Tuesday, April 11, 2006

In case you missed Olbermann hit one out last night...

Cross-posted and Recommended at Daily Kos

Hopefully you read Six Degrees of Aaron's diary yesterday and/or were able to watch Olbermann, Joseph Wilson and David Shuster absolutely shred Dear Leader, Libby, Cheney and the administration in general on their lies about the CIA leak investigation, the selective declassification of NIE information, their lies and head in the sand approach about what is going on in Iraq, the ever dropping poll numbers, among other items.

The full transcript of the show is here and it was definitely good to watch them calmly and methodically call them the absolute fucking liars and criminals that they are.

The segment started with a clip of Bush talking about his decision to declassify certain information in the NIE because he "wanted people to see the truth", which Olbermann immediately called bullshit on. And it got better from there.

Hopefully, a clip of the segment will be available at some time, but the transcript is a must read. Some of the choice parts are below:

The set-up by Olbermann:

But first, the president`s extraordinary explanation. He told students at Johns Hopkins University that he wanted people to see the truth, again insisted that he couldn`t really talk about the leak investigation, and then promptly really talked about the leak investigation.


BUSH: There`s an ongoing legal proceeding, which precludes me from talking a lot about the case. There`s also an ongoing investigation. It`s a serious investigation.

I will say this, that after we liberated Iraq, there was questions in people`s minds about, you know, about the basis on which I made the statements, in other words, going into Iraq. And so I decided to declassify the NIE for a reason. I wanted to see people--people to see what some of those statements were based on. So I wanted to see. I wanted people to see the truth. And thought it made sense for people to see the truth. And that`s why I declassified the document.


Ok, so besides the fact that he is just flat out lying, it just kills me that this guy can't string words together to make a coherent sentence or thought. He wanted people to see the truth, so he declassified information that was, at best, misleading and more likely outright fabrications. Back to Olbermann, who basically confirmed the lies:

OLBERMANN: But the parts of the document, the NIE, that were declassified and then revealed by Scooter Libby, namely the claim that Saddam Hussein was trying to purchase uranium ore from Niger, had already been deemed at best dubious by Mr. Bush`s own spy services. A memo from the National Intelligence Council sent to the White House in January 2003 baldly stated that the story was baseless and should be ignored.


In fact, the claim was not a judgment at all, and the NIE contained nothing about Iraq vigorously pursuing uranium.

Then, Olbermann's interview with Joe Wilson was direct, and once again shone a spotlight on the depths and lengths that Cheney, Bush, Libby, Rove and others went to lie about Iraq, smear Wilson's name and pointed out the damage caused to Wilson and Plame as a result of this concerted effort. I have reproduced highlights below, but you should still read the entire interview as it isn't a long one. All emphasis is mine.

OLBERMANN: The president says today he declassified the NIE to show the American people the truth, yet the information that was in it had already been thoroughly debunked as, at best, wildly unreliable....

WILSON: Well, of course, over the weekend, there was a lot of reporting that fleshed out the assessment of the total document, the National Intelligence Estimate. I had known for a long time, since the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report came out, that the Senate was informed in October of 2002, and the White House shortly thereafter, that, in the judgment of the CIA and the intelligence community, the British had stretched and/or exaggerated the case of uranium sales from Africa to Iraq.

The national intelligence officer wrote a piece in the middle of January, again, before the State of the Union address, in which he said, as you pointed out, the charge was baseless.

.....Mr. Libby leaked certain portions of it, which were not sustainable by all the facts. And my wife and I have had to endure a three-year smear campaign, orchestrated, as the filing says, by multiple sources in the White House and elements within the RNC and the right-wing echo chamber.

WILSON:....I think we would benefit from their releasing the White House transcripts of their conversations with Mr. Fitzgerald, so we can all know precisely what they knew then and what they testified to.

OLBERMANN: Do you believe that what the president said today amounted to an admission to starting this ball rolling, or this snowball going downhill?

WILSON: Well, I think the president was well within his rights to declassify the entire document. I would have loved that, as I said. It was really just the selective leaking of portions of it that are--should be some--troublesome.

I`d also point out, of course, that the declassification of the document was not matched by a publication of the document. It was selectively leaked to one reporter, and it was a perpetuation, essentially, of the disinformation campaign that had been in place when they made the State of the Union address in the first place.

OLBERMANN: Mr. Fitzgerald still has not filed any charges that directly relate to the leaking of your wife`s name or any other secret information. He made it clear from the beginning of this that he was probably not going down that route.

If this is all we get prosecutorially, are you satisfied? Do you feel vindicated?

WILSON: Well, let me just say, first of all, that Mr. Fitzgerald has said repeatedly, both in the indictment and in subsequent filings, that Valerie was a classified officer, and as a consequence, she was covered by law.

And anybody who leaked her name is in violation of the national security of the country, even if it`s not prosecutable. It`s the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. It is what is called in the business a security violation.

I find it appalling that the president continues to retain on his staff these multiple White House officials who were involved in leaking her name, beginning with Karl Rove. I believe he`s betrayed the national security of the country. I believe he and the others have betrayed the public trust of the country. I can`t imagine the president wanting them still on his staff.

The way that Wilson has handled himself in the interviews over the past few years has been outstanding. He is extremely articulate, as he was again last night. His ability to get right to the point in a clear, concise and cohesive manner is something that, in my opinion, adds not only to his credibility but also to his message.

To drive the point home, Olbermann had David Shuster on to discuss the new poll numbers of Bush, as well as some discussion on how even Republicans are saying that Bush didn't follow his own procedures regarding declassification, how there is no credibility left and how there are still gaps in the timeline. A few snippets:

OLBERMANN: These poll numbers, they`re pretty self-explanatory on the surface, but this little semantical dance today about the declassifying the National Intelligence Estimate, that he, at best, should have known was full of false information, is that expected to impact those poll numbers, those specific areas of the president`s reputation?

SHUSTER: Well, it could impact them. And it could bring them down, Keith, to the extent that the American people see this as a further bolstering of the narrative they already have of this administration, and that is, the idea that this is administration that cherry-picks intelligence and plays by its own rules.


OLBERMANN: Even Republicans have been asking for full disclosure by the administration on this topic, Senator Specter saying yesterday that the president and the vice president owe a specific explanation about what they did to the American people. Is the president`s admission about the declassification of the NIE going to be enough to cover the Republican response to this?

SHUSTER: No, because even the Republicans are pointing out that the Bush administration in this case did not follow its own procedures. The idea that the only people who knew about this declassification, the president, the vice president, Scooter Libby, that doesn`t follow procedures. A number of Republicans want to know, how come former CIA director George Tenet was kept in the dark?

Furthermore, there are lot of questions that even Republicans suggest go right to the heart of the president`s credibility crisis, and that is, they`re asking for the president to explain, why did he make those statements three years ago saying that he did not know of anybody in his administration who had leaked classified or sensitive information? That`s the problem many Republicans are having.


SHUSTER: But the other thing to focus on, Keith, and that is the next shoe to drop that many people here in this town believe is the whole idea of most of the conversation that Judy Miller remembers of her meeting with Scooter Libby on July 8 that was prompted by the vice president saying, Yes, you`ve got the authority to talk to Judy Miller from the president, most of the conversation she remembers was not about the National Intelligence Estimate but was about Valerie Plame, about her identity, and where she worked at the CIA.


And secondly, did the vice president at any point in his conversations with the president make some sort of mention of this other information, not the NIE, but Valerie Plame`s status at the CIA? Did the president and vice president talk about that?

Not that Olbermann isn't pretty much always right on point and great - he has been on "taboo" areas including the election in 2004, the CIA leak (from the early days), and other crimes of this administration for a while now.

But yesterday's show, complete with a great interview with Wilson, was a home run and hopefully is an indication of more to come.

If you want to send him a note of thanks, the email address is countdown@msnbc.com.

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