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Your Words Are Lies

Keith Olberman's Special Comment. " Habeas Corpus gone, Geneva Convention optional." George Bush signer of The Military Commissions Act, an affront to freedom and justice.



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Countdown with Keith Olbermann
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Yes we are screwed. You could probably argue that with this bill we are now officially a police state.

Excellent twist at the end. There is a silver lining I guess.

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Wow, that's just about the best thing I've ever heard Olbermann do. I completely agree with him that the temptation to suspend fundamental liberties is a continual temptation that afflicts every free people. This is a struggle not against one very objectionable man but for precious and fragile principles. It's not just evil Cheney and his lackey Bush that think The Military Commissions Act is a good idea, but supposedly good and moderate people like John Adams, FDR, and John McCain. It's possible for good people to make a very grave error on this issue.

As Olbermann said, if you want to know if this act could be used against American citizens, you can ask the pacifists of Wilson's day or the Japanese of FDR's day. Better yet ask Jose Padilla. Padilla is no hero; but he is an American citizen who was picked up, unarmed, in O'Hare airport, and then thrown into a military prison for three years, during which time he was not charged with any crime or allowed any hearing to evaluate his status as illegal combatant.

If this guy, who was not in "combat" of any sort, can be labelled an illegal combatant, at which point he basically falls into the huge gulf that has opened up between the domestic criminal justice system and the laws of war which govern the battlefield, then who can be sure that they do not or may not in the future fall into that same gulf?

I really like the way John Tester, the Senate candidate from Montana, put his position on this issue: "When did we become the enemy?"

This is amazing. Keith Olbermann is my hero. I really miss having cable and seeing his broadcasts.

Another great peice of mind from Keith Olberman. His broadcasts are some of the most powerfull I hear today, being serious, bold and almost poetic. I've always thought of him as todays Captain America.

Agreeing with Gauldar on this one.

Keith is a real hero.

Note that the Military Commissions Act DOES seem to pertain only to alien unlawful enemy combatants, though what Keith says about someone getting a hearing to prove they are US does strike a nerve.

But let's assume for the sake of argument that administration and all future administrations do not abuse this power on the level that all the people they do detain are not of US citizenship. So that you and I have zero chance of being detained. Would it matter?

It is not just as deplorable that America, for so long the beacon of hope and freedom in the world, has sunk to that level?

I love my country, I really do. And perhaps it is a bit naive that to believe that we will get no blood of the beasts we slay on our hands...but to turn to torture to get to them? There HAS to be a better method.

It really is a sad day. A blight on America's history.

Most americans just don't take these issues seriously because they think they will never be the ones to end up in jail unjustly.

This piece is brilliant in that it shows us some examples of past presidents who have abused the powers they were given. I hope lots of people see this.

"Hero", "...admire Olberman." You’ve got to be kiddin’ me!

Olberman says “codify the poisoning of Habeus Corpus – that well-spring of protection that all civil liberties flow. You sir have now befouled that spring.”

I say: Bullshit. At least it’s no more befouled today than whenever. Isn’t it easy to confuse a concept like civil liberties with Habeus Corpus?

What is Habeus Corpus really for? It is not for protecting the “innocent”. That concept came much later. Nor is it for protecting against illegal search and seizure. HC is for protecting something else. I digress. Come on, who in their right mind wants to arrest, suppress or somehow control a population that owns nothing but debt and overpriced mortgages, not to mention the SUVs, the motorcycles or Harley’s, multiple TVs and entertainment centres, jet-skies, Winnebago’s, golf clubs, golf memberships etc., etc. that are all on Visa or MasterCard and part of the very system that pollutes the world and the universe and the next universe and...

Is Olberman losing it or am I?

Olberman says “These things you have done, Mr. Bush.” Dubya hasn’t done anything – except make money for people. Which is the American way. Does Olberman mean that Bush has actually done something politically? If so, who cares? Turn the house around in a couple of weeks and we can forget about the last six years. Right? Let’s go buy something or dream about spending a week at Disney World.

I’ve never been to Disney and I’m almost fifty. Haven’t I earned that “right” yet?

I’m afraid Keith is losing the oomph. The comparisons made here with the intent to badger Dubya are silly! Olberman’s rants only remind me of the many idiotic tenure seeking professors that I had to waste money on in order to go to college so I could get a job in order to be allowed “the privilege” to earn a living. (Which I’ve failed at ;-) From a historical (or hindsight) point-of-view there was clarity in the situations that befell America in the past which caused leaders to react as they did – except maybe for Adams and the arresting of newsmen. Which reminds me, why didn’t KO mention Lincoln’s suspension of HC in 1861? To compare what Bush is doing today, in the context of Habeus Corpus, to what happened in the past is wrong. I’m amazed at how many bloggers or media folk are interested in this – painting it as though our very lives are somehow threatened if we don’t have HC.

The only thing Olberman got right in his commentary is that WE have handed HIM a blank check. Now that’s the American dream.

Onward ho farcical democracy – the Mickey Mouse Club is waiting!

-tgs-

The power of the man is that he speaks the simple truth, at a time when almost no one does.

He completely misses the point. This isn't just Boosh's doing - it's the entire Congress'. If it were just the actions of a single deranged man, that would be one thing. But this is the nation as a whole. And that is why it is infinitely more vile and dangerous and unamerican.

But Olberman just thinks it's Boosh. Like a poor marksman, he keeps

missing

the target.

Every day I wake up a little happier to not be an American.

And some days, a LOT happier.

Good night, sweet fools. May you some day wake yourselves from your nightmare.

As usual Tommi, I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

@Tommi:

I think you are missing the point. all of the things you say are true, yes, people are in debt, some of our civil liberties have been compromised in the past, but honestly, this is SO much beyond any person putting themselves in personal debt. If you feel that getting the right to habeus corpus is not important, then what rights do you have if arrested. None. Zip. Nada. You do something the government doesn't like, get put in jail forever, and locked away and never know why.

This is not just another "blogosphere" reaction. This is a demolition of the foundation that Justice has been based off of since September 11th, 1660 in England. Talking about how Americans are somehow distracted watching Dancing With The Stars doesn't lessen their right to Habeus Corpus.

And if not to protect the rights of Americans, what about internationally? Are people who weren't born in a certain geographical location no longer entitled to justice and liberty?

Olbermann did take a postion against the President, who I honestly beleive had the least amount to do with this. I beleive it was his cabinet and other people in power in washington. Bush just seems to dance like a monkey whenevery they say to. I beleive Olbermann did this for effect. You name the names of the people directly responsible for this, you'd add another 10 minutes to this special comment. The president represents 1/3 of all the people who supported this, and without his signature, "It could not be".

For a history on habeus corpus and why you should damn well care about all of your debt-to-thier-eyeballs American neighbors, listen to an old This American Life broadcast from a few months back. Informative and frightening. http://www.thisamericanlife.org/pages/descriptions/06/310.html

"I may not agree with a word you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"

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originalgordon, what a relief to hear you say that! i read tommi's comment twice and was really getting scared that i'd finally gotten on the wrong side of the alcohol/brain cell equation.

you know...there is still a chance, however slim that the new supreme court will find this law unconstitutional. Im going to be seeing Justice Anthony Kennedy tomorrow, and i will try to ask him about this issue. he will probably go around it as most justices tend to do, but you never know.

Sorry if I was kinda whacky in my initial post. Happens to me often. It's just my opinion that the Military Commissions Act has nothing to do with Habeus Corpus. Of course one could think that it does. And that's ok. I'm not trying to kill opinions here. I just think Olberman has finally gone overboard and has gone astray. Not intentionally, of course. I still trust his journalistic judgement. I think that liberals shouldn't get too caught up in spreading this kind of fear. BTW, there is a YouTube post of (what I think is) an earlier segment of the Olberman show that has a professor claiming that America has reached the point of no return. I disagree with that segment by Olberman, too. Here's the URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igycXBseoAg

-tgs-

@Flit

I'm aware of thisamericanlife.org. But is it possible that Habeus Corpus is not the issue here? The point I was trying to make is that Habeus Corpus, like our Constitution, was created under different circumstance by MEN with a different agenda. The laws, charters, manifests we are now idealizing are about ownership and protecting ownership. That's it. After Dubya is finally finished with this stint (he would be a bad baseball commissioner as well) he’s a free man of luxury and Texas ranching. The American dream awaits us all in either the White House or Disneyland and you don't have to wash dishes anymore to get there.

-tgs-

Amazing. This is one of the best commentary I've seen on the subject.

Maybe George believes what he says about them hating us because they hate our freedom.

Could this be his strategy to win the war on terror? Make them stop hating us.

Interesting strategy.

It was a powerful commentary and I'm glad a friend sent a link to it. I can't blame Bush or Congress for the fear that leads to desperate actions like these. It is endemic in our nation as we are challenged by forces out of our control and our power and prestige slips away. Ironically, I feel that Bush is helping to bring about the "humbler" foreign policy he wisely advocated during the 2000 election. The country is starting to wake up. My hope is that our next president, whoever that is, will begin to undo the excesses of the previous eight frightful years.

I hope Olbermann and crew survive NBC's upcoming cuts. Maybe that unit's profitibility will become clear after the election!

-ry

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I am a British Citizen with friends and relatives in the US. I have visited them and enjoyed their hospitality on 7 or 8 occasions in the last 10 years. I will not visit the USA again while your idiot government and these appalling laws are still extant. Bliar is bad enough but you have real problems now.

@ -tgs- Nothing to do with habeus corpus? Am i missing something in this part of the bill?

No court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider an application for a writ of habeas corpus filed by or on behalf of an alien detained by the United States who has been determined by the United States to have been properly detained as an enemy combatant or is awaiting such determination.

So i could just be eternally waiting such a determination. Regardless of why habeus was created, the purpose it serves our country is to keep the government from having enough power to throw you in jail forever, with no need to show you justification. Is that too much to ask? Who does GWB think he is?

@Flit

"So i could just be eternally waiting such a determination."

I don't know, Flit, are you waiting such a determination? If you read the "act" you will (or you may, if you will) determine that it doesn't apply to US citizens. Does it apply to non-US citizens? ...

What's the real purpose of such an "act"? This whole thing is nothing but a cover-up to protect Dubya's ass after he's out of office.

Again... my opinion is... Keith Olberman has taken the wrong path to discuss the issue.

-tgs-

Tommi, you asked that Habeus Corpus is about.

Before Harbeas Corpus, the legal premise was that you were guilty before you could be proven innocent.

As a guilty party, the law "enforcers" had the right not to give you a trial and are fully empowered to make you confess by whatever means possible, since you are already presumed guilty.

However, testimonies obtained under duress, pain and torture are seldom reliable as people end up telling the torturers what they want to hear i.e. they were indeed guilty of the sins they were accused. Most of them were imprisoned or killed on the spot with no trail ever given.

The potential for abuse is unprecedented under such a judicial system.

In the Dark Ages, the Church was able to extort whatever confessions they wanted from the large numbers of people they captured, forcing them to confess the sins to coerce and terrify the rest of the populace that the world was indeed evil and under the constant threat of the temptation of sin.

And that the Church was the only saviour. Drunk with such power, the Church developed increasily sophisiticated methods of torture to extort confessions and punish the sinful such as the Iron Maiden.

The moral repuganancy of this judicial system without Harbeas Corpus is that it is premissable to kill thousands of innocents to prevent a guilty soul from escaping.

While the present system advocates that no innocent person should be sacrificed, maligned or forcely punished in the name of pursuing the guilty.

It's a dark day indeed for America to sink back into the Christian Dark Ages.

Holy Cow. I suddenly pictured myself twenty years later, looking at the Walter Cronkite of our generation, trusting his words (viewpoint and judgement), like I now understand Cronkite's generation did, before they were left adrift when the grand old man retired.

Very well written and passionate speech. HB6166 took away rights that America was giving to terrorists. We don't treat terrorists like Americans, we treat terrorists like terrorists.

Other than the fact that he was fundamentally flawed in his reasoning...it was a good speech. Makes you believe something when it was never there in the first place.

tgs, I know you've re-thought your 1st post some, but I have to point out the flaw in which you 1st discuss the Americans being up to their eyes in debt. Later, you credit Bush for helping people make money. I guess this is so they could then go in to the sub-zero category financially?

As for the Military Commisions Act ending the writ of habeus corpus, I submit that W's signature only made it official. HC dies a quick death following the WTC airplane attacks (things like the Padilla refence above). There are many times when saving just one soul is not the correct reasoning for a sweeping action. Anything that terminates liberty of a law abiding citizen would quialify.

I wonder what percentage of the America knows or believes that we are truly at war. Do they understand the concept. People around the world pray for our enemies good health. Do you understand? We have a border war. Vicenete Fox is trying to etnicaly cleanse his country. Do you undserstand that? I have worked side by side with some of these illegals. I know what they are about. They dont want to assimilate. We have to punish the employers as well as the illegals. Oh. For all you genius's out there. Who signed nafta and how's that helped..

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Sir

This Ivy league pencil neck is brainwashing you with "internets". This is a liberal technique from the vanquished French hordes of John Kerry, may God damn his frog eating soul. Think you're right? You-is-wrong, hear me talking nigger? You aint in Africa no more, this is America. Unless you want some Katrina up yo jive ass you hyphenated American welfare scrounger. You want butter? I want guns to shoot yo' Brooks Brothers ass. Let me clue you in on something, Professor. You could have three thousand PhDs but in Nasdaq you is nuttink, you is dog meat. I mean you, more than most, you masturbating cyber freaks. You needs to be led out to Gitmo for "Re-Americanization". And dat's legal pretty cheeks: under article 4, sub-section 2 of the Patriot Act, God Bless America and F* you Liberals. You will censor my truth, hypocrites of liberal; but I would like to remind you cell bitches that your ass is mine any time in Folsom, along with Johnny Cash. This is my tribute to all the niggers in the DEA/CIA/NSA/FBI and the Dept. of Homeland Security from coasts of west and East, my gospel is mid-by-west, and your sentiments of pussy-hole are south of north. Mind my metaphor motherfucker for I will suffocate you with sauce of nubian penis. Would you like BBQ? Or Mayo? Your choice, surfer of nets.

Your humble servant

John Kline

(Nigger in England)

OLBERMAN IS INSANELY JEALOUS OF FOX NEWS AND O'REILLY. HE WILL NOT BE ON THE AIR MUCH LONGER BECAUSE NO ONE TAKES HIS DRIBBLE SERIOUSLY. A VERY POOR EXCUSE OF A MAN. ONLY SEE HIM FOR ABOUT FIVE SECONDS AS I AM SWITCHING CHANNELS. MAYBE HE SHOULD GET A LIFE OR FIND OTHER WORK LIKE CIRCUS CLOWN

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Larry Hoyt, You are a knuckel Dragger of the highest order! There you go, you jerk, and I didn't even have to use all upper case capital letters like you did, in the process of expressing myself.

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