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Olbermann wants torture inquiry of Bush officials

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Posted on August 25 2009 4:19 pm
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Keith Olbermann is upset that poor old Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (above) was frightened and threatened by CIA operatives

Keith Olbermann is upset that poor old Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (above) was frightened and threatened by CIA operatives

MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann yesterday spoke out in favor of the Justice Department’s plan to investigate “incidents of torture committed by U.S. officials and contractors during the Bush administration.” One man, Olbermann reported indignantly, had been “stripped naked except for a hood on his head” before being threatened by CIA agents who held a pistol and a power drill next to his head, and who threatened to rape and kill his family members. Another man, said Olbermann, was told that if he did not cooperate, his children would be killed; he was also waterboarded.

Oh, incidentally, the aforementioned hooded man was Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, mastermind of the USS Cole bombing that killed 17 American servicemen in October 2000.

And just for the record, the second man was Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM), former military head of Osama bin Laden‘s al Qaeda network. Perhaps you remember him: He helped mastermind the foiled Operation Bojinka, which aimed to simultaneously blow up 12 commercial airliners in mid-flight between Asia and the United States; the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings that killed more than 200 people; the failed bombing of American Airlines Flight 63 in December 2001; and the quadruple hijackings of September 11, 2001 – to name just a few of his career highlights. He also personally beheaded American journalist Daniel Pearl in February 2002.

Ah, but who cares about context? After all, these men’s dignity had been sullied, to say nothing about their “human rights.”

Because Olbermann cannot tolerate any dissenting opinions without descending into his familiar cesspool of derision and mockery, he never has a guest on his program who disagrees with him. His Rent-a-Stooge for last night’s show was Jane Mayer, staff writer at The New Yorker, who said:

“The documents that I’ve seen … I am amazed at how little support there is for the things that Vice President Cheney has been saying. There is nothing but a mass of claims that they got information from this individual and that individual, many from KSM, who apparently has been the greatest font of information for them. But there’s absolutely nothing saying that they had to beat them to get this information. In fact … there’s no evidence that I see in this that these things were necessary. I spoke to someone at the CIA who is an advisor to them, who conceded to me that we could have gotten the same information with tea and crumputets.”

Olbermann, of course, agreed heartily with this absurdity.

Spearheading the Justice Department’s investigation will be President Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, who has opened what he calls a “preliminary review” into whether some CIA operatives broke the law in their post-9/11 coercive interrogations of suspected terrorists. Says Holder:

“As a result of my analysis of all of this material, I have concluded that the information known to me warrants opening a preliminary review into whether federal laws were violated in connection with the interrogation of specific detainees at overseas locations. The Department regularly uses preliminary reviews to gather information to determine whether there is sufficient predication to warrant a full investigation of a matter.”

It borders on the obscene to hear Holder, who has abetted judicial leniency for big-time crooks and terrorists throughout his legal/political career, speak about gathering evidence in order to determine whether or not a prosecution should ensue.

During his tenure as Deputy Attorney General for President Clinton, Holder was a key figure entrusted with the task of vetting the Clinton administration’s 176 last-minute pardons in January 2001. The beneficiaries of those pardons included such notables as former Weather Underground members Susan Rosenberg (who was involved in the deadly 1981 armed robbery of a Brink’s armored car) and Linda Evans (who had used false identification to buy firearms, harbored a fugitive, and was in possession of 740 pounds of dynamite at the time of her arrest in 1985).

Holder also played a major role in the presidential pardon granted to the billionaire financier Marc Rich, a fugitive oil broker who had illegally purchased oil from Iran during the American trade embargo — and who then proceeded to hide more than $100 million in profits by using dummy transactions in off-shore corporations. Rich later renounced his American citizenship and fled to Switzerland to avoid prosecution for 51 counts of racketeering, wire fraud, tax fraud, tax evasion, and the illegal oil transactions with Iran.

And finally, for good measure, Holder was intimately involved in President Clinton’s August 11, 1999 pardon of 16 members of the FALN—a violent, Marxist-Leninist terror organization that was active in the U.S. from the mid-1970s through the early 1980s.

But Obama lapdogs like Keith Olbermann are not at all troubled by the fact that an ethical train wreck like Eric Holder now heads the U.S. Justice Department. As long as Holder is prosecuting Bush officials, Olbermann and his ilk will cheer him on loudly.

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