Olbermann: There is no “Ground Zero Mosque”

[T]his is America, dammit.  And in America, when somebody comes for your neighbor, or his bible, or his torah, or his Atheists’ Manifesto, or his Koran, you and I do what our fathers did, and our grandmothers did, and our founders did, you and I speak up.

Let’s make our voices heard.

The text of this Special Comment may be found here.

The human faces of health care reform

By Rich Stockwell, Senior producer for Countdown

It happened as I watched a 50-something woman walk out, after spending several hours being attended to by volunteer doctors. “She’s decided against treatment. A reasonable decision under the circumstances,” the doctor tells us as she heads for the next patient. The president of the board of the National Association of Free Health Clinics tells me why: “It’s stage four breast cancer, her body is filled with tumors.” I don’t know when that woman last saw a doctor. But I do know that if she had health insurance, the odds she would have seen a doctor long ago are much higher, and her chances for an earlier diagnosis and treatment would have been far greater.

Keith read Rich’s very moving blog entry in its entirety last night on Countdown. This could be any of us, at any given moment.

If Americans are worried about the possibility of “Death Panels” in the health care reform bill, never fear — they are already here.

Just ask the lady with the Stage 4 breast cancer…

Read the rest of Rich Stockwell’s excellent post here.

Keith Olbermann to deliver Special Comment on health care reform

Huffington Post

Keith Olbermann will deliver an hour-long “Special Comment” on health care Wednesday night, MSNBC announced Tuesday.

Wednesday’s “Countdown” will be devoted entirely to “Health Care Reform: The Fight Against Death.” According to a network release, it will focus on “the need for and meaning of health care reform in the United States” and Olbermann will “propose group action by patients, and how patients can reclaim the debate over health care reform.”

Keith has previously given two Special Comments on the health care reform issue:  One about members of Congress being owned by the health care lobby; and the other was aimed at Quitter Palin’s fear-mongering about the so-called “death panels.”

Countdown discusses Seymour Hersh’s claim of a Cheney “assassination ring”

On Wednesday March 11, 2009, Eric Black reported on MinnPost.Com a stunning statement by investigative journalist/author Seymour Hersh (of The New Yorker):

At a “Great Conversations” event (MP3) at the University of Minnesota last night, legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh may have made a little more news than he intended by talking about new alleged instances of domestic spying by the CIA, and about an ongoing covert military operation that he called an “executive assassination ring.”
Hersh spoke with great confidence about these findings from his current reporting, which he hasn’t written about yet.

The evening of great conversation, featuring Walter Mondale and Hersh, moderated by [U of M Political Scientist Larry] Jacobs and titled “America’s Constitutional Crisis,” looked to be a mostly historical review of events that have tested our Constitution, by a journalist and a high government official who had experience with many of the crises.

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Turley pleads for prosecution of Bush crimes

Last night on Countdown (MSNBC), Keith Olbermann interviewed Constitutional Law professor Jonathan Turley.

Raw Story

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., has suggested a bipartisan panel to seek the truth about accusations of criminal wrongdoing by the Bush administration. Constitutional Law Professor Jonathan Turley discusses why Leahy wants this panel to have the power to grant immunity and serve subpoenas.

If you have not seen this interview, you must watch it. Nobody could say this any more clearly than Professor Turley:

“Truth commissions generally have been used by emerging democracies, often third world countries that have nascent legal systems, countries that are trying to create new governments. They’re not associated with the government that’s supposedly the leader of the rule of law. We don’t have any question about the obligation to follow these treaties.

There’s no question that torture occurred here. There’s no question it was a war crime. And so, the only reason to have a commission of this kind is to avoid doing what we’re obligated to do under a treaty. And the fact is, that these members of Congress view this as a very inconvenient time to fight on principle. But they would do us all a favor if they’d save the money on another useless commission.

Let’s just take the old 9/11 Commission Report, rip off the cover, put a new cover on it, and call it a day. Because it is shameful that we would be calling for this type of Commission.

Everyone knows what we’re doing. We’re in violation of our obligations now!

We were supposed to investigate. It’s not up to President Obama. It’s not up to Senator Leahy. We’re obligated to investigate.

This whole discussion in front of the world is basically saying that we’re not going to comply with the promise we made, not to ourselves, but the world.”

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Great News! 4 More Years of Keith Olbermann

MSNBC sent out a press release heralding four more years of Keith Olbermann on MSNBC:  Huffington Post has the release.

MSNBC has voted for four more years of Keith Olbermann and the top-rated “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” it was announced today by Phil Griffin, President, MSNBC. The new four-year agreement calls for Olbermann to continue as host of “Countdown;” additionally, Olbermann will play a prominent role in MSNBC’s coverage of all major news events. He will also continue to co-host NBC’s “Football Night in America” studio show.

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Olbermann aims ‘Special Comment’ at Clinton campaign

via: Raw Story

MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann for the first time turned his “Special Comment” sights on a Democrat: Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Olbermann pulled no punches in a withering attack on events surrounding the Clinton campaign in recent days regarding Geraldine Ferraro’s controversial statements about Sen. Barack Obama and race.

“I have fought with myself over whether or not to say anything,” Olbermann begins tentatively, before saying, “Events insist.”

Directly addressing Clinton, Olbermann says, “[A]s it has reached its apex in their tone-deaf, arrogant and insensitive reaction to the remarks of Geraldine Ferraro, your own advisors are slowly killing your chances to become president.

“Senator, their words and your own are now slowly killing the chances for any Democrat to become president,” he continued. “In your tepid response to this Ferraro disaster, you may sincerely think you are disenthralling an enchanted media and righting an unfair advance bestowed on Sen. Obama. You may think the matter has closed with Rep. Ferraro’s bitter, almost threatening resignation letter, but in fact, senator, you are now campaigning as if Barack Obama were the Democrat and you were the Republican.”

Olbermann said of former vice presidential candidate Ferraro, who stepped down from the Clinton campaign today after days in the spotlight, “[S]he was … dismissing Sen. Obama’s candidacy as nothing more than some equal-opportunity stunt.”

Olbermann warned that by associating her campaign with the “cheap, ignorant, vile racism that underlies every syllable” of Ferraro’s resignation letter, Clinton was hurting herself. “Senator Clinton,” said Olbermann, “this is not a campaign strategy. This is a suicide pact.

“This week alone,” he added, “your so-called strategists have declared that Sen. Obama has not yet crossed some ‘Commander-in-Chief threshold,’ but he might still be your choice to be vice president. … A midterm succession, but you only pick him if he crosses that threshold by the time of the convention, but if he does …, he will only have done so sufficiently enough to become vice president, not president.

“Senator, if the serpentine logic of your so-called advisers were not bad enough, now thanks to Geraldine Ferraro and … your new relationship with her, … if you were to seek Obama as a vice president, it would be to Ms. Ferraro some kind of social-engineering gesture…”

Olbermann continued, “Her only reaction has been to brand herself as the victim and resign from your committee and insist she will continue to speak. Unless, Senator, you say something definitive, the former congresswoman is speaking with your approval.

“You must remedy this, and you must reject and denounce Geraldine Ferraro,” he concluded.

Vodpod videos no longer available. from rawstory.com posted with vodpod

“The Nexus of Politics and Terror” 2002 – 2008

via: Huffington Post

In case you missed it, on Thursday night’s “Countdown” Keith Olbermann presented an impressively detailed timeline he called “The Nexus of Politics and Terror,” in which he chronicled the Bush administration’s exploitation of terror threats for political gain. Olbermann’s exhaustive account weaves from each revelation of an intelligence failure or a Democratic political victory to an almost immediate orange alert or “new threat” from al Qaeda.

The clip is 17 minutes long and entirely worth it, and its conclusion — “what we were told about terror, and not told, for security reasons, has overlapped considerably with what we were told about terror, and not told, for political reasons” — is a dutiful summary of the past six years.

Huffington Post has the video. I don’t know how I missed this.. This was from a week ago. It is excellent and thorough. Its long, but a must-see. I tried to post the video but it wouldn’t work. VIDEO HERE.

Jonathan Turley: Crime of torture could only have been ordered by the president

 Jonathan Turley was a guest on Countdown with Keith Olbermann last night.

Raw Story has the story and video:

Constitutional expert Jonathan Turley told Keith Olbermann that as many as six criminal offenses could be involved in the 9/11 Commission charge alone, including obstruction of Congress, obstruction of justice, perjury, and conspiracy.

However, Turley emphasized that the real crime under investigation is not merely obstruction, but the actual torture documented by the tapes. “It is still, even after the last seven year, a crime to torture suspects,” Turley commented.

Turley suggested that under those circumstances, the failure to appoint a special prosecutor was a serious problem, because “the investigation will essentially be the Justice Department investigating itself. … Picking some guy in Connecticut or Cincinnati or Delaware or any other state doesn’t make any difference. His boss is Michael Mukasey. And Michael Mukasey’s boss is the president of the United States. If torture occurred, he was the guy who ordered it.”

Turley suggested that there is a reluctance throughout official Washington, not “just Republicans,” to pry into an underlying crime which is potentially far more serious than the burglary which was the start of Watergate. When Olberman asked if the investigation “could still lead to criminal culpability for the president,” Turley replied, “Most certainly it can. That original crime could only have been ordered by the president and it leads directly to his office.”

This was a POWERFUL interview!

(For some reason the video is temporarily disabled here. Go here to watch the video).

Vodpod videos no longer available. from rawstory.com posted with vodpod

Olbermann Reads Tom Tomorrow: Bill O’Reilly’s Advice to Kids

This “reading” by Keith Olbermann is absolutely hilarious!

“Our number one story on the Countdown: when the Village Voice printed two pages worth of “Bill O’Reilly’s very useful advice for young people, as channeled by vile left-wing smear merchant Tom Tomorrow.” We thought you kiddies at home might enjoy it if Billo himself read you about half of it.”

Turley: “It Is Rather Clear That What The President Ordered Was A Federal Crime”

via: Raw Story and Crooks and Liars

The Bush administration has made widespread use of the so-called state secrets privilege to dismiss lawsuits that seek to challenge its domestic wiretaps and other illegal activities. Now two veteran senators, Arlen Spector (R-PA) and Ted Kennedy (D-MA), are teaming up to craft legislation that would direct judges to evaluate the government’s state secrets claims rather than accepting them uncritically.

Keith Olbermann described this proposed legislation with a high degree of skepticism, saying sardonically, “The bill may end up as part of the Senate’s wiretapping law, due for a vote next month — after which the president will sign it and monkeys will fly out of his butt.”

I watched this last night. I could believe it when Keith said that.. Priceless..

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Special Comment: On Waterboarding (11/5/07)

Keith Olbermann on Countdown had probably his most powerful Special Comment to date. If only there were more voices in the press (and Congress) that were willing to stand up and speak the truth to power. Perhaps there would finally be a movement towards returning to the rule of law, and just maybe there would be a little accountability before it is too late.

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Special Comment on Countdown Tonight

via: Crook and Liars

olbermann_countdownthumbnail.jpg

Here’s a preview:

Water-boarding, he said, is torture.

Legally, it is torture.

Practically, it is torture.

Ethically, it is torture.

And he wrote it down.

Wrote it down somewhere, where it could be contrasted with the words of this country’s 43rd President: “The United States of America does not torture.”

Made you into a liar, Mr. Bush.

Made you into, if anybody had the guts to pursue it, a criminal.