to specific objectives, and not unduly intrusive, but the law may well violate the divide between state, local, and federal responsibilities. The determination of what is and is not "reasonable" is left up to the person conducting the search, based on their own professional judgment and experience. (PTA/DrugPolicy/Daily Kos)
- September 14: A poster with the handle "njdube" posts a disturbing video on YouTube, the free video hosting site, showing US soldiers taunting Iraqi children by holding bottles of water out to them, snatching the bottles back, drinking it themselves, and laughing. The poster admits that he got the video from a friend, who themselves got it from someone else: "The person I got it from did not make the disk, they got it from a friend they met while over there. So there's no telling how many times this was handed down. So stop sending me messages telling me to burn in hell." (YouTube [link to video])
- September 14: Rush Limbaugh sounds the depths of his hatred for women and liberals in denigrating the new feminist radio network, Greenstone. The network, founded by feminist icons Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinem, and Rosie O'Donnell, and currently working with four radio stations, features female talk show hosts and programming, mostly from a liberal point of view. Limbaugh says the four stations should rename themselves WPMS, WNAG, WCRY, and WFEM; according to Limbaugh, they want to name a fifth radio station WBI-TCH. He belittles the programming as coming out of a "seventh and eighth-grade home economics class," and uses the opportunity to promote his own EIB network, which has been a going concern since 1988. (Radio Equalizer)