Olbermann on the Military Commissions Act

Transcript and Video here.


“We have handed a blank check drawn against our freedom to a man who has insisted again that “the United States does not torture. It’s against our laws and it’s against our values” and who has said it with a straight face while the pictures from Abu Ghraib Prison and the stories of Waterboarding figuratively fade in and out, around him.

We have handed a blank check drawn against our freedom to a man who may now, if he so decides, declare not merely any non-American citizens “unlawful enemy combatants” and ship them somewhere—anywhere — but may now, if he so decides, declare you an “unlawful enemy combatant” and ship you somewhere – anywhere.

And if you think this hyperbole or hysteria, ask the newspaper editors when John Adams was president or the pacifists when Woodrow Wilson was president or the Japanese at Manzanar when Franklin Roosevelt was president.

And if you somehow think habeas corpus has not been suspended for American citizens but only for everybody else, ask yourself this: If you are pulled off the street tomorrow, and they call you an alien or an undocumented immigrant or an “unlawful enemy combatant”—exactly how are you going to convince them to give you a court hearing to prove you are not? Do you think this attorney general is going to help you?”

8 Replies to “Olbermann on the Military Commissions Act”

  1. Times Have Changed

    He wont disappear because sadly there is no need for him to. People listen and do nothing because they have no belief that their voice will be heard or their actions will make a difference and in a society that has given up there is no need for him to disappear, apathy wins.

  2. Did you see his commentary when he took the Bill of Rights and crossed out each one that is affected by a loss of habeus corpus…it was then the Bill of Right. Weren’t you the poser of the question on another group that asked what it would take to rebel? I think I’m getting there. I’m starting to feel the time is sooner than later.

  3. Oh, fine, then. The dreaded question.

    Honestly, no amount of thought, research or meditation has yeilded an answer. That is the most frustrating part. I had ancestors that ended up in America due to stealing the king’s horses in Scotland as a protest for unfair taxation and persecution. I regret there are no horses to steal. Shortly before 911, I was writing a movie about a football widow who discovers a way to launch a DOS attack on a software vulnerability in a satellite uplink to cause a delay in the Superbowl, which has led to me do some reading on the voting machines–but I’m not sure it would stop the thievery that probably has gone on and I don’t think gambling with legitimate votes is anything I would do without absolute certainty of previous graft and assurance of perfect success. There can be no hurting people or animals who are innocent by-standers. It has to be perfectly just so that public opinion cannot be swayed against the act.

    I’ve protested the war, worked for Rock the Vote, met John Kerry on his campaign, talked to friends and acquaintances to encourage them to vote, written letters to my reps, looked into Canadian citizenship, looked into Greek citizenship. No one likes a quitter. Plus, this is my America, too. They cannot take it from me, they cannot take from me the land of the free with people of an immeasureable spirit unless I am complicit in handing it to them–and having said that, I guess I am and I’m having a problem living with it.

    The one has become so marginalized that I am completely bamfoozled as to a personal statement that would actually matter. I don’t know how to rebel effectively. I also have four kids to think of and don’t find martyrdom romantic–although if a personal act could actually make a difference and I could prepare and protect my family, I would have to consider it. I continue to think about it and actively pursue the spark that will be THE thing.

    How would you rebel?

  4. Do you mean, what would I do if I were in your situation?

    No one likes a quitter.

    It’s not exactly about what anyone likes, though. When it comes down to it, a country is like brand loyalty. They sell you on it, but it’s still a choice. It’s like a voting abstention, only you get to deprive them of your tax dollars as well.

    Unless they’ve closed the borders or something.

  5. Yes, asked imprecisely, that is precisely what I was asking. I am curious about a different perspective.

    That’s a great insight. And, it made me realize that what I’m truly mad about is they did sell me. From the time I understood what I watched on the evening news and combined with what my parents and their friends discussed, I began to believe in a truly free America. I believed the ideas of our forefathers. It sounds more like a religious endoctrination when I think about my feelings as I write. It would be more convenient to lose faith. Maybe that’s my struggle at the moment. The problem is that they sold me on standing and fighting for my country and I want it back. Unfortunately, I want it back from the robber barons who are stealing the civil rights I may need to fight legally.

    Perhaps it is time to ask where to go.

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