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Olbermann on Fire — Again

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Keith knocks another one out of the park (Crooks & Liars has the video):

Mr. President, former Secretary of State Colin Powell says the world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism. If a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former secretary of state feels this way, don’t you think that Americans and the rest of the world are beginning to wonder whether you’re following a flawed strategy? BUSH: If there’s any comparison between the compassion and decency of the American people and the terrorist tactics of extremists, it’s flawed logic. It’s just — I simply can’t accept that. It’s unacceptable to think that there’s any kind of comparison between the behavior of the United States of America and the action of Islamic extremists who kill innocent women and children to achieve an objective.

**Of course** it’s acceptable to **think** that there’s "any kind of comparison."

And in this particular debate, it is not only acceptable, it is obviously **necessary.**

Some will think that our actions at Abu Ghraib, or in Guantanamo, or in secret prisons in Eastern Europe, are all **too** comparable to the actions of the extremists.

Some will think that there is **no** similarity, or, if there is one, it is to the slightest and most unavoidable of degrees.

What **all** of us will agree on, is that we have the right — we have the **duty** — to **think** about the comparison.

And, most importantly, that the other guy, whose opinion about this we cannot **fathom**, has exactly the same right as we do: to **think** — and **say** — what his mind and his heart and his conscience tell him, is right.

**All** of us agree about that.

Except, it seems, this President.

With increasing rage, he and his administration have begun to tell us, we are **not** permitted to disagree with them, that we **cannot** be right. That **Colin Powell** cannot be right.

And then there was that one, most awful phrase.

In four simple words last Friday, the President brought into sharp focus what has been only vaguely clear these past five-and-a-half years – the way the terrain at night is perceptible only during an angry flash of lightning, and then, a second later, all again is dark.

"It’s unacceptable to think…" he said.

It is **never** unacceptable… to think.

And when a President says thinking is unacceptable, even on **one** topic, even in the heat of the moment, even in the turning of a phrase extracted from its context… he takes us toward a new and fearful path — one heretofore the realm of science fiction authors and apocalyptic visionaries.

That flash of lightning **freezes** at the distant horizon, and we can just make out a world in which authority can actually suggest it has become unacceptable to **think.**

Thus the lightning flash reveals not merely a President we have already seen, the one who believes he has a monopoly on **current* truth.

It now shows us a President who has decided that of **all** our commanders-in-chief, **ever**… he, alone, has had the knowledge necessary to alter and re-shape our inalienable rights.

This is a frightening, and a dangerous, delusion, Mr. President.

You know someone is feeling the heat for Olbermann’s continuing outspoken heroisim, most likely Olbermann.  If you’d like to thank him personally please join us for the FDL Book Salon on November 5 when Keith will be here discussing his book, The Worst Person in the World: And 202 Strong Contenders at 2pm PT/5pm ET.  You can also help its Amazon rankings by buying the book here.

That’ll be enough to drive the wingnut welfare queens batshit crazy. Oh and O’Reilly.  Never forget O’Reilly.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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