Keith Olbermann, Sept. 11th, 2006 – on fire:
And anyone who claims that I and others like me are “soft”, or have “forgotten” the lessons of what happened here â€” is at best a grasping, opportunistic, dilettante â€” and at worst, an idiot â€” whether he is a commentator, or a Vice President, or a President.
…in perhaps his finest piece of writing, Rod Serling sums it up with words of remarkable prescience, given where we find ourselves tonight.
“The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices – to be found only in the minds of men.
“For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all its own â€” for the children, and the children yet unborn.”
History teaches us that nearly unanimous support of a government cannot be taken away from that government, by its critics.
It can only be squandered by those who use it not to heal a nationâ€™s wounds, but to take political advantage.
Terrorists did not come and steal our newly-regained sense of being American first, and political, fiftieth. Nor did the Democrats. Nor did the media. Nor did the people.
The President â€” and those around him â€” did that.
They promised bi-partisanship, and then showed that to them, “bi-partisanship” meant that their party would rule and the rest would have to follow, or be branded, with ever-escalating hysteria, as morally or intellectually confused; as appeasers; as those who, in the Vice Presidentâ€™s words yesterday, “validate the strategy of the terrorists.”
They promised protection, and then showed that to them “protection” meant going to war against a despot whose hand they had once shakenâ€¦ a despot who we now learn from our own Senate Intelligence Committee, hated Al-Qaeda as much as we did.
The polite phrase for how so many of us were duped into supporting a war, on the false premise that it had â€™something to doâ€™ with 9/11, is “lying by implication.”
The impolite phrase, is “impeachable offense.”
When those who dissent are told time and time again â€” as we will be, if not tonight by the President, then tomorrow by his portable public chorus â€” that he is preserving our freedom, but that if we use any of it, we are somehow un-Americanâ€¦
When we are scolded, that if we merely question, we have “forgotten the lessons of 9/11″â€¦ look into this empty space behind me and the bi-partisanship upon which this administration also did not build, and tell me:
Who has left this hole in the ground?
We have not forgotten, Mr. President.