Friday, December 7, 2007

Keith Olbermann establishes the basics

Keith Olbermann is just a sensible mainstream American liberal who has a good voice and a fair degree of eloquence. He is no radical. He's no fire-breathing revolutionary. He's actually far too complacent about the ills of his society and what's necessary to fix them, in my opinion.

But his latest criticisms of the bush II regime's demonstrable lying on Iran's nuclear ambitions is bang-on. This is inexcusable behaviour on the part of any government, especially that of the most powerful nation in the world.

And we are to believe, Mr. Bush, that the National Intelligence Estimate this week talks of the Iranians suspending their nuclear weapons program in 2003…And you talked of the Iranians suspending their nuclear weapons program on October 17th…

And that term suspending is just a coincidence?

And we are to believe, Mr. Bush, that nobody told you any of this until last week?

Your insistence that you were not briefed on the NIE until last week might be legally true — something like “what the definition of ‘is’ is” — but with the subject matter being not interns but the threat of nuclear war.

Legally, it might save you from some war crimes trial… but ethically, it is a lie.

It is indefensible.

7 comments:

fergusrush said...

That's it? The use of the same word six weeks apart is proof? Or is it just a case of you and Olbermann seeing what you both want to see?

Your devotion to this belief is almost, dare I say, religious.

thwap said...

You've got to be kidding! It's bush II and Cheney who insisted against all sane, informed opinion, that Iran was gearing-up to fight World War III.

I read a while back about Cheney's struggles with the NIE, so he knew about it for sure.

The question isn't whether bush II lied. He most certainly did lie. The question is whether his changing rhetoric reveals when his lies began.

Given the fact that he has been lying, and given the correlation of his meaningful change in tone with the appearance of the disputed report in the hallways of Washington, it's pretty clear that it does.

But after all of this, .... you're accusing Olbermann and other critics of seeing what they want to see? When it's been bush II and Cheney screaming about non-existant threats?

What do you want to see fergusrush?

fergusrush said...

"What do you want to see fergusrush?"

It's nothing sinister, thwap, it just struck me as funny that the portion of Olbermann's criticism you chose to quote hinged on both the NIE and Bush using the same word.

I am actually more skeptical of the whole thing than you seem to be, but for different reasons, of course. You believe that the NIE report is truthful and why wouldn't you because it bolsters your view of Bush and his presidency. I have a more jaundiced view of the report because I do not believe that any nation would make public what it really knows about any other country, friend or foe. Knowledge is power, and tipping your hand is stupid. This report is propaganda, in my opinion, but for what purpose I cannot fathom.

thwap said...

I don't think it's at all as byzantine and mysterious as you're making it out to be.

Isikoff and Corn's Hubris clearly shows that Cheney leaned on the CIA to write an NIE on Iraq that magnified the (nonexistent) threat of that country's (nonexistent)WMDs.

George Tenat, Clinton's appointee, forced his subordinates to play along, and then, when the truth was revealed, Cheney blamed "bad intelligence."

Some members of the intelligence community went so far as to write for www.counterpunch.org about their upset at the way intelligence was being compromised.

Now, the bush II regime screams increasingly louder about Iran's nuclear program, the intelligence professions want to produce an NIE that reflects what they've gathered.

Apparently, Cheney's been trying to block it for a year, and bush II appears to have known about it for months.

The actors that we are watching appear to be the only relevant ones. Whatever cloaked figures you imagine are running things from a dim, candle-lit chamber deep in the basements of the Vatican don't really seem to have much to do with anything.

thwap said...

Another thing: I believe the report is true because it corresponds to the conclusions of the IAEA's Dr. ElBaradai, who had been right about Iraq and for which he was demonized the same way as he was recently demonized on Iran.

If you're attempting to attribute some deeper intelligence to the bush II regime itself, you've a hard row to hoe here.

I rather support the analyses of this debacle as presented here myself.

fergusrush said...

"Whatever cloaked figures you imagine are running things from a dim, candle-lit chamber deep in the basements of the Vatican don't really seem to have much to do with anything."

Nice turn of phrase there. Heh, heh.

I don't mean to conjure images of byzantine plots, I just don't believe governments ever make public the true level of knowledge they have about other countries. Hence the existence of laws like the Official Secrets Act here in Canada and whatever its equivalent is called in the US. The explanation for this report could be as simple as compensating for the overheated rhetoric on Iran, or perhaps allaying the fears of the public that another war is imminent while the situation in Iraq is ongoing. I don't know.

I am reasonably sure, however, that the Vatican does not rent basement plotting rooms to the US: the Yanks are notorious for not paying the bill.

trog69 said...

Remember, remember...