Countdown’s Keith Olbermann has turned Dick Cheney's own logic against him.

Pointing out that in the wake of the 9/11 attacks the Bush administration demanded "absolute apolitical patriotism" of the public in a time of war, Olbermann accused the former vice president of committing treason against the United States -- "morally, if not legally" -- when the former VP criticized President Barack Obama after the Christmas Day attempted airliner attack.

Days after the attempted downing of Northwest flight 253, Cheney told Politico that "we are at war and when President Obama pretends we aren't, it makes us less safe."

That statement, Olbermann argued, amounts to treason by Cheney's own logic.

If Mr. Cheney believes we are at war, then he, as the most recent occupant of the vice presidency, is under the strictest of obligations to put aside his case of terminal partisanship, and rally to the support of his president in a time of war. Instead, his remarks not only give encouragement to the enemies of this country, they give them an exact measure as to how successful they have been in damaging our freedoms.

In a previous time, Mr. Cheney's pathetic exploitation of human fears, his undermining of our courage and resolve and clear-headed calm thinking would have resulted in his being chased off the national stage by a public sick to death of the personal industry he has made of undermining American freedom and of undermining the authority of this elected government. And in a previous, more resolute time among journalists in this country, nobody would be pretending that this obvious fact is not true. It would have been in every newspaper and on every broadcast.

After his disgraceful performance since Christmas, when terrorists attempted an attack in this country, Dick Cheney is the beneficiary. And if he cannot summon exactly the same kind of absolute apolitical patriotism he demanded of everyone else while he was in office, he is, by his own terms, nothing more or less -- morally if not legally -- than a traitor to the United States of America.

This video is from MSNBC's Countdown, broadcast Jan. 4, 2010.

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