Still Waiting For Keith Olbermann To Condemn Obama’s Assassination Program…

Susan Swift
Big Journalism
5/23/2010

More than a week since a New York Times story on the Obama-approved program to assassinate U.S. citizens named as terrorists, Keith Olbermann still has not condemned that program. One reader correctly observed that Olbermann reported on the story in early April but, inexplicably, without commentary or expressing an opinion and, instead, he gave a commendably fair and balanced presentation almost worthy of broadcast on Fox News. As Glenn Greenwald noted at Salon:

What’s most striking to me about all of this is that — as I noted yesterday (and as Olbermann stressed) — George Bush’s decision merely to eavesdrop on American citizens without oversight, or to detain without due process Americans such as Jose Padilla and Yaser Hamdi, provoked years of vehement, vocal and intense complaints from Democrats and progressives. All of that was disparaged as Bush claiming the powers of a King, a vicious attack on the Constitution, a violation of Our Values, the trampling on the Rule of Law. Yet here you have Barack Obama not merely eavesdropping on or detaining Americans without oversight, but ordering them killed with no oversight and no due process of any kind. And the reaction among leading Democrats and progressives is largely non-existent, which is why Olbermann’s extensive coverage of it is important. Just imagine what the reaction would have been among progressive editorial pages, liberal opinion-makers and Democratic politicians if this story had been about George Bush and Dick Cheney targeting American citizens for due-process-free and oversight-less CIA assassinations.


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…I commend these liberals, actors and accused domestic terrorists for spending their own money to criticize their beloved president. It takes guts to oppose big government’s imposition on people’s rights – those liberals should just ask the Tea Party folks. Although it sure sounds like Al-Awlaki “needs killin’,” it wouldn’t be the first time government propagandists demonized an individual/group as a pretext for oppression.

These liberals have stumbled upon this frightening truth: Who gets targeted by the next CIA drone may come down to political definitions. Just reread the administration’s 2009 DHS report entitled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.” It defines domestic “right wing extremists” to include:

groups, movements, and adherents that… are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration


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