Special Comment: It’s Called a Secret Strategy Because It’s a Secret!


It was a strange, and certainly ground breaking Special Comment on Countdown last night. Olbermann devoted it to criticizing Barack Obama over his support for the FISA bill.

OIbermann’s first criticism was that the Republicans are going to criticize Obama for being soft on terror regardless of his vote on FISA. That may be true, but look what happened when Kerry voted for the 87 Billion dollars before he voted against it. Giving people a concrete example may not be a great idea.

But the truly stupid, self-righteous, and arrogant point Olbermann brought up is that the FISA bill, as much as people whine about civil immunity, does NOT provide criminal immunity to them. He quoted the Christian Fascist Republican Party Senator Sam Brownback in stating that the bill has no such clause. Yet somehow, Olbermann thinks only he and someone he holds in high regard, John Dean, know this.

This is despite the fact that Olbermann was a former Sportscenter anchor. And that Senator Obama is a former civil rights attourney, and even taught classes on the subject.

In the spirit of Olbermann’s hyperbolic special comments, I give you a rant in its style, not necessarily suitable for basic cable:

He knows, asshole. He did this shit for a living. You know that school he mentioned he went to? Harvard? They teach smart people there, and as history would show, decent lawyers. They tend to be able to figure out what the hell is in a bill going through congress.

Now the people you self-righteously defend don’t get it. We are a nation of idiots, consumerists, and most of all, the easily frightened. The same people you claim to stand up for re-elected this idiot known as George W. Bush. We base our votes on totally irrational standards; in 2000 we would rather have a beer with Bush so he wins, and in 2004 we vote for the draft dodger over the war hero because the draft dodger is “tough on terror,” which means he engages in warrant-less wiretaps and torture.

We love this shit; we have never been the democracy our constitution promises us. When we lauded our freedoms early in our nation’s history, we built our infrastructure on brutal slave labor. When we decry Germany’s holocaust, we call the mass murder of native Americans “manifest destiny.” When we feared the USSR was setting up communist revolutions in countries, we got busy assassinating democratically-elected leaders and installing military fascisms. When we started a war on drugs, our CIA started selling heroin to veterans to finance wars. The government will do what it wants, as it always has, we just have a loose control over the reigns during every election. We have no control over the CIA, FBI, or other non-elected offices, and truth be told, they commit more crimes than George Bush probably ever has.

So when against all odds, a politician with good ideas actually gains a lot popular support, we don’t have to take it for granted that he knows of a loophole such as this one in the FISA bill. We can just look at the very quote Olbermann gives, which is something Obama has said numerous times before: Criminal Investigations will be pursued.

But the point, Olbermann, shouldn’t be in trying to get the Harvard-educated- attorney to recognize a rather simple provision in the FISA bill. Instead it should be, if you are opposed to telecom spying as you want us to believe, shutting up and letting the bill pass with no criminal immunity. Now all the certifiable crazies in the house can draft a bill for criminal immunity and it just might get passed.

The irony of this whole special comment is that, in accusing Obama of possibly wanting to cave to the telecoms, you have caved yourself. Glenn Greenwald called you out on not criticizing Obama on FISA, and naturally you had to devote 10 minutes to blowing a Democratic strategy that would actually make criminal arrests in these cases, which could have deterred the Republicans from ever practicing this fascism again. They would actually face jail if they did. So you get called out, and all you can do is continue to add to the problem, whether it be by helping to lessen the left’s support of Obama, or giving away the strategy for prosecuting Bush and/or telecoms.

So, you screw over proper strategy to cover your own ass. Who does that sound like?

One Response to “Special Comment: It’s Called a Secret Strategy Because It’s a Secret!”

  1. 1 Scary Uncle

    You realize of course that Bush went to Yale…”They teach smart people there, and as history would show, decent lawyers. They tend to be able to figure out what the hell is in a bill going through congress.”

    I don’t think Olbermann was letting anything out of the bag that thousands of others hadn’t already figured out.

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