On Tuesday of this week, Keith Olbermann, MSNBC’s equivalent of Sean Hannity, demonstrated why I refuse to watch that network with the rare exception of when they permit Pat Buchanan to utter five syllables in a row.
In Olbermann’s notable segment, “The Worst Person in the World,” the former sportscaster took aim at Fox News’ Glenn Beck and the CIA’s former head of its bin Laden unit Michael Scheuer. The charge: Scheuer is advising that Osama bin laden detonate a nuclear device in the United States and Beck should “be stopped” for allowing such speech to take place.*
How awful. What American would have the temerity to suggest that our enemy, our real enemy, ought to attack the U.S.? By all means, keep Guantanamo open just for Americans such as these.
If only that’s what Michael Scheuer actually said.
Listening to Olbermann’s opinion of the conversation, one could easily conclude that Scheuer is a traitor to the country he once worked to defend while Beck is his accomplice. Listening to Olbermann, Scheuer must have said this: “Osama! Get a nuclear bomb as soon as you can! Detonate it in this country so thousands, maybe even millions of my countrymen can be vaporized!”
Here’s what was really said:
Beck: Do you really, honestly believe, that we have come to a place where those very senior people in the highest offices of the land, Congress and the White House, really will not do the right thing in the end, that they won’t see the error of their ways? [in their failure to prevent terrorism]
Scheuer: No, sir, they will not. The only chance we have as a country right now is for Osama bin Laden to deploy and detonate a major weapon in the United States, because it‘s going to take a grassroots, bottom-up pressure, because these politicians prize their office, prize the praise of the media and the Europeans. It‘s an absurd situation, again. Only Osama can execute an attack that will force Americans to demand that their government protect them effectively, consistently and with as much violence as necessary.
So Scheuer did say that a nuclear device needed to be used in order for real change to American foreign policy to be enacted. He is not saying that he desires it to happen.
If Olbermann knew anything about Scheuer, or did a meager amount of research, he would know, by virtue of Scheuer’s career, books, and articles, that he is an American nationalist and patriot who does desire to see America protected from terrorism. During the Bush administration, Scheuer was frequently labeled a “Bush Basher” for suggesting that the invasion of Iraq would isolate America and would further radicalize Islam. Now he is vilified by a faux journalist for describing what may very well be necessary before real change in foreign policy takes place.
Scheuer, the author of 2008’s “Marching Toward Hell: America and Islam after Iraq” and the anonymous author of “Through our Enemy’s Eyes: Osama bin Laden, Radical Islam, and the Future of America” and “Imperial Hubris: How the West is Losing the War on Terror,” has the consistent theme that our country’s ruling elites are either oblivious to the terrorist threat or are unwilling to change a policy of American intervention that led to the September 11, 2001 attacks. And most Americans, it would seem, are oblivious to this fact as well.
During the presidential campaign of 2007-2008, Ron Paul was the only candidate Scheuer endorsed because, as he said in the article “Stuck in the Cold [War] (McBama’s Nostalgia for the 20th Century):
“The difference between parties is just nuance. Republicans prefer to provide a strong, close-up whiff of gunpowder before coercively imposing their values on foreigners, while Democrats prefer raining anonymous death from 20,000 feet on foreigners, who – if they live – will have new values drilled into them. All are imperialism’s paladins . . . they are: aching to dictate their kind of freedom to various little brown brothers.”
This is the language of someone who has warned about the follies of the current policy. Since the current policy is what inflames would-be terrorists, there is no reason to believe that continuing it would reduce the incentive for terrorists to acquire a nuclear device. If a patient has a severe allergic reaction to penicillin, the cure is not more penicillin, especially if other prescriptions are available.
Just as many Americans probably still assume the Islamic terrorists hate us because we’re free, almost everyone in government assumes that since intervention has taken place since 9/11 that means the intervention has succeeded in defeating terrorism. Relying on the words of Osama bin Laden, instead of government propaganda, the recently retired Scheuer told “60 Minutes” in 2005 that
“No one should be surprised when Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda detonate a weapon of mass destruction in the United States. I don’t believe in inevitability. But I think it’s pretty close to being inevitable.”
So what is the difference between this 2005 quote and the one that so aggravated Keith Olbermann?
Four years ago Scheuer called it pretty much an inevitability while recently he said that that inevitability is what it will take for American citizens to wake up to the gross dereliction of their leaders. That Scheuer is saying that he expects a nuclear detonation to come before Americans wake up to the government’s ineptitude is not the same thing as advising bin Laden to commit the atrocity itself, as if the terrorist’s desire to obtain a nuclear weapon was dependent upon any private citizen. In fact, it is more like a grieved parent coming to grips with the fact that their out-of-control drug-abusing child won’t realize they need help until the latter requires professional rehabilitation, despite all the previous efforts and warnings of the loving parent.
Now while Scheuer does advocate the use of waterboarding, a point at which I diverge, he is an American patriot, and anyone who simply skims through his body of writing will discover that the former CIA man only writes what he does out of a sincere devotion to his country. So when he says he has reason to believe that bin Ladin will send us that nuclear bomb, the good Scheuer hopes can come out of it is that the American people will finally demand to know why their leaders’ actions had not stopped the catastrophe they said the intervention was preventing.
For all the effort he puts into “The Worst Person in the World,” Keith Olbermann might want to take a break from his partisan hackery to investigate why a nuclear device might be detonated in the U.S. in the first place instead of shouting “traitor” at Scheuer and Beck while suggesting that their right to the freedom of speech should be abridged.
*The third person Olbermann selected for his “Worst Person in the World” was suspended steroid user Manny Ramirez of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Along with Beck and Scheuer’s alleged proposal that Osama bin Laden should detonate a nuclear device is equivalent, in Olbermann’s mind, to rehabilitating baseball player Manny Ramirez’s refusal to spend enough money on luxuries for his temporary minor league teammates. Apparently not spending money on your minor league teammates is on par with suggesting a nuclear device needs to be detonated in your own country.
Final note: Over at Left Coast Rebel, Tim has a piece up about Rand Paul and his potential run for the U.S. Senate in Kentucky. Check it out.