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Old 12-07-2007, 01:40 PM   #106
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I tuned in to Countdown with Keith Olbermann for his Special Comment because they are indeed "special" and I wasn't letdown last night.

Quote:
OLBERMANN: Finally, as promised, a special comment about the president‘s cataclysmic deceptions about Iran. There are a few choices more terrifying than the one Mr. Bush has left us with tonight. We have either a president who was too dishonest to restrain himself from invoking World War III about Iran at least six weeks after he had to have known that the analogy would be fantastic irresponsible hyperbole or we have a president too transcendently stupid not to have asked what now appears to have been a series of opportunities to do so whether the fairy tales he either created or was fed were still even remotely plausible. The pathological presidential liar or an idiot in chief, it is the nightmare scenario of political science fiction, a critical juncture in our history and contained in either answer a president manifestly unfit to serve and behind him in the vice-presidency an unapologetic warmonger who has long been seeing the world visible only to himself.

After Miss Perino‘s announcement that the White House last night that the timeline is inescapable and clear now. In August, this president was told by his hand-picked majordomo of intelligence, Mike McConnell, a flinty, high-strung-looking worrying warrior who will always see more clouds than silver linings, that what everybody has thought about Iran might, in essence, be crap. Yet, on October 17th, the president said of Iran and its president, Ahmadinejad, “I‘ve told people that if you‘re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from “have” the knowledge to make a nuclear weapon.

And as he said that, Mr. Bush knew that at bare minimum there was a strong chance his rhetoric was nothing more than words with which to scare the Iranians. Or was it said to scare the Americans? Does Iran not really fit in the equation here? Have you just scribbled it into the fill in the blank on the same template you used to scare us about Iraq? In August, any commander-in-chief still able-minded or uncorrupted or both, sir, would have invoked the quality the job most requires—mental flexibility—a bright man or an honest man would have realized no later than the McConnell briefing that the only true danger about Iran was the damage that could be done by an unhinged irrational chicken little of a president shooting his mouth off backed up only by his own hysteria and his own delusions of omniscience. Not Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mr. Bush. The chicken little of presidents is the one, Sir, that you see in the mirror.

The mind reels at the thought of a vice-president fully briefed on the revised intel as long as two weeks ago, briefed on the fact that Iran abandoned its pursuit of this imminent threat four years ago. A vice-president who never bothered to mention it to his boss. It is nearly forgotten today but throughout much of Ronald Reagan‘s presidency, it was widely believed that he was little more than a front man for some never viewed behind-the-scenes string puller. Today, as evidenced by this latest remarkable malfeasance, it is inescapable that Dick Cheney is either this president‘s evil ventriloquist or he thinks he is. What servant of any of the 42 previous presidents could possibly withhold information of this urgency and this gravity and wind up back at his desk the next morning instead of winding up before a congressional investigation or a criminal one?

Mr. Bush, if you can still hear us, if you did not previously agree to this scenario in which Dick Cheney is the actual detective and you‘re the Remington Steel, you must disenthrall yourself. Mr. Cheney has usurped your constitutional powers, cut you out of the information loop, and led you down the path to an unprecedented presidency in which the facts have become optional, the intel is valued less than the hunch, and the assistant runs the store. The problem is, Sir, your assistant is robbing you and your country blind not merely in monetary terms, Mr. Bush, but, more importantly, robbing you of the traditions and righteousness for which we have stood at great risk for centuries—honesty, law, moral force.

Mr. Cheney has helped, Sir, to make your administration into the kind our ancestors saw in the 1860s and 1870s and 1880s, the ones that abandoned reconstruction and sent this country marching backwards into the pit of American apartheid: Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, Cleveland—presidents who will be remembered only in a blur of failure, Mr. Bush. Presidents who will be remembered as functions only of those who opposed them—the opponents who history proved right—Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, Cleveland, Bush.

Would that we could let this president off the hook by seeing him only as marionette or moron but a study of the mutation of his language about Iran proves that though he may not be very good at it, he is himself still a manipulative Machiavellian snake oil salesman. The Bush analogy was tracked by Dan Funcken(ph) of “The Washington Post” website and it is staggering. March 31st - “Iran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon.” June 5th - “Iran‘s pursuit of nuclear weapons.” June 19th - “consequences to the Iranian government if they continue to pursue a nuclear weapon.” July 12th - “the same regime in Iran that is pursuing nuclear weapons.” August 6th - “this is the government that has proclaimed its desire to build a nuclear weapon.”

Notice a pattern—“trying to develop, build, or pursue a nuclear weapon”? Then, sometime between August 6th and August 9th, those terms are suddenly swapped out, so subtly, that only in retrospect can we see that somebody has warned the president not only that he has gone out too far on the limb of terror but that there may not even be a tree there. McConnell or somebody must have briefed him then. August 9th - “they have expressed their desire to be able to enrich uranium which we believe is a step toward having a nuclear weapons program.” August 28th - “Iran‘s active pursuit of technology that could lead to nuclear weapons.” October 4th - “you should not have the know-how on how to make a nuclear weapon.” October 17th - “until they suspend and/or make it clear that they—that their statements aren‘t real, yeah, I believe they want to have the capacity, the knowledge, in order to make a nuclear weapon.”

Before August 9th, it is “trying to develop, build, or pursue a nuclear weapon.” After August 9th, it‘s “desire, pursuit, want, knowledge, technology, know-how to enrich uranium.” And we are to believe, Mr. Bush, that the national intelligence estimate this week talks of the Iranians suspending their nuclear weapons program in 2003 and you talked of the Iranians suspending their nuclear weapons program on October 17th and that term “suspending” is just a coincidence. And we are to believe, Mr. Bush, that nobody told you any of this until last week. Your insistence that you were not briefed on the NIE until last week might be legally true, something like what the definition of is is but with the subject matter being not interns but the threat of nuclear war.

Legally, this might save you from some kind of war crimes trial but, ethically, it is a lie. It is indefensible. You have been yelling threats into a phone for nearly four months after the guy on the other end had already hung up. You, Mr. Bush, are a bold-faced liar and, moreover, you must have realized that John Bolton and “The Wall Street Journal” editorial board are now also bold-faced liars. We are to believe that the intel community or maybe the state department cooked the raw intelligence about Iran, falsely diminished the Iranian nuclear threat to make you look bad and you proceeded to let them make you look bad.

You not only knew all of this about Iran in early August but you also knew it was all accurate and instead of sharing this good calming news with the people you have obviously forgotten you represent, you merely fine-tuned your terrorizing of those people to legally cover your own back side. While you filled the factual gap with sadistic visions of, as you phrase it on August 28th, a, quote, nuclear holocaust. As you phrased it on October 17th, quote, “World War III”. My comments, Mr. Bush, are often dismissed as simple repetitions of the phrase, “George Bush has no business being president.” Well, guess what? Tonight, hanged by your own words and convicted by your own deliberate lies, you, Sir, have no business being president.
Ok, all you Fox News critics and ridiculers. Is this valid, responsible journalism or "hysterical and deliberately provocative frothing at the mouth"?

Anybody bothered that no dissenting voice was presented at all. (Is it ever?) The only other guests being Newsweek's Howard Fineman, The Washington Post's Eugene Robinson, and from AirAmerica Rachel Maddow. At least Bill O'Reilly debates those he disagrees with and Sean Hannity is balanced by Alan Colmes.

Or, has Keith nailed. Bush really is "the pathological presidential liar or an idiot in chief." MSNBC the only news network brave enough to give us the truth.
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Old 12-07-2007, 01:50 PM   #107
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Who said editorials had to be balanced?

This wasn't the news.
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Old 12-07-2007, 02:34 PM   #108
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Quote:
Originally posted by INDY500

Ok, all you Fox News critics and ridiculers. Is this valid, responsible journalism or "hysterical and deliberately provocative frothing at the mouth"?


erm, does Keith Obermann have his OWN SHOW with his OWN OPINIONS, or is he reporting the news?

the day that MSNBC news readers are given talking points disseminated by the Democratic equivalent of Roger Ailes, then we can talk.
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Old 12-07-2007, 02:55 PM   #109
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Quote:
Originally posted by INDY500
I tuned in to Countdown with Keith Olbermann for his Special Comment because they are indeed "special" and I wasn't letdown last night.


Ok, all you Fox News critics and ridiculers. Is this valid, responsible journalism or "hysterical and deliberately provocative frothing at the mouth"?

Anybody bothered that no dissenting voice was presented at all. (Is it ever?) The only other guests being Newsweek's Howard Fineman, The Washington Post's Eugene Robinson, and from AirAmerica Rachel Maddow. At least Bill O'Reilly debates those he disagrees with and Sean Hannity is balanced by Alan Colmes.

Or, has Keith nailed. Bush really is "the pathological presidential liar or an idiot in chief." MSNBC the only news network brave enough to give us the truth.
You're comparing Countdown to Fox News when you should be comparing Countdown to the O'Reilly Factor.

Doesn't work.
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Old 12-07-2007, 06:15 PM   #110
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
Who said editorials had to be balanced?

This wasn't the news.
Exactly. If it's an editorial, then ranting and raving if you wish is fine. If O'Reilly did his own equivalent of that, and actually called it an editorial, I'd be fine with that, too. I'd go, "Okay, he's made it clear this is his personal opinion he's expressing, fine."

If it were an actual news story, then I would expect Olbermann to keep his personal views out of it and just report the facts (and much as I like the guy's show, I will say that his personal views do tend to slip in at times when reporting news).

But it's an editorial, and he made it quite clear that it was a personal commentary. He does that every time he's about to do special commentaries. So it's a non-issue, really. And at least on his show, there aren't five thousand people yelling over each other throughout. People actually get a word in there. One person ranting and raving is more tolerable than a bunch of people ranting and raving all at once.

(I liked that editorial, by the way)

Angela
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Old 12-07-2007, 08:25 PM   #111
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Quote:
Originally posted by INDY500
At least Bill O'Reilly debates those he disagrees with
Well, if by "debate" you mean yelling and screaming over people so that they can't even get a word in edgewise, then yes. However, he did personally win the War on Christmas. He said so himself.
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Old 12-07-2007, 08:36 PM   #112
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Originally posted by kellyahern
Well, if by "debate" you mean yelling and screaming over people so that they can't even get a word in edgewise, then yes. However, he did personally win the War on Christmas. He said so himself.
Yep. He battled the "forces of darkness" .

Seriously, I heard that and was like, "What the hell, are we in Star Wars land now or something?"

Angela
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Old 12-07-2007, 08:52 PM   #113
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Quote:
Originally posted by INDY500
I tuned in to Countdown with Keith Olbermann for his Special Comment
Did you tune in tonight for his "Special Come On"?


Seriously, he just had one.
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Old 12-07-2007, 11:28 PM   #114
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Keith's rating don't approach that of some other cable networks, but that's fine, I still watch.

He's an obvious mouthpiece for the Moveon.org crowd....ever seen his top story, or worst person of the day, every single night, for the past few years? That's fine too. I still watch.

Don't worry about Keith yelling and screaming over his guests with opposing viewpoints. Opposing viewpoints are very rarely on his program. Keith's good points and criticisms, which do come along, are buried in the hyperbole that is his program, every single night.
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Old 12-08-2007, 08:55 AM   #115
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Back to the subject:

I think Gates just gave a great speach:

http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/...ran/index.html
Quote:

MANAMA, Bahrain (CNN) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has called on the international community to step up pressure on Iran to vow not to develop nuclear weapons, suspend uranium enrichment and open up its nuclear facilities for inspection.


U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates at the opening of the security conference in Manama, Bahrain.

Gates' address to a Gulf states' security conference Saturday came a day after Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told reporters at a NATO meeting in Belgium that the United States will continue to push for a new U.N. resolution to pressure Iran to halt its nuclear program.

Gates sarcastically noted that Iran celebrated the U.S. intelligence community's recent report -- the National Intelligence Estimate -- that said Iran suspended its nuclear weapons program in 2003. He said it marks a "watershed" that "Iran has, for the first time, embraced as valid an assessment of the United States intelligence community -- on Iran's nuclear weapons program."

He said "since that government now acknowledges the quality of American intelligence assessments, I assume that it also will embrace as valid American intelligence assessments" that Iran is funding and training of militia groups in Iraq; deploying lethal weapons and technology to both Iraq and Afghanistan; supporting terrorist organizations -- like Hezbollah and Hamas -- that have murdered thousands of innocent civilians; and continued research and development of medium-range ballistic missiles that can carry weapons of mass destruction.

"In reality, you cannot pick and choose only the conclusions you like of this National Intelligence Estimate," Gates said.



"The report expresses with greater confidence than ever that Iran did have a nuclear weapons program -- developed secretly, kept hidden for years, and in violation of its international obligations," he said.

"It reports that they do continue their nuclear enrichment program, an essential long lead time component of any nuclear weapons program. It states that they do have the mechanisms still in place to restart their program."

more on the link:
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Old 12-08-2007, 11:01 AM   #116
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Gates is apparently one of the moderates, it's allegedly largely due to his influence that manners have been put on the neo-con crazies.
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Old 12-08-2007, 11:33 AM   #117
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bluer White
Keith's rating don't approach that of some other cable networks, but that's fine, I still watch.

He's an obvious mouthpiece for the Moveon.org crowd....ever seen his top story, or worst person of the day, every single night, for the past few years? That's fine too. I still watch.

Don't worry about Keith yelling and screaming over his guests with opposing viewpoints. Opposing viewpoints are very rarely on his program. Keith's good points and criticisms, which do come along, are buried in the hyperbole that is his program, every single night.
Which is to a point true.

How does that have to do with Fox News?

His show is a competitor to Bill O'Reilly's, not the NEWS.
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Old 12-08-2007, 07:04 PM   #118
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Quote:
Pressure works (“high confidence”)

Dec 6th 2007
From The Economist print edition

America's spies have changed their minds. But a nuclear Iran remains a danger


IF THE consequences were not so serious, it would be tempting to mock the fiascos and flip-flops of America's intelligence services. Before 2003 they said that Iraq had chemical and biological weapons and was seeking nuclear ones. They were wrong. In 2005 they said that Iran had a secret nuclear programme and was determined to get a bomb. Now they say they were wrong about that too (see article).

This week's national intelligence assessment says with “high confidence” that although Iran was indeed working on a bomb until the autumn of 2003 it then stopped. By the middle of this year it had probably (“moderate confidence”) not started again. And unless it got fuel for a bomb from abroad it would take at least until late 2009 (“moderate confidence”) but more likely between 2010 and 2015 to make it at home



What is the baffled layman to make of this? First that intelligence is neither art nor science but a system of best guesses based on incomplete evidence. If new evidence suggests that the previous guesses were wrong, it is a good thing that spies are willing to say so. Some of the outraged hawks who want America to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities accuse the spies of sexing down their latest Iran dossier in order to make amends for having sexed up the one that led America into a war in Iraq. But that would imply a truly impressive conspiracy between the 16 agencies that signed the report. Of course, the spies' new assessment may be wrong, as their previous ones proved to be. But it is most unlikely to be a tissue of lies.

For that very reason, however, relieved doves who think the spectre of a nuclear Iran or of an American attack has now disappeared had better read the report again. Its final sentence says (“high confidence”) that Iran has the scientific, technical and industrial capacity eventually to produce nuclear weapons if it chooses. As to what “eventually” means, the assessment has not changed: it was always late 2009 at the earliest but more probably the middle of the next decade. As to whether Iran will do so, the spies say (“moderate-to-high confidence”) that “at a minimum” it is keeping the option open.

That is troubling, because Iran can continue to work towards a bomb without resuming the secret programme America now thinks it stopped in 2003. That programme was about “weaponisation”: the fiddly business of making a device that can set off a chain reaction in nuclear fuel. But creating such a warhead is the easier part of building a bomb. Harder by far is making the fuel. And, as the report notes, making the fuel is precisely what Iran continues to do in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions at its uranium-enrichment plant at Natanz. For now, it is true, Iran is enriching the uranium at below weapons grade. It says it is doing so only in order to power reactors to produce electricity. But it has no such reactors. And to get the uranium to weapons grade it has only to run the stuff often enough through Natanz's centrifuges.

In short, nothing in the new assessment makes the story Iran tells about Natanz any less fishy or the dangers posed by its dash to enrich uranium any less troubling. But it has utterly changed the politics of the issue. The case for American pre-emption now becomes almost impossible to sell either at home or abroad. That is probably a good thing, given that a military attack was always likelier to restore Iran's determination to build a bomb than destroy its ability to get one. Unfortunately, the report may also make it harder for America and Europe to maintain, let alone sharpen, the sanctions the world has imposed in order to make Iran stop work at Natanz.

Talk if necessary, but keep up the sanctions
Since the spies say Iran stopped its bomb-making in 2003 because of world pressure, relaxing it now would be perverse. But to keep the world on side, America may have to show new flexibility. For example, while tightening sanctions, it could offer to talk to Iran about all aspects of their troubled relations, even before work at Natanz stopped. Iran might refuse. But that would at least make it clear which side was the spoiler.
http://www.economist.com/opinion/dis...ry_id=10251997
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Old 12-08-2007, 07:43 PM   #119
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Originally posted by financeguy
Gates is apparently one of the moderates, it's allegedly largely due to his influence that manners have been put on the neo-con crazies.
Yet, Robert Gates has presided over the surge in US forces in Iraq against the wishes of the newly Democratic controlled congress extended combat tours for US troops from 12 months to 15 months. Although most pundits won't say it, Colin Powell and Dick Cheney have more in common in regards to their political views, than they have with much of the Democratic Party. Same could be said of Rumsfield and Gates.
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Old 12-08-2007, 08:03 PM   #120
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Originally posted by MadelynIris
The most important part of this story, is that the US intelligence community has declared it's independence again! As it was before, and should have been all along.

And in a weird way, we have to credit Bush, for getting rid of all of political appointees running the agencies, and replacing with established, career intelligence and military officers.
Well, George Tenet(CIA) was appointed by Bill Clinton, not George Bush. Colin Powell(national security advisor, Chairman Of The Joint Chiefs Of Staff), Dick Cheney(Secretary Of Defense), and Condoleezza Rice(Senior Director, of Soviet and East European Affairs in the National Security Council)all served the Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations and Rumsfield had already been Secretary Of Defense for the Nixon/Ford Administrations.

I think its a mistake to imply that the intelligence community was some how not independent before this latest NIE because its percieved as being at odds with recent administration statements. As the economist recently said:

Quote:
First that intelligence is neither art nor science but a system of best guesses based on incomplete evidence. If new evidence suggests that the previous guesses were wrong, it is a good thing that spies are willing to say so.
The IAEA gave Iraq a clean bill of health in regards to Nuclear Weapons development in 1989 and the intelligence community believed that Iraq was more than 10 years away from a nuclear bomb at that point. Then after the 1991 Gulf War, UN inspectors found that Iraq was only 6 months away from a Nuclear Weapon. Few people talk about how far off US and international intelligence was back then.

Bottom line is that intelligence is usually not fact, but an estimate based on incomplete information.
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