Olbermann special comment slams Bush's golf 'sacrifice'
Published: Thursday May 15, 2008

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MSNBC's Keith Olbermann offered a "special comment" Wednesday on President George W. Bush's remarks during an online interview the day before.

Olbermann explained that his comment would include "two topics a lot of us had foolishly thought, and naively hoped, we would not again have to address. And a third topic nobody thought a president would ever seriously mention in public ... how he expressed his empathy with the families of the dead in Iraq by giving up golf."

Olbermann began by singling out Bush's suggestion that he is concerned that if a Democratic administration pulls out of Iraq, "extremists throughout the Middle East would be emboldened, which would eventually lead to another attack on the United States."

"The biggest issue we face," claimed Bush, "is this ideological struggle against cold-blooded killers who will kill people to achieve their political objectives."

"Has it not dawned on you that the America you have now created now includes cold-blooded killers?" Olbermann asked. "There are those in or formerly in your employ who may yet be charged some day with war crimes. ... Do you still have no earthly clue that this nation has laid waste to Iraq to achieve your political objectives? ... Terrorism in Iraq is your creation."

Olbermann next took issue over Bush's response to a question about whether he felt he was "misled on Iraq" by inadequate intelligence. "'Mislead' is a strong word," Bush replied, but he claimed that "intelligence communities all across the world shared the same assessment. And so I was disappointed to see how flawed our intelligence was."

"You, Mr. Bush, are responsible for how intelligence communities all around the world shared the same assessment," Olbermann noted angrily. "You and the sycophants you dredged up. ... You, Mr. Bush, threw under the bus all of the subsequent critics. ... The fiasco of pre-war intelligence, sir, is your fiasco."

But it was a third remark which, Olbermann stated, "makes the rest of us question not merely his leadership or his judgment but his very suitability to remain in office ... perhaps the most startling reply of this nightmarish blight on our lives as Americans."

In response to a leading question, Bush explained that he had given up golf in August 2003 because of the growing violence in Iraq. "I don't want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the Commander-in-Chief playing golf. I feel I owe it to the families to be as -- to be in solidarity as best I can with them."

"Do you think these families, Mr. Bush, their lives blighted forever, care about you playing golf?" Olbermann asked indignantly. "Do you think, sir, they care about you? ... You didn't give up your pursuit of this ... morally bankrupting war. ... You didn't even give up talking about Iraq. ... You didn't give up your presidency. ... Four thousand Americans give up their lives and your sacrifice was to give up golf?"

"The war in Iraq is not about you," Olbermann concluded. "It is not, Mr. Bush, about your grief. ... Your war is about how you accomplished the derangement of two nations .. and about how you sent 4000 Americans to their deaths -- for nothing!"

"This last piece of advice. When somebody asks you, sir, about Democrats who must now pull this country back from the abyss ... about the cooked books and fake threats .. about your gallant, self-abnegating sacrifice of your golf game ... shut the hell up!"

A transcript of Keith Olbermann's special comment is available here.

This video is from MSNBC's Countdown, broadcast May 14, 2008.

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