Bin Laden Ops Chief Calls Trump ‘The Greatest Threat To Democracy In My Lifetime’

Last week Donald Trump outdid himself on Twitter. For someone who has a record of repulsive and ignorant outbursts, Trump achieved a new low when he tweeted that the media “is the enemy of the American People.” It was reflective of his authoritarian attitude and disrespect for American principles.

Ever since then Trump has been castigated as a wannabe dictator and a suppressor of the free press. This is nothing new for Trump. Organizations that advocate for the welfare of journalists universally condemned him. The Committee to Protect Journalists issued a warning that “A Trump presidency would represent a threat to press freedom in the United States.” The National Press Club released a similar statement condemning Trump’s anti-press tactics as “unacceptable and dangerous to our democracy.” The reporter who uncovered Watergate, Carl Bernstein, said Trump is more treacherous than Nixon.”


Now another critic has emerged with unique credentials to comment on this. William McRaven, Chancellor of the University of Texas system, delivered a speech in which the subject was addressed. It’s important to note that McRaven is also a retired Navy admiral. Among his military accomplishments is that he designed and oversaw the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. So what did this American hero have to say about Trump’s enemies list?

“The president said the news media is the enemy of the American people. This sentiment may be the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime.”

Wow. That’s not a liberal journalist sitting in a New York TV studio. And it’s not some flaky leftist who sips lattes and coddles refugees. That’s the guy who led the Special Ops mission to get Bin Laden. It’s fair to assume that he’s encountered numerous threats to democracy in his lifetime. The fact that he is singling this one out as the greatest is significant – and frightening.

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McRaven’s military career is not the only source of validation for his opinions on the press. In 1977, before his service and his chancellorship, he graduated from UT Austin with a degree in journalism. So what we have here is a man who has proven his patriotism and put his life on the line for it. And also a man with relevant knowledge of the media, its history, and its ethical practice. Sadly, many of Trump’s glassy-eyed followers will pay no attention to McRaven’s remarks. But maybe some of the less cult driven Republicans will listen and heed his warning.

Fox News Crocumentary On Alleged Bin Laden Shooter May Be Bogus, Unlawful, and Dangerous

Last week, amid great fanfare, Fox News announced that they would be airing a special presentation that features a Navy SEAL who claims to have fired the shot that killed Osama Bin Laden. The press release for the program that Fox calls “an extensive, first-hand account of the mission,” contains this description:

“The two-night presentation will feature an exclusive interview with the Navy SEAL who says he fired the shots that killed terrorist leader Usama Bin Laden. […] Revealing his identity and speaking out publicly for the first time, the Navy SEAL, also known as “The Shooter,” will share his story of training to be a member of America’s elite fighting force and explain his involvement in Operation Neptune Spear, the mission that killed Bin Laden.”

Fox News

There are, however, a number of problems with this project, beginning with what Fox says in their own press release. The first paragraph describes Robert O’Neill as “the Navy SEAL who says he fired the shots.” While he may “say” that he fired the shots that killed Bin Laden, there is no confirmation of that from anyone else. Not his fellow SEALs, not his superiors, not any eyewitnesses, not the Pentagon, no one. Fox News has to rely solely on this person’s account of the mission for their story.

Relying on this one account is also troubling because simply by coming forward the person is bringing into question his own credibility. First and foremost, Navy SEALs are bound by non-disclosure agreements that prohibit them from talking about the details of their missions, particularly those that are confidential and involve national security. The Pentagon has taken notice of this and urged that he comply with his obligations and honor his duty. A Pentagon spokesperson told a reporter at Business Insider that…

“Navy SEALs continue to serve and fight bravely around the world, accomplishing critical missions that keep our nation safe. The major details of the bin Laden mission are well known, many of them a matter of public record. We urge any former SEAL to abide by the SEAL Ethos, particularly the core tenant, ‘I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions.'”

By appearing on Fox News O’Neill, if he is who he says he is, is violating his oath to the Navy SEALS and, quite possibly, the law. In a previous instance of a SEAL going public with information about the Bin Laden operation, Matt Bissonnette is currently undergoing a criminal investigation for publishing a book that he failed to vet through the Defense Department. Fox News is well aware of this as they reported his legal jeopardy two years ago. They also reported that his fellow SEALs were upset that he had published a book that could endanger them and future missions. What’s more, it was Fox who outed Bissonnette, whose book was published under the pseudonym, Mark Owen. By revealing his identity Fox subjected him and others to death threats. The network was criticized harshly by members of the military and media ethicists.

There is no reason why the new Fox News program on Bin Laden would not have the same consequences. The Pentagon has already weighed in, and the risk to other SEALs is just as plausible. By disclosing his own identity he could inadvertently lead revenge seekers to discover the identities of his associates. Should any of them or their families be harmed, the responsibility lies with him.

And for what? There is no apparent news value in what he may have to relate. Sure, there is curiosity about a first-hand account of the operation, but there is nothing that is pertinent to the public’s understanding, while there are real risks to individuals and future missions.

He is nothing but a glory hog who is grabbing attention for himself at the expense of his comrades who participated equally in the dangerous operation, but who are honoring their oaths. His contribution to the record consists mainly of soap opera melodrama that appeals to the tabloid set as demonstrated by Fox’s press release:

“Offering never before shared details, the presentation will include ‘The Shooter’s’ experience in confronting Bin Laden, his description of the terrorist leader’s final moments as well as what happened when he took his last breath.”

Spoiler Alert: Bin Laden’s final moments were probably him wondering who these dudes were in his bedroom for about a second and a half before he took a bullet to the head. And you didn’t need a two night Fox News ratings gimmick to learn that.

This program is abetting potentially unlawful activity and endangering lives. And there is no way of verifying its authenticity. Under the circumstances, a legitimate news enterprise would never consider airing it. Fortunately for Fox, legitimacy has never been a part of their business plan. As for the alleged SEAL, he should keep his mouth shut until such time as the story can be told responsibly with credit going to everyone who deserves it.

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[Addendum 1] Phil Bronstein wrote an article for Esquire if February of 2013 that purported to be the story of the “shooter.” It was shortly thereafter criticized as “a giant fraud.” Also, now promoting a new book, Bissonnette has admitted that he was wrong to publish classified material about the Bin Laden operation.

[Addendum 2] Fox News gets scooped by the UK’s tabloid Daily Mail. They published an article identifying the “shooter” on November 5th, a week before Fox’s big “exclusive.”

[Addendum 3] CNN also scooped Fox by airing an interview with O’Neill prior to Fox’s broadcast. This brought out the jealousy of Fox News as anchor Shepard Smith complained that after Fox announced the project “everybody and their mother jumped on this,” and he singled out CNN saying that it’s “really kind of embarrassing for them.” Smith went on to say…

“Others have had input on this cause I’ve seen them over on the hater channels. People on the hate channels are like ‘He should never have done this.'”

The “hate” channels? Is he sure he wasn’t watching Fox? And the people he is talking about are Navy SEALS who have had the integrity to honor their oaths to their comrades. Don’t let anyone tell you that Smith is somehow different than the other hacks on Fox.

STFU About Obama’s Vacations Already And Remember Where Obama Was May 1, 2011

The incessant and ignorant fixation on when, where, and how often President Obama takes vacations is becoming surreal in its frequency and fervor. The President’s critics seem to be obsessed with the issue. Never mind that Obama has taken far fewer vacation days than his predecessors, or that there has never been any negative incident arising from his holidays, or that the presidency travels with the President wherever he goes, the compulsion to relentlessly attack this President is irresistible to the politicians and pundits on the right. And they are not above outright lying about it.

It apparently has never occurred to these crackpots that there are strategic justifications for maintaining a routine schedule. By suddenly altering his itinerary, the President could be tipping off enemies that there is something being planned that they should defend against. And if any evidence is required to support this theory, one need only go back to May 1, 2011, when President Obama was a guest at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner in Washington, DC. He was criticized at the time by conservatives who thought it unseemly that he would attend a party that featured comedians and where he himself would deliver a joke-filled monologue. Setting aside the fact that the event is a charitable fundraiser that has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships, there is another reason why the criticism was unwarranted.

Obama WHCD

On May 1, 2011, a team of Navy SEALS stormed the compound of Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, killing him and ending a decade long search for justice. At the time of the raid Obama was seen laughing at jokes, including some about Bin Laden, without letting on what was occurring 7,000 miles away. It would have been unnecessarily risky for the President to mysteriously cancel his plans to attend the dinner and rush back to the Oval Office. But by playing it with a straight face there was no hint of the covert action for which he had already given the green light.

Today’s critics of the President are in no better position to ascertain what he is doing behind the scenes than they were in May of 2011. They have no way of knowing if there are sensitive operations in progress that the White House needs to keep under wraps. They don’t even care that it is important for America’s leaders to be seen as unwavering and unafraid in the face of adversity, rather than running for cover and shifting gears every time the enemy posts video evidence of their brutality on YouTube. The wingnut media is only interested in how they can fling more mud at the President. And it is that, and not their pseudo-patriotic posturing, that is their primary mission.

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It’s Official: Dick Cheney Has Lost His Freakin’ Mind

Last night on Fox News, Sean Hannity welcomed Dick Cheney to the program by accusing President Obama of “apologizing for America” during a speech at West Point where the President repeatedly extolled our nation’s exceptionalism. Having set a decidedly negative tone, Hannity commenced the interview with a question that was merely a set up for Cheney to agree with Hannity’s oh-so-patriotic opinion that “America is in decline.” Cheney obliged with an opening rant that included his judgment that Obama is “a very, very weak president. Maybe the weakest, certainly in my lifetime.”

Dick Cheney

This represents the unique brand of pseudo-patriotism practiced by rightist hacks like Hannity and Cheney who regard the acknowledgement of past mistakes, and the lessons learned from them, as sacrilege, but are comfortable maligning the country and its leaders as being mired in weakness and decline. And Cheney doesn’t mince words either. The man who openly lied in order to wage a phony war in Iraq that cost the lives of thousands of Americans, and hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis, is now calling Obama’s foreign policy “stupid” and “unwise.”

Cheney went on to criticize Obama for pulling out of Afghanistan with the peculiar charge that “he hates to use military power.” Is that supposed to be in contrast to Cheney’s infatuation with it? Clearly, he believes that the United States should remain eternally deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq, and any other country he feels like dominating. And he seems to have no perspective over time of the consequences of his war mongering. In fact, the lessons he believes we should have learned from pre-war Afghanistan are sharply removed from historical reality.

“Remember there was a time back in the eighties when the United States was supporting the Afghan Mujaheddin against the Soviets. We had help from others doing that. We ultimately succeeded and then everybody turned around and walked away from Afghanistan. And, of course, then they had a civil war, the Taliban came to power. Ultimately Osama Bin Laden found safe haven there.”

Is it possible that Dick Cheney is so irredeemably delusional that he’s forgotten that Osama Bin Laden was the Mujaheddin leader that the U.S. was supporting in the fight against the Soviets? Bin Laden didn’t just find safe haven in Afghanistan, as if he stumbled over it. He was instrumental in toppling the previous government and installing a friendly new regime (the Taliban), with aid from the Reagan administration. But perhaps the most stupifyingly brain-dead remark in the whole bitch session with Hannity, was Cheney’s assessment of Obama’s grasp of history:

“It’s as though he wasn’t even around when 9/11 happened.”

Seriously? This is coming from the de facto head of an administration that, both literally and figuratively, was not around when 9/11 happened. They ignored an intelligence report with the actual headline “Bin Laden Determined to Strike In U.S.” This arrived a month before 9/11, while President Bush was on a month-long vacation at his ranch in Crawford, Texas. Then, while allowing Bin Laden and other Taliban leaders to escape, they started another war in Iraq that had nothing to do with 9/11.

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Finally, it is also important to note that the president that Cheney regards as the weakest in his lifetime is the one who had to clean up the failures of the Bush/Cheney administration. That included disposing of Bin Laden (and dozens of other Al Qaeda operatives), who evaded Cheney’s reach for eight long years. And now that Obama is committed to ending the wars that Cheney and Bush started without having an exit plan, he is being criticized by Cheney as weak? That’s a little like setting your house on fire and then shouting epithets at the firefighters who show up to put it out.

Fox News Launches The Swift-Boating Of President Obama

The 2004 presidential election pitting George W. Bush against Sen. John Kerry was tarnished by one of the most virulently dishonest attacks in modern politics. Sensing a real threat due to Kerry’s patriotic service during the Vietnam War, the Bush campaign, led by Karl Rove, concluded that Kerry’s military resume had to be buried beneath a mountain of mud and lies.

Thus was born the Swift-Boat Veterans for Truth, an organization comprised of partisan liars who had little to no knowledge of Kerry’s service, but who were recruited to slander him in the media. Their allegations were revealed to be unsupported by facts and the term Swift=Boating entered the American lexicon to describe false political attacks, particularly those aimed at the target’s personal strengths.

Now Fox News has proudly announced the commencement of a Swift-Boat campaign against President Obama. The organization set up to carry out the assault is described as “A group of former U.S. intelligence and Special Forces operatives,” but in reality is a partisan assembly of Republicans and professional Obama haters. The Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund (SOOEF) plans to produce and distribute videos and advertisements that will criticize Obama for “taking credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden.” This is an archetypical implementation of Swift-Boating whose purpose is to spread lies about a key achievement of Obama’s leadership as Commander-in-Chief.

The assertions by the SOOEF that Obama has improperly heralded himself for the demise of Bin Laden are demonstrably false. Their video features gross misrepresentations of Obama’s statements on the subject that loop portions of his speech referencing himself, but leaves out his abundant praise for the military and intelligence operatives who carried out the mission. The opening line of the President’s address to the nation announcing that Bin Laden was dead explicitly and unselfishly stated that “the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden.” He went on to thank “the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who’ve worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome,” and he praised “the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country.”

None of that was in the SOOEF video which sought to portray the President as self-obsessed by cutting together snippets of his speech where he used the words “I” and “my.” However, a quick analysis of the speech shows that he only used those words ten times. By comparison he used the words “we,” “our,” and “us” ninety-one times. That shows just how determined the video’s producers were to mischaracterize the actual events.

The SOOEF is a brazenly dishonest election year effort to smear the President and to prevent him from getting the credit he is due for his role in bringing Bin Laden to justice. And it does not diminish the courage and skill of the Special Forces who stormed Bin Laden’s compound to note that the President was a unique participant in the operation. He had to personally take responsibility for approving the the plan, the timing, the coordination with allies, etc. If the operation had failed Republicans would have been merciless in their condemnation of the incompetency of the White House. Just ask Jimmy Carter about that. Consequently, it is hypocritical and ungrateful not to recognize the efficiency, and leadership that contributed to this success.

What’s especially disturbing about this propaganda exercise is that Fox News is openly participating in it. What’s more, they are even calling it by its name: Swift-Boating.

Fox Nation Swift-Boating

Either they have completely given up on trying to pretend that they are a “fair and balanced” news enterprise (which no one believes anyway), or they don’t know what Swift-Boating means. But by stating in their headline that “Navy SEALS Start ‘Swift-Boating’ Obama,” they are admitting that they are committing political character assassination. Granted, Fox News does that every day, but they rarely come out and say that’s what they’re doing. Apparently, they have grown so at ease with their mission of slandering Democrats and disinforming their viewers that they no longer feel any need to disguise their intentions.

Update: As a sign of their desperation, Fox Nation is plastering their page with postings that further demean the President and make wildly false claims. One headline reads “Navy SEALS Respond After Media Matters Calls Them ‘Gutless’.” However, Media matters did not call the Navy SEALs gutless. They said that the former SEALs-turned-politicos didn’t have the guts to admit that they are a partisan organization. That’s simply a fact. What’s more, Navy SEALs did not respond, only the same aforementioned Republican operatives. No actual SEALs have had any comment on this matter, including any comments supporting the SOOEF.

The other headline reads “OBAMA CAMPAIGN ATTACKS NAVY SEALS.” That is absurd on its face. The Obama campaign only reacted to the lies in the propaganda distributed by the Republican group that is attacking the President. Again, no actual SEALs are a part of the SOOEF campaign and none were attacked by the President.

These two examples of dishonest distortions of reality illustrate just how worried the right is about this election. There is nothing they won’t lie about to smear their opponents.

The Swiftboating Of Obama Begins

In 2004 the campaign for president was tarnished by a band buttheads who thought that it would be appropriate to smear the military record of a decorated veteran who risked his life in Vietnam (John Kerry), in order to support a frat boy who evaded combat by leaning on the connections of his famous family (George W. Bush).

The Swiftboat Veterans for Truth launched a well-financed campaign of distortions and lies in order to prevent Kerry from gaining any popular support for his service to the country. And now a similar campaign has begun by a shadowy group called “Veterans for a Strong America” to deny President Obama any credit for his role in finding and killing Osama Bin Laden.

This video is brazenly dishonest in its portrayal of Obama as negligent in praising the efforts of all of those who had a role in Bin Laden’s demise. Obama has repeatedly and effusively honored everyone from foot soldiers to intelligence operatives to diplomats to civilians to the Navy SEALs, etc. There is abundant evidence of that praise had the liars responsible for this video cared to review it. Instead they chose slap together some deliberately deceitful soundbites of the President speaking in the first person.

As usual, it took the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart to set the record straight. He not only shames the producers of the video above by demonstrating how easy it is to be honest, he also makes the undeniable point that any politician would seek and expect some credit for having orchestrated this sort of dangerous mission and seeing it through to success.

Part One:

Part Two:

Republicans would like to steal every speck of gratitude that the President deserves for having been in charge of this operation. They seem to think that the SEALS planned, executed, and gave themselves the order to proceed without any intervention from the Commander-in-Chief. They also seem to believe that the order was a foregone conclusion that anyone would have made in similar circumstances. However, we know that that is untrue because Mitt Romney said specifically that he would not have chased Bin Laden into Pakistan and he criticized Obama for proposing it.

In 2004 there were, unfortunately, way too many gullible people who fell for the fallacies of the Swiftboat Liars. Hopefully that will not be the case today. President Obama was not solely responsible for determining Bin Laden’s fate. He knows that and says so frequently. But he did play an important role and is entitled to list it on his resume.

Time Magazine: #Occupy Wall Street #1 Story Of 2011

The editors of Time Magazine have selected the Occupy Wall Street movement as the top news story of 2011. This was a year that featured a contentious primary race for the Republican nomination for president, a bitter congressional battle over the debt ceiling, and a trial of staggering importance to the nation that found Michael Jackson’s doctor guilty of manslaughter.

Nevertheless, Time managed to make the right choice. The Occupy movement is an unprecedented expression of the First Amendment rights of free speech and the redressing of grievances. This country has never before seen a protest that planted itself in a public square and remained there long after most other rallies would have dissipated and gone home. And this phenomenon replicated itself in hundreds of cities across the nation.

As a result, the public debate over policy and governance flipped 180 degrees from the phony discourse over debt and the size of government, to the far more relevant subject of economic fairness and the abuse of power by the wealthy, the well-connected, and the giant multinational corporations who have no allegiance to America or its citizenry. It shoved the AstroTurf Tea Party out of the headlines and caused the Republican establishment to admit that they are “frightened to death” of Occupy and the 99%.

While Time got the top spot right, there were a couple of glaring omissions in the remainder of their top 10. Somehow they left out the killing of Osama Bin Laden which, after a decade of consuming a major portion of the national consciousness, ought to have earned a spot on this list. It is likewise curious that the News Corp phone hacking scandal was overlooked. That affair resulted in the closure of Britain’s largest circulation newsweekly, 17 arrests (and counting), numerous resignations of top management, Parliamentary hearings that compelled the appearance of Rupert Murdoch and his son James. This was not only a huge news story, it was the biggest news story about the news in decades.

These omissions might have been excusable if the crush of major events simply pushed the stories further down the list. But Time saw fit to include the “Penn State Sex Abuse Scandal,” and “Freak Weather” in the list. Do they really believe that those stories rank higher than the downfalls of the world’s top terrorist and top media propagandist?

[I’ll leave it you to decide which is which]
Rupert MurdochOsama Bin Laden

Jonah Goldberg: In A Hurry To Prove He’s An Idiot

Conservative douchebags have been outdoing themselves since President Obama successfully executed the mission that put an end to Osama Bin Laden. They have speculated as to whether Bin Laden is really dead. They have griped over whether Bin Laden’s death photo should be released. They have struggled mightily to deny Obama any credit for the mission, while slathering admiration on George W. Bush and his phalanx of ineffectual torturers.

That they are jealous and cowed is unmistakable. Yet somehow there is always one miscreant that manages to stretch the boundaries of the lunatic fringe. Today it is Jonah Goldberg.

In an article published by the Los Angeles Times (to their eternal shame), Goldberg boldly accuses Obama of having made a tactical error by rushing to announce that Bin Laden was dead. The headline blared: “Why the hurry to gloat about Bin Laden?” And early in the piece Goldberg makes an obvious confession:

I’m no expert on such matters – though I’ve talked to several about this – but even a casual World War II buff can understand that the shelf life of actionable intelligence would be extended if we hadn’t told the whole world, and Al Qaeda in particular, that we had it.

Goldberg’s thesis is that the President should have waited a week or two to give the military and intelligence communities more time to exploit that information before Bin Laden’s associates knew what had happened.

What a dolt! First of all let’s set aside the obvious. If Obama had delayed the Bin Laden announcement every winger to the right of Reagan’s ghost would have been furious that he withheld such vital information from the American people. Goldberg would have been amongst the first to complain that Obama was running a clandestine regime that ruled by keeping people in the dark and lying about its actions.

More substantively, Goldberg seems to think that the Bin Laden mission was conducted quietly with stealthy commandos tiptoeing into the compound, smothering him with a pillow, and sneaking out again. Of course, that isn’t exactly how it went down. Multiple helicopters roared into the urban neighborhood (one of them crashed and was blown up), the Navy SEALS barged into the compound with guns blazing, and after a tumultuous racket Bin Laden was disposed of and the team departed on their helicopter caravan. And all of this happened in the middle of a densely populated city.

Does Goldberg think that this sort of mission could have been covered up? Does he think that all of the neighbors, many of whom were Pakistani military, slept though the conflagration? Does think that the Pakistanis, whom most people believe knew of Bin Laden’s residence, would have scratched their heads and wondered what all the commotion was about? Is he so stupid that he is unaware that Bin Laden’s associates nearby were probably already warning one another before the choppers had crossed back into Afghanistan?

Let’s face it…ten minutes didn’t go by after the the raid before everyone in the vicinity knew exactly what had happened and to whom. The only reason Goldberg raises this complaint is to try to use it to bash the President. His theory makes no sense whatsoever, so it’s only purpose is for it to be a hit piece.

Unfortunately for Goldberg, he swings and misses and just makes an imbecile of himself. Fortunately for Goldberg, he must be used to that by now.

Judge Dreadful: Andrew Napolitano Mourns Osama Bin Laden

It looks like Fox News may be able to call off their search for Glenn Beck’s replacement. If drooling delirium and glassy-eyed insanity is the criteria, then Judge Andrew Napolitano has the role sewn up. Today he opened his program on Fox Business Network, Freedom Watch, saying…

“Osama Bin Laden assassinated, killed on the illegal whim of the President.”

That’s right. Osama Bin Laden, a brutal commander of terrorists responsible for thousands of deaths, is finally found and dispatched, and Napolitano says that President Obama is the criminal. The only thing Napolitano needs to seal the deal is a blackboard tying George Soros and Van Jones into the operation as well. Napolitano continued…

“Tonight on the docket Osama Bin Laden is dead and the President thinks he has a right to kill whomever he wants so long as the person is a monster and the people support it. Of course the attacks on 9/11 were a horrific tragedy, but killing Osama Bin Laden is a symbol of all we’ve lost in this pointless war on terror and we can’t forget that.”

Whomever he wants? Napolitano thinks that the President’s decision to target the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, who has been the subject of an international manhunt for ten years, is the same as a decision to kill anyone else with whom the President may have a beef. In Napolitano’s eyes there is nothing special about Bin Laden. Napolitano also believes that killing Bin Laden is “a symbol of all we’ve lost.” What would allowing Bin Laden to live and continue to murder innocent people be a symbol of, Judge? And why are you taking Bin Laden’s side in this against your President?

During the program Napolitano correctly criticized the Patriot Act, but conflated that unfortunate infringement of civil liberties with the mission to capture or kill Bin Laden. Despite the fact that the Bush administration exploited 9/11 to pass the bill, it never had anything to do with protecting Americans from terrorism. It was a cynical power grab on the part of Bush and a majority Republican congress (although way too many Democrats voted for it as well). For Napolitano to bring it up in the debate over whether Bin Laden should have been killed makes about as much sense as Beck’s theory that Muslims and teachers unions are conspiring to bring Sharia law to Wisconsin.

This must be Napolitano’s audition reel for Beck’s hour on Fox. And with delusional, fear-mongering material like this he could easily slip into the time slot without any of Beck’s addled fans noticing any difference.

Bill O’Reilly Gives Platform To Bin Laden Supporting Crackpot

Last night’s episode of the O’Reilly Factor featured a debate between Bill O’Reilly and Michael Scheuer, a former CIA agent whom O’Reilly described as knowing more about Osama Bin Laden than anyone the planet. Scheuer took the position that celebrities like George Clooney and Angelina Jolie are helping Bin Laden by bringing attention to the travesties being committed in the Sudan.

Scheuer never really explained how either celebrity involvement, or that of the United States, actually aided Bin Laden. In fact, his argument mostly pointed out that the actions on behalf of the persecuted Christians in the region would only annoy and frustrate Bin Laden. Perhaps Scheuer believes that antagonizing Bin Laden is helpful to him in some way.

Further more, Scheuer had a tough time staying on the subject. He repeatedly conflated celebrity efforts to publicize the atrocities and human suffering with official U.S. government activities, even going so far as to imply that if the Hollywood stars had any success in efforts to establish a safe haven for refugees in a new southern nation, that the U.S. would be obligated to defend it from Islamic adversaries. I’m pretty sure the State Department doesn’t have any treaty obligations with the Screen Actor’s Guild.

Scheuer also inexplicably diverted the discussion to abortion when asked by O’Reilly about whether the world should “stand on the sidelines when hundreds of thousands of people are murdered and raped?” Scheuer’s response:

“We absolutely stand on the sidelines, Bill. We live in a country where 50 million unborn Americans have been killed since 1973 with the support of Mr. Clooney and the rest of the Hollywood community and somehow we’re supposed to now risk our becoming involved in a place in the world where most Americans are not even familiar with the geography, including me.”

By raising abortion in this context, Scheuer reveals himself to be just another twisted right-wing extremist, obsessed with a psycho-biblical agenda. What does abortion have to do with the near genocidal civil war taking place in Sudan? And Scheuer’s phony compassion for the unborn is exposed by his stance that it is acceptable to stand on the sidelines when already born people are being slaughtered because of their religion. And, finally, if Scheuer’s criteria for involvement in foreign affairs is that the American people be “familiar with the geography” then how could he have been such an ardent backer of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where many more tens of thousands of people died despite the general lack of geographical knowledge on the part of U.S. citizens?

For the record, Scheuer himself expressed a sort of perverse support for Bin Laden when he appeared on Glenn Beck’s program and said that…

“…the only chance we have as a country right now is for Osama bin Laden to deploy and detonate a major weapon in the United States. […] Again, only Osama can execute an attack which will force Americans to demand that their government protect them effectively, consistently, and with as much violence as necessary.”

Scheuer was openly rooting for another terrorist attack as a means to motivating Americans to protest terrorist attacks. Glenn Beck, by the way, concurred with that strategy. For his part, O’Reilly disagreed with Scheuer’s disjointed lunacy with respect to the celebrity involvement. But it is still difficult to give O’Reilly any credit for moderating the discussion because it’s O’Reilly’s fault that this jerkwad was on the air to begin with.

What’s more, O’Reilly was overtly hypocritical in his tepid support for Clooney and Jolie when he so frequently takes positions against artists expressing their views in public. He is a major proponent of the “Shut and Sing” idiocy that asserts that artists should be prohibited from contributing to a civic dialog in which all other citizens are permitted to engage. And specifically with regard to these two stars, O’Reilly has falsely accused Clooney of diverting funds from charity telethons away from the intended recipients, and he baselessly alleged that Jolie, in her role as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador, coordinated her trips to coincide with her movie openings.

Scheuer’s notion that Clooney et al were in any way supporting Bin Laden or Al Qaeda is 180 degrees backwards. It is Scheuer’s position that would most benefit Bin Laden by permitting the Islamic terrorists in Sudan to commit atrocities with impunity. Scheuer is actually arguing that Bin Laden’s allies in the region should be given a free hand to torture and murder innocent people in a quest to dominate a country that Bin Laden has used to launch his terror campaigns.

Why Fox News continues to give this demented sociopath a platform for his treasonous views is beyond comprehension. His extremism is so far removed from decency (or reality) that the only foreseeable result of helping to promote him is to incite additional lunacy from the already ill-informed and gullible Fox audience. O’Reilly’s disagreement notwithstanding, he also praised Scheuer and validated him as an expert whose opinion is worthy of consideration. In effect, O’Reilly gave permission to his viewers to adopt Scheuer’s dangerous ideas, and in that manner they are both helping Bin Laden.