Okay, in a fit of journo-masochism, I have been monitoring Keith Olbermann’s tweets, commentaries and Countdown over the past 24 hours for his vitriolic reaction to the New York Times report that President Obama has authorized the CIA to target and kill (read, blow into smithereens with a drone-launched missile) an American citizen suspected of having terrorist ties.
But so far . . . silence. Plenty of inarticulate ad hominem remarks directed at Republicans, but Stone Cold Silence in response to the President authorizing the killing of an American citizen without affording him Miranda warnings, indictment, legal counsel, God forbid a jury trial, appeal, or any other trappings commonly associated with Constitutional due process.
Recall this is the same Keith Olbermann who gained a niche audience with his relentless hate-spew at President Bush over issues that included water boarding of al Qaida terrorists. A typical example is his November 5, 2007 article “The Presidency is Now a Criminal Conspiracy,” in which Olbermann feverishly decried Bush’s authorization of water boarding as a “crime” that “wouldn’t just mean impeachment”, it “would mean George W. Bush is going to prison”, and in which he likened the Bush Administration to “Japan in the 1930s” hoping to “remake a nation into a fascist state”.
Let’s sum up, shall we class? Bush water boarding a terrorist: Impeachment! Imprisonment! Fascism! Obama targeting and killing an American citizen: No problemo!
Now, in case you’re wondering whether Olbermann had an epiphany since his 2007 tantrum, just consider last week’s May 4 diatribe against Senator McCain for his questioning the propriety of mirandizing the Times Square Bomber.
Of the Times Square Terrorist, Olbermann piously lectured: “This man — whatever other reprehensible thing he appears to be — is an American citizen!” To Olbermann, U.S. citizenship means everything. And that makes all the more confounding his silence on Obama’s summary execution of an American citizen without due process.
Olbermann condemns McCain’s suggestion to delay the bomber’s Miranda warning as it “reveal[s] your utter lack of faith in the system of justice that has kept this country free and safe for 234 years.” Olbermann warns that someday, someone may arrest the senator “and declare that you are not entitled to your Miranda rights, and that perhaps you should be tried by a military court.” He sanctimoniously lectures McCain “You shame yourself in the eyes of American Patriots, and in the eyes of your fellow veterans who sacrificed, and the honored dead who gave their lives, to protect the freedoms and the laws you have today suggested should be optional!”
Proving the beauty of irony, a few days later on May 10, President Obama announced his agreement with Senator McCain and support for limits on Miranda rights extended to terror suspects such as the Times Square Bomber.
Again, crickets from Olbermann on that one. Or did I miss his scathing assault on the Obama-Holder Administion, you know the one that can’t even say the words “Radical Islam?”
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So, to recap the Olbermann Algorithm:
- Bush is a fascist criminal deserving imprisonment for authorizing the CIA to pour water on the faces of foreigners suspected of terrorism;
- Obama is a sacred hero deserving adoration for authorizing the CIA to target and assassinate American citizens suspected of terrorism;
- McCain is shameful and unpatriotic because he supports limiting Miranda rights for terror suspects; and
- Obama is righteous and honorable because he supports limiting Miranda rights for terror suspects.
I’ll (briefly) keep monitoring Countdown, etc. for any sign of honesty, integrity, logic, reason, coherency, ethics, or even sentient expression. There is still time for Olbermann to apologize to Bush or at least show some sort of journalistic integrity by an equivalent criticism of Obama’s order on his broadcast tonight. If he does, I’ll write a “mea culpa” and cite his broadcast to show his fair and balanced side.
But I won’t hold my breath or even delay making dinner for the kids.