October 19, 2006

'Beginning of the End of America'

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 legacy.

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 America.

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 war.

American public speakers, in American jails, for things they said about America.

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. . . .


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,", October 20, 2006

Werther, "The Evening of Empire: Hubris, Bravado and Hypocrisy,", 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

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