MSNBC's Olbermann Over the Edge? He Tags Bush 'Liar,' Calls for Impeachment Again

On Tuesday's "Countdown," MSNBC host Keith Olbermann delivered his latest "Special Comment" rant against President Bush, branding him a "liar" because the President raised the possibility of withdrawing some American troops during his speech in Iraq, after the President had also spoken, in Robert Draper's new book, "Dead Certain," of "sustaining a presence" in Iraq. Olbermann assumed Bush's two statements -- about withdrawing some troops and "sustaining a presence" -- could not be consistent, thus contending Bush had revealed an "evil secret." Olbermann: "A man with any self respect, having inadvertently revealed such an evil secret, would have already resigned and fled the country! You have no remaining credibility about Iraq, sir!" (Transcript follows)

Olbermann took exception with Bush's declaration that troop levels would be based on "a calm assessment by our military commanders" and not "a nervous reaction by Washington politicians to poll results in the media," as the Countdown host labeled the President's words as a "depraved indifference to democracy." Olbermann: "That, perhaps, was the most perfectly-crafted phrase of his presidency. For depraved indifference to democracy, for the craven projection of political motives onto those trying to save lives and save a nation, for a dismissal of the value of the polls and the importance of the media, for a summary of all he does not hold dear about this nation or its people, nothing could top that."

The MSNBC host opened his rant referring to the President's "startling admission of the true motive for this war," and labeled a Bush quote from Draper's book as "horrifying." Olbermann: "He presumably did not know that there had already appeared those damning excerpts from Robert Draper's book 'Dead Certain:' 'I'm playing for October-November,' Mr. Bush said to Draper. That, evidently, is the time during which he thinks he can sell us the real plan, which is, to quote him, ‘to get us in a position where the presidential candidates will become comfortable about sustaining a presence.'"

The "Countdown" host called for the President's impeachment again: "Mr. Bush, our presence in Iraq must end, even if it means your resignation, even if it means your impeachment, even if it means a different Republican to serve out your term, even if it means a Democratic Congress and those true patriots among the Republicans standing up and denying you another penny for Iraq, other than for the safety and safe conduct home of our troops. This country cannot run the risk of what you can still do to this country in the next 500 days. Not while you, sir, are playing."

Olbermann also exhibited an overreaction to Bush's use of the word "play" as he cited Bush's quote from Draper's book that he was "playing for October-November." Olbermann: "And there it is, sir. We've caught you. Your goal is not to bring some troops home, maybe, if we let you have your way now. Your goal is not to set the stage for eventual withdrawal. You are, to use your own disrespectful, tone-deaf word, 'playing' at getting the next Republican nominee to agree to jump into this bottomless pit with you, and take us into it with him, as we stay in Iraq for another year, and another, and another, and anon. Everything you said about Iraq yesterday, and everything you will say, is a deception, for the purpose of this one cynical, unacceptable, brutal goal: perpetuating this war indefinitely. War today, war tomorrow, war forever! And you are playing at it! Playing!"

Below is a complete transcript of Olbermann's "Special Comment" from the end of the Tuesday, September 4 "Countdown" show on MSNBC:

KEITH OLBERMANN: Finally tonight, a "Special Comment" about Mr. Bush's trip and his startling admission of the true motive for this war, which was revealed during his absence. And so he is back from his annual surprise gratuitous photo-op in Iraq, and what a sorry spectacle it was. But it was nothing compared to the spectacle of one unfiltered, unguarded, horrifying quotation in the new biography to which Mr. Bush has consented.

As he deceived the troops at Al-Asad Air Force Base yesterday with the tantalizing prospect that some of them might not have to risk being killed and might get instead to go home, Mr. Bush probably did not know that, with his own words, he had already been proved to be a liar, that he had been lying, is lying, will be lying about Iraq.

He presumably did not know that there had already appeared those damning excerpts from Robert Draper's book "Dead Certain."

"I'm playing for October-November," Mr. Bush said to Draper. That, evidently, is the time during which he thinks he can sell us the real plan, which is, to quote him, "to get us in a position where the presidential candidates will become comfortable about sustaining a presence."

Comfortable, that is, with saying about Iraq, again quoting the President, "stay longer."

And there it is, sir. We've caught you. Your goal is not to bring some troops home, maybe, if we let you have your way now. Your goal is not to set the stage for eventual withdrawal. You are, to use your own disrespectful, tone-deaf word, "playing" at getting the next Republican nominee to agree to jump into this bottomless pit with you, and take us into it with him, as we stay in Iraq for another year, and another, and another, and anon.

Everything you said about Iraq yesterday, and everything you will say, is a deception, for the purpose of this one cynical, unacceptable, brutal goal: perpetuating this war indefinitely.

War today, war tomorrow, war forever!

And you are playing at it! Playing!

A man with any self respect, having inadvertently revealed such an evil secret, would have already resigned and fled the country! You have no remaining credibility about Iraq, sir!

And yet, yesterday at Al-Asad, Mr. Bush kept playing, and this time, using the second of his two faces.

The President told reporters, quote, "They (General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker) tell me if the kind of success we are now seeing continues, it will be possible to maintain the same level of security with fewer American forces."

And so, Mr. Bush got his fraudulent headlines today: "Bush May Bring Some Troops Home."

While the reality is, we know from what he told Draper, that the President's true hope is that they will not come home; but that they will stay there because he is keeping them there now in hope that those from his political party fighting to succeed him will prolong this unendurable disaster into the next decade.

But, to a country dying of thirst, the President seemed to vaguely promise a drink from a full canteen, a promise predicated on the assumption that he is not lying.

Yet you are lying, Mr. Bush. Again. But now, we know why.

You gave away more of yourself than you knew in that Draper book. And you gave away still more on the arduous trip back out of Iraq hours in the air, without so much as a single vacation.

"If you look at my comments over the past eight months," you told reporters, "it's gone from a security situation in the sense that we're either going to get out and there will be chaos, or, more troops. Now, the situation has changed, where I am able to speculate on the hypothetical."

Mr. Bush, the only "hypothetical" here is that you are not now holding our troops hostage. You have no intention of withdrawing them. But that doesn't mean you can't pretend you're thinking about it, does it?

That is your genius, sir. As you see it, anyway. You can deduce what we want. We, the people, remember us? And then use it against us.

You could hold that canteen up and promise it to the parched nation. And the untold number of Americans whose lives have not been directly blighted by Iraq or who do not realize that their safety has been reduced and not increased by Iraq, they will get the bullet points: "Bush is thinking about bringing some troops home. Bush even went to Iraq."

You can fool some of the people all of the time, can't you, Mr. Bush? You are playing us!

And as for the most immediate victims of the President's perfidy and shameless manipulation, those troops -- yesterday sweating literally as he spoke at Al-Asad Air Base -- tonight, again sweating figuratively in the Valley Of The Shadow Of Death, the President saved, for them, the most egregious "playing" of the entire trip.

"I want to tell you this about my decision, about my decision about troop levels. Those decisions will be based on a calm assessment by our military commanders on the conditions on the ground, not a nervous reaction by Washington politicians to poll results in the media."

One must compliment Mr. Bush's writer. That, perhaps, was the most perfectly-crafted phrase of his presidency. For depraved indifference to democracy, for the craven projection of political motives onto those trying to save lives and save a nation, for a dismissal of the value of the polls and the importance of the media, for a summary of all he does not hold dear about this nation or its people, nothing could top that.

As if, sir, you listened to all the "calm assessments" of our military commanders rather than firing the ones who dared say the emperor has no clothes, and the President no judgment.

As if, sir, your entire presidency was not a "nervous reaction," and you yourself nothing but a Washington politician.

As if, sir, the media does not largely divide into those parts your minions are playing, and those others who unthinkingly and uncritically serve as your echo chamber, at a time when the nation's future may depend on the airing of dissent.

And as if, sir, those polls were not so overwhelming, and not so clearly reflective of the nation's agony and the nation's insistence.

But this President has ceased to listen. This President has decided that night is day, and death is life, and enraging the world against us is safety. And this laziest of presidents actually interrupted his precious time off to fly to Iraq to play at a photo opportunity with soldiers, some of whom will on his orders be killed before the year, maybe before the month is out.

Just over 500 days remain in this presidency. Consider the dead who have piled up on the battlefield in these last 500 days.

Consider the singular fraudulence of this President's trip to Iraq yesterday, and the singular fraudulence of the selling of the Petraeus report in these last 500 days.

Consider how this President has torn away at the fabric of this nation in a manner of which terrorists can only dream in these last 500 days.

And consider again how this President has spoken to that biographer, that he is "playing for October-November," that the goal in Iraq is "to get us in a position where the presidential candidates will be comfortable about sustaining a presence." And consider how this revelation contradicts every other rationale he has offered in these last 500 days.

In the context of all that, now consider these next 500 days.

Mr. Bush, our presence in Iraq must end, even if it means your resignation, even if it means your impeachment, even if it means a different Republican to serve out your term, even if it means a Democratic Congress and those true patriots among the Republicans standing up and denying you another penny for Iraq, other than for the safety and safe conduct home of our troops.

This country cannot run the risk of what you can still do to this country in the next 500 days.

Not while you, sir, are playing.

Good night and good luck.