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June 30, 2008

The Keith Olbermann-Glenn Greenwald Catfight

In case you hadn't heard, Gleen is taking Keith to task for his remarkable flip-flop on FISA/telecom immunity.

Both were wrong on this issue initially. Gleen, however, is at least consistently wrong, and does not flip-flop in order to keep up with Obama's flip-flops.

Keith Olbermann called Bush a traitor, fascist, and ally of terrorists for demanding immunity for telecoms. Now when Obambi supports the same measure, he's called... "strong." Strong to not allow himself to be rolled by the Republicans on the issue. Strong to stand up to the "far left" on the issue.

Uhh... why wasn't Bush similarly "strong" for advocating immunity? Why wasn't he "strong" for standing up to the "far left"?

(It's also interesting that Keith Olbermann's mind can only discuss the subject in terms of political advantage. You would think that maybe he could address the issue in national security terms, but, alas, no. Not anymore. Oh he was able to discuss what he would call "national security" implications when he was bashing Bush -- "siding with terrorists!" -- but now that Obama has joined Bush, such considerations are no longer considered, and the question simply becomes another horserace/political positioning one.)

Keith Olbermann has gotten around to defending his own amazing flip-flop -- on the Daily Kos, of course. He claims Obama's position is different than Bush's, and hence supportable, because while the measure provides civil litigation immunity for the telecoms, it does not foreclose the possibility of future criminal prosecution by the state, and that makes all the difference.

Of course Olbermann did not make any reference to this being a key consideration in his previous rants, nor did he mention it in calling Obama "strong." Obama himself doesn't cite that this as reason for his flip-flop, either, to Keith Olbermann's chagrin.

It's also simply stupid. There's a doctrine forbidding this -- entrapment. Entrapment is defined legally as the undertaking of a criminal act, but only due to the urging of an agent of the state; without that urging, the crime would not have been committed in the first place. Obviously entrapment applies here; the telecoms didn't offer up their records to the Bush Administration like a dealer hawking crack in the street; the Bush Administration came to them, urged/demanded they assist in the War on Terror, and provided legal opinions that this was lawful and proper.

Obama can't prosecute them for an alleged "crime" that occurred only due to the state's urging and with the state's reassurance that it was in fact not a crime at all.


So Olbermann can continue to spin, but the fact is, when Bush does it, it's fascist, treasonous, and "siding with terrorists." When The Chosen One does it, it's "strong." And understandable. And even... praiseworthy.

He's always been a joke, a carnival barker hawking political pornography. But some on the "far left" (also known as "his audience") finally seem to be noticing.

Maybe the "far left" will demonstrate "strength" similar to Obama's by tuning him out.

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posted by Ace at 02:59 PM

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