The following is a portion of the transcript of Keith OlbermannÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s smack-down of Donald Rumsfeld on Countdown 8/30/2006.
Keith said what has needed saying in the main stream media for a long time.
The man who sees absolutes, where all other men see nuances and shades of meaning, is either a prophet, or a quack.
Donald H. Rumsfeld is not a prophet.
Mr. RumsfeldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s remarkable speech to the American Legion yesterday demands the deep analysisÃ¢â‚¬â€and the sober contemplationÃ¢â‚¬â€of every American.
For it did not merely serve to impugn the morality or intelligence — indeed, the loyalty — of the majority of Americans who oppose the transient occupants of the highest offices in the land.
Worse, still, it credits those same transient occupants — our employees — with a total omniscience; a total omniscience which neither common sense, nor this administrationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s track record at home or abroad, suggests they deserve.
Dissent and disagreement with government is the lifeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s blood of human freedom; and not merely because it is the first roadblock against the kind of tyranny the men Mr. Rumsfeld likes to think of as Ã¢â‚¬Å“hisÃ¢â‚¬Â troops still fight, this very evening, in Iraq.
It is also essential. Because just every once in awhile it is right and the power to which it speaks, is wrong.
In a small irony, however, Mr. RumsfeldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s speechwriter was adroit in invoking the memory of the appeasement of the Nazis. For in their time, there was another government faced with true perilÃ¢â‚¬â€with a growing evilÃ¢â‚¬â€powerful and remorseless.
That government, like Mr. RumsfeldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s, had a monopoly on all the facts. It, too, had the Ã¢â‚¬Å“secret information.Ã¢â‚¬Â It alone had the true picture of the threat. It too dismissed and insulted its critics in terms like Mr. RumsfeldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s — questioning their intellect and their morality.
That government was EnglandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s, in the 1930Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s.