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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/2/08

Olbermann Spins His FISA-Flip in True Rovian Fashion

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Message scott creighton
Last night, Keith Olbermann delivered another of his "Special Comments," this time, to attempt damage control on his justifying Barack Obama's support of the FISA bill. This piece of legislation not only grants immunity from civil prosecution to the telecom companies, but it also greatly enhances the powers of the White House allowing them to secretly listen to ALL communications without real oversight from a FISA court.

To sum up Olbermann's position, he claims that the timing of the Housing legislation that ran over and forced the actual vote of the FISA Bill to be pushed back till June 8th is a great opportunity for Obama; to vote FOR THE BILL.

That's right, Olbermann's position is that Obama should vote FOR THE BILL.

There's a lot of convoluted thinking that takes place in Keith O's comment, so we will take it one step at a time, shall we?

First of all, the really "big picture" here that everyone is going to claim justifies this kind of complicity with the criminals in the White House, is that, in the end, Obama MUST win the White House at all costs. So, of course, this is the root of Oblermann's argument, that voting for this now will somehow help Obama win the election.

"Because, flatly, of all the measures that can be taken to aid our damaged nation, and our de-valued constitution, the first, if not the foremost, is not blocking telecom immunity, but making sure no Republican is in the White House past noon next January 20th."

Glenn Greenwald (suspiciously not even mentioned in Olbermann's comment after it was Greenwald's reminding Olbermann of his original Special Comment on the subject where Keith called Bush a "Fascist" for supporting this legislation, that prompted this whole thing) pointed out earlier this week an election that just took place where a 12-time republican incumbent lost her seat to a 32-year-old newcomer, based on, among other things, his position on the FISA Bill. The Republican incumbent even ran an attack ad with the flag and the children and the terrorists and the democrat's refusal of the FISA bill and the dem still won by a 12 point margin. It wasn't even close.

Right now, with the economy what it is and the "war on terror" failing miserably, and republicans left and right practically begging for a new "terrorist" to save their campaigns, democrats across the board are in a very strong position.

And in fact, it's not hard to explain to fiscally conservative, smaller government voters that this FISA bill, as it is written, is wrong for this country.

But aside from all of that, Olbermann himself weakens his argument when he says that no matter what Obama does, he is going to be portrayed as being "weak on terror" no matter what. He says that Cheney will still call him "Osama with a tan" no matter what he does. Which is true; not that anyone but the 23% who are buying that crap anymore anyway, but that much I give Keith.

But then, Keith leaps to the unbelievable conclusion after saying that, that Obama should vote FOR THE BILL anyway. WHAT?

He then makes a terribly misguided argument that what's more important than this FISA Bill now, is the election later. Now, I don't want McCain in the White House anymore than most of you don't, but, let's face real facts; the vote has been rigged since 2000 and the only things that have happened since are that more of the paper-trail-less DieBold machines have been delivered and the democratic party has been telling us not to talk about "rigged elections." That doesn't bode well folks, for a free and clear election process.

But enough about that; let's assume Olbermann is correct and the most important thing here, even more important than our 4th amendment rights, is the election in Nov. What does that mean one way or the other.

1. McCain wins and the FISA Bill gives Lieberman (his VP in my guess) more power to snoop on American citizens; the telecoms are given retroactive immunity for criminal behavior and now that that is established, McCain and others see the real opportunity (they can conduct illegal activities carte-blanche and fully expect, if caught, that they will get something passed in the legislative branch that makes it legal latter); Bush gives a Full Pardon to the telecoms from criminal prosecution before he leaves office (like he won't do that no matter what); and we never know exactly who the US government was spying on BEFORE 9/11.

2. Obama wins and the FISA bill gives his Clinton campaign staff the exact same powers of illegal wiretapping; Bush still gives blanket pardons to the telecoms from criminal prosecution; and we still never know WHO WAS THE US GOVERNMENT SPYING ON ILLEGALLY BEFORE 9/11.

That's the wrinkle in the "criminal prosecution" argument of Keith's; that the pardon Bush will give these companies will protect them from investigation and prosecution.

Now, Keith O does mention that little flap, but he blows it off by saying that would imply a corruption on the part of the president and point to his complicity in the crimes. Well, that hasn't stopped them before and it won't stop them in the future, plus, there is nothing that can be done after that anyway, so Keith's argument is completely symbolic at that point.

He suggests that Bush wouldn't do it because it would implicate him when he did and cites Nixon's refusal to pardon his aides as proof. But Olbermann AMAZINGLY forgets to mention that Bush has ALREADY pardoned one person, Scooter Libby, so that he wouldn't turn state's evidence and sign about the Plame case. So, the Nixon argument is mute. We already know what Bush will do.

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Attended J.M.U. and V.C.U. in the '80s and '90's. Worked as a builder and installer of film, stage, and theme park sets and attractions. Currently works as a designer and draftsman for residential and commercial projects. Wrote "Prescription for a (more...)
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