Sorry we're late with our usual highlighting of, yet another stellar, Keith Olbermann Special Comment, fumed and ranted Thursday evening (For one, The Garlic has been working at half-speed the past few days, a bit under-the-weather and, MSNBC was a bit slow in posting the transcript).
Olbermann tackled the FISA fiasco, and was particularly steamed throughout the special comment.
The Garlic already had its' rant on this last Monday, offering the Democrats in Congress two reasons not to cave in on this issue.
For The Commander Guy, his henchmen (and the entire Republican Freakshow echo machine) has done purple-in-the-face, demanding Congress give The Commander Guy HIS FISA Bill, his Orwellian 'Protect America Act', for if they don't, terrorists are going to immediately invade the country and kill us all.
Being the current law works just fine (assuming, the people working it are honest and law-abiding), and it's been crystal clear this fevered push for The Commander Guy's PAA is about giving immunity to the telecommunications companies that broke the law with them.
With every dam, there comes a crack;
Which is why the Vice President probably shouldn't have phoned in to the Rush Limbaugh Propaganda-Festival yesterday.And there was this chewy morsel of a caveat;
Sixth sentence out of Mr. Cheney's mouth.
The FYCA bill is about, quote, "retroactive liability protection for the companies that have worked with us and helped us prevent further attacks against the United States."
Mr. Cheney is something of a loose cannon, of course.
But he kind of let the wrong cat out of the bag there.
Because Mr. Bush and the corporations he values more than people didn't want anybody to verify what Mark Klein says.
Mark Klein is the AT&T Whistleblower who appeared on this newscast last November... who explained, in the placid, dull terms of your local neighborhood IT desk, how he personally attached all of AT&T's circuits, everything carrying every phone call, every e-mail, every bit of web browsing into a secure room — Room Number 641-A, at the Folsom Street facility in San Francisco, where it was all copied so the government could look at it.
Not some of it; not just the international part of it; certainly not just the stuff some truly patriotic and telepathic spy might be able to divine had been sent or spoken by or to a terrorist.
Every time you looked at a naked picture, every time you bid on eBay, every time you phoned-in a donation to a Democrat.
"My thought was 'George Orwell's 1984,'" Mr. Klein told me, reflecting back, "and here I am, being forced to connect the Big Brother machine."
There's yet another level to this, and here we move from Big Brother to Sleazy Son.Hmmm ... The new Crony General has a personal stake in this ... Very interesting ...That is, of course, the Crony General admits to having son ...
Mr. Bush's new Attorney General, Mr. Mukasey, the one who has already taken four different positions on water-boarding, and who may yet tie that record on this subject of telecom immunity, he has a very personal stake in this.
There happens to be a partner in the law firm of Bracewell and Giuliani, named Marc Mukasey. And Bracewell and Giuliani and the Attorney General's son Marc, just happen to represent Verizon.
You know, Verizon — Telecom Giant.
And all of a sudden this is no longer just a farce in which "protecting the Telecoms" is dressed up for us as, "protecting us from terrorist conference calls."
Now it begins to look like the bureaucrats of the Third Reich trying to protect the Krupp Family industrial giants by literally re-writing the laws for their benefit.
And we know how that turned out: Alfried Krupp and eleven of his directors were convicted of War Crimes at Nuremburg.
Why, just the other day, the Crony General displayed his prowess;
From Glenn Greenwalds' "Mukasey's radical worldview is now the norm";
While Mukasey may be marginally more straightforward than Alberto Gonzales was -- more willing to conform to the procedural formalities of independence -- he is, ideologically, a clone of John Yoo and David Addington and is as much of a loyal adherent to the Bush/Cheney extremist worldview as Gonzales ever was.And Dahlia Lithwick, over on Slate, from her "Thank You. Now Go to Hell.Mukasey stonewalls Senate Democrats on water-boarding, and practically everything else.";
Mukasey explicitly embraces the most extreme theories of presidential omnipotence and lawlessness and displays as much Cheney-ite contempt for the notion of Congressional oversight as the Vice President himself. He repeatedly endorsed patently illegal behavior -- including torture -- and refused even to pretend that he cared what the Senate thought about any of it. He even told Republican Senators that they have no right to pass a whistleblower law allowing federal employees who learn of lawbreaking to inform Congress about it, because such a law would infringe on the President's constitutional powers. In Mukasey's worldview, the President has unlimited power and Congress has none.
Over the course of a long, maddening day, it's quickly manifest that Mukasey's legal opinions have a 30-second shelf life. He won't opine on what's happened in the past and he won't opine on anything that might happen in the future. When Sen. Arlen Specter—concerned about seven years of vast new claims of executive authority—asks Mukasey whether, in his view, the president "can break any law he pleases because he's the president—including, say, statutes banning torture," as well as FISA and the National Security Act, Mukasey replies, "I can't contemplate any situation in which this president would assert Article II authority to do something that the law forbids."Any doubt that Crony General will go after those undertaking the illegal wiretapping?
"Well, he did just that when he violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act," Specter shoots back. Mukasey's response? "Both of those issues have been brought within statutes."
Specter is flabbergasted: "But he acted in violation of statutes, didn't he?"
"I don't know," Mukasey replies. But does is really matter? What's past is past.
And Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., tries to get Mukasey to explain why the Justice Department is investigating the destruction of the CIA torture tapes, but not investigating the underlying torture itself.
Mukasey's reply, "I don't start investigations out of curiosity," speaks for itself. When Whitehouse tries to get Mukasey to agree that they both know enough classified information to have a very concrete, nonspeculative legal discussion about whether what happened on those tapes is legal, Mukasey again insists that whether or not what happened on those tapes is legal is about which "certifications were given" and "who permissibly relied on it." Whitehouse calls this the "Nuremberg defense. ... I had authorization and therefore I'm immune from prosecution."
Me thinks pigs will fly before that ever happens
Read Keith Olbermann's Special Comment "Bush put telecoms ahead of citizens; Pres. Bush demands a law which would clear phone giants from responsibility for government's unjustified spying on Americans"
Watch The Special Comment Video