Friday, February 1, 2008

Keith Olbermann Special Comment - Calls Out President On Telecom Immunity!

Watch this scathing and courageous rebuke of President Bush and "his lies about the pending FISA legislation and fear tactics during his final State of the Union address" by Keith Olbermann, host of MSNBC's "Countdown". It couldn't have come at a more critical time, as the mainstream media seems intent to not only largely ignore the debate, but fail to report key facts and information when they do!

Finally, someone in the media dares point out that inconvenient truth regarding the President's threat to veto a bill he says is critical to the safety of Americans if it doesn't include retroactive immunity for the telecomm companies that participated in the governments illegal wiretapping program. Olbermann begs that all important question: "If this bill is so important to the safety of Americans wouldn't vetoing it endanger us? And, doesn't that mean that the President is putting the immunity of lawbreaking, multi-billion corporations ahead of the safety of American citizens?"

Here are some of the highlights (but it doesn't do justice to watching it!):

...a presidency of hypocrisy — an administration of exploitation — a labyrinth of leadership — in which every vital fact is a puzzle inside a riddle wrapped in an enigma hidden under a claim of executive privilege supervised by an idiot — this one… is surprisingly easy.

President Bush has put protecting the telecom giants from the laws… ahead of protecting you from the terrorists.

He has demanded an extension of the FISA law — the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act — but only an extension that includes retroactive immunity for the telecoms who helped him spy on you.

It’s bad enough, sir, that you are demanding an ex post facto law which would clear the phone giants from responsibility for their systematic, aggressive, and blatant collaboration with your illegal and unjustified spying on Americans, under the flimsy guise of looking for any terrorists stupid enough to make a collect call or send a mass e-mail.

But when you then demanded again, during the State of the Union address, that Congress retroactively clear the Verizons and the AT&T’s, you wouldn’t even confirm that they actually did anything for which they deserved to be cleared!

“The Congress must pass liability protection for companies believed to have assisted in the efforts to defend America.”


Don’t you know?

Does the endless hair-splitting of your presidential fine print, extend even here?

Sorry, Mr. Bush. The eavesdropping provisions of FISA have obviously had no impact on counter-terrorism, and there is no current or perceived terrorist threat, the thwarting of which could hinge on an e-mail or a phone call going through room 641-A at AT&T in San Francisco next week or next month.

Because if there were, Mr. Bush, and you were to, by your own hand, veto an extension of this eavesdropping, and some terrorist attack were to follow, you would not merely be guilty of siding with the terrorists, you would not merely be guilty of prioritizing the telecoms over the people, you would not merely be guilty of stupidity, you would not merely be guilty of treason… but you would be personally, and eternally, responsible.

It is rare indeed that a mainstream television news anchor will so strongly, and accurately, take on the abuses and crimes of both corporate interests as well as government crimes and deceit - particularly when something as critical as our right to privacy, the constitution, and the rule of law are under such a withering assault. Let's hope EVERY member of Congress watches this editorial, and finds the courage to match Olbermann's.

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