by Keith Olbermann
We have lived as if in a trance.
We have lived as people in fear.
And now - our rights and our freedoms in peril - we slowly awaken to learn that
we have been afraid of the wrong thing.
Therefore, tonight have we truly become the inheritors of our American
For, on this first full day that the Military Commissions Act is in force,
we now face what our ancestors faced, at other times of exaggerated crisis
and melodramatic fear-mongering:
A government more dangerous to our liberty, than is the enemy it claims to
protect us from.
We have been here before - and we have been here before, led here by men
better and wiser and nobler than George W. Bush.
We have been here when President John Adams insisted that the Alien and
Sedition Acts were necessary to save American lives, only to watch him use
those acts to jail newspaper editors.
American newspaper editors, in American jails, for things they wrote about
We have been here when President Woodrow Wilson insisted that the Espionage
Act was necessary to save American lives, only to watch him use that Act to
prosecute 2,000 Americans, especially those he disparaged as "Hyphenated
Americans," most of whom were guilty only of advocating peace in a time of
American public speakers, in American jails, for things they said about
And we have been here when President Franklin D. Roosevelt insisted that
Executive Order 9066 was necessary to save American lives, only to watch him
use that order to imprison and pauperize 110,000 Americans while his man in
charge, General DeWitt, told Congress: "It makes no difference whether he is
an American citizen - he is still a Japanese."
American citizens, in American camps, for something they neither wrote nor
said nor did, but for the choices they or their ancestors had made about
coming to America.
Each of these actions was undertaken for the most vital, the most urgent,
the most inescapable of reasons.
And each was a betrayal of that for which the president who advocated them
claimed to be fighting. . . .
FULL TEXT AND VIDEO
Enver Masud, "Iraq War: 'Supreme
International Crime'," The Wisdom Fund, June 29, 2005
John Pilger, "The Rise Of America's
New Enemy," New Statesman, November 10, 2005
[Dependent on imports, America has degenerated into a parasitic, Keynesian
consumer-of-last-resort, injecting demand into the world economy while
producing nothing of value. To mask its decline, America pursues a foreign
policy of "theatrical micromilitarism," picking fights with helpless Third
World countries like Iraq to convince the world's real power centers-Europe,
Japan and Russia-of its military prowess and validate its spurious image as
global policeman.--Emmanuel Todd, "After the Empire: The Breakdown of the American
Order," Columbia University Press (August 25, 2006)]
Enver Masud, "Iraq: Divide and Rule, 'Ethnic
Cleansing Works'," The Wisdom Fund, October 10, 2006
Suzanne Goldenberg, "We've lost
battle for Baghdad, US admits," Guardian, October 20, 2006
Michael T. Klare, "Beware
Empires in Decline," antiwar.com, October 20, 2006
Evening of Empire: Hubris, Bravado and Hypocrisy," counterpunch.org,
October 23, 2006
Dahlia Lithwick, "The Imperial Presidency," Washington Post,
January 14, 2007
Dilip Hiro, "The Sole
Superpower in Decline: The Rise of a Multipolar World," Washington
Post, January 14, 2007