Olbermann Calls Dick Cheney 'As Insane As Any Terrorist'

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann has said a lot of disgraceful things in his tenure as "Countdown" host, but on Thursday evening, he attacked former Vice President Dick Cheney in a fashion that should make all of America's enemies both here and abroad proud.

To give you an idea of the level of hatred and invective on display, this was the opening sentence of Olbermann's "Special Comment" concerning Cheney's speech to the American Enterprise Institute Thursday:

Neurotic, paranoid, false to fact and false to reason, forever self-rationalizing his inner rage at his own impotence, and failure dripping from every word, and as irrational, as separated from the real world, as dishonest, as insane as any terrorist; the former vice president has today humiliated himself beyond redemption.

But that was just the beginning, for moments later, Olbermann said Cheney was "culpable, morally, ethically" for 9/11:  "At best, you are guilty of malfeasance and eternally lasting stupidity. At worst, sir, in the deaths of 9/11, you are negligent."

What follows is a video of this abomination along with a full transcript, some lowlights, and videos of Cheney's actual speech:

  • The delusional claims he has made this day could be proved by documentation and firsthand testimony to be the literal and absolute truth, and he still, himself, would be wrong because the America he sought to impose upon the world and upon its own citizens, the dark, hateful place of Dick Cheney`s own soul, the place he to this hour defends, and to this day prefers, is a repudiation of all that our ancestors, all that for which our brave troops of two years ago and two minutes ago, have sacrificed and fought.
  • I do have to congratulate you, sir. No man, living or dead, could have passed the buck more often that than you did in 35 minutes this morning. It`s not your fault that we water boarded people, you said. It isn`t torture, you said, even though it is, based on 111 years of American military prosecutions.
  • Gee, thanks for being motivated by the deaths of nearly 3,000 Americans to go so far as to take a serious second look. And thank you, sir, for admitting, obviously inadvertently, that you did not take a serious first look in the seven months and 23 days between your inauguration and 9/11. For that attack, sir, you are culpable, morally, ethically. At best, you are guilty of malfeasance and eternally lasting stupidity. At worst, sir, in the deaths of 9/11, you are negligent.
  • You saved no one, sir. If the classified documents you seek released really did detail plots other than those manufactured by drowning men in order to get it to stop, or if they truly did know plans beyond the laughable ones you and President Bush have already revealed, hijackers without passports, targeting a building whose name Mr. Bush could not remember, clowns who thought they could destroy airports by dropping matches in fuel pipelines 30 miles away, men who planned to attack a military base dressed as pizza delivery boys, forgetting that every man there was armed, and today, the four would-be synagogue bombers, one of whom turns out to keep bottles of urine in his apartment, and is on schizophrenia medicine.
  • You saved no one, Mr. Cheney. All you did was help kill Americans. You were negligent before 9/11. Your response to your complicity by omission on 9/11 was panic and shame and insanity, and lying this country into a war that did nothing but kill 4,299 more of us. We will take no further instructions from you, sir. And let me again quote Oliver Cromwell to you, Mr. Cheney. "You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of god, go."

Here's what Cheney said on Thursday:

Here's the full transcript of Olbermann's disgusting rant:

Finally tonight, as promised, a special comment about Mr. Cheney`s speech. Neurotic, paranoid, false to fact and false to reason, forever self-rationalizing his inner rage at his own impotence, and failure dripping from every word, and as irrational, as separated from the real world, as dishonest, as insane as any terrorist; the former vice president has today humiliated himself beyond redemption.

The delusional claims he has made this day could be proved by documentation and firsthand testimony to be the literal and absolute truth, and he still, himself, would be wrong because the America he sought to impose upon the world and upon its own citizens, the dark, hateful place of Dick Cheney`s own soul, the place he to this hour defends, and to this day prefers, is a repudiation of all that our ancestors, all that for which our brave troops of two years ago and two minutes ago, have sacrificed and fought.

I do have to congratulate you, sir. No man, living or dead, could have passed the buck more often that than you did in 35 minutes this morning. It`s not your fault that we water boarded people, you said. It isn`t torture, you said, even though it is, based on 111 years of American military prosecutions.

It was in the Constitution that you could do it, even if our laws told you you could not. It was in the language of the 2001 Military Authorization you force-fed the Congress that you could do it. Even if our international treaties told you you could not.

It produced valuable information, you said. Even though the first hand witnesses, the interrogators of these beasts, they said the information preceded the torture and ended when it began.

It was authorized, you said, by careful legal opinion, even though the legal opinions were dictated by and you your cronies. And, oh, by the way, the torture began before the legal opinions were even written.

It was authorized, you said. And you imply that even if it really wasn`t, it was done only to detainees of the highest intelligence value. It was more necessary, you said, because of the revelation of another program by the real villains of our time: the "New York Times." Even though that revelation was possible because the program was detailed on the front page of the website of a Defense Department subcontractor.

It was all the fault of your predecessor, you said, who tried to treat terror as a law enforcement problem before you came to the office and rode to the rescue, after you totally ignored terrorism for the first 20 percent of your first term and the worst attack on this nation in its history unfolded on your watch.

"9/11 caused everyone to take a serious second look at threats that had been gathering for a while," you said today, "and enemies whose plans were getting bolder and more sophisticated."

Gee, thanks for being motivated by the deaths of nearly 3,000 Americans to go so far as to take a serious second look. And thank you, sir, for admitting, obviously inadvertently, that you did not take a serious first look in the seven months and 23 days between your inauguration and 9/11.

For that attack, sir, you are culpable, morally, ethically. At best, you are guilty of malfeasance and eternally lasting stupidity. At worst, sir, in the deaths of 9/11, you are negligent.

The circular logic and the self-righteous sophistry falls from a copy of Mr. Cheney`s speech like bugs from a book on a moldy shelf. He still believes in "dictators like Saddam Hussein with ties to Middle East terrorists." He still assumes everyone we capture is guilty without charge or trial, but that to prosecute law breaking by government officials is, quote, "to have an incoming administration criminalize the policy decisions of its predecessors."

And most sleazy of all, while calling the CIA`s torturers honorable, he insists the grunts at Abu Ghraib were "a sadistic prison guards who abused inmates in violation of law, military regulations and simple decency." Even though, and maybe he does not know we know though this -- even though there is documentary proof now that those guards were acting on the orders originating in the office of Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld.

It is, in short, madness. Madness, sir, Mr. Cheney, your speech was almost entirely about you. There are only five or six other people even mentioned. And only two quoted at any length. And why would you have quoted, as you did, the man who said this, "I know that this program saved lives. I know we`ve disrupted plots. I know this program alone is worth more than the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency put together have been able to tell us."

As you know, sir, you were quoting former CIA Director George Tenet. That would be the George Tenet who told Congress on February 11th, 2003, quote, "Iraq is harboring senior members of a terrorist network led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a close associate of al Qaeda."

Mr. Tenet, sir, then went into elaborate detail about the Iraq/al Qaeda connection. None of it was true. This is your source, as he was your boss`s source. "George, how confident are you," President Bush asked Tenet about Saddam Hussein`s weapons of mass destruction, just before the Iraq war, according to Bob Woodward`s book "Plan of Attack."

"Don`t worry," Tenet answers. "It`s a slam dunk."

That is your independent authority on how well torture worked. Next time you see him, Mr. Cheney, you might as well ask Mr. Tenet if he thinks he is Napoleon. I don`t want to know who you think you are.

"Those are the basic facts on enhanced interrogations," you concluded. "And to call this a program of torture is to libel the dedicated professionals who saved American lives, and to cast terrorists and murderers as innocent victims."

You saved no one, sir. If the classified documents you seek released really did detail plots other than those manufactured by drowning men in order to get it to stop, or if they truly did know plans beyond the laughable ones you and President Bush have already revealed, hijackers without passports, targeting a building whose name Mr. Bush could not remember, clowns who thought they could destroy airports by dropping matches in fuel pipelines 30 miles away, men who planned to attack a military base dressed as pizza delivery boys, forgetting that every man there was armed, and today, the four would-be synagogue bombers, one of whom turns out to keep bottles of urine in his apartment, and is on schizophrenia medicine.

If those documents contain anything of value, you would have leaked those already, as you leaked those revenge fantasies of the Library Tower and the JFK Bomber and the Ft. Dix Six.

"When they," terrorists, "see the American government caught up in arguments about interrogations, or whether foreign terrorists have Constitutional rights, they don`t stand back in awe of our legal system and wonder whether they had misjudged us all along," you said. "Instead, the terrorists see just what they were hoping for, our unity gone, our resolve shaken, our leaders distracted. In short, they see weakness and opportunity."

The weakness the terrorists see, sir, is the weakness of blind rage replacing essential cold logic. The weakness the terrorists see, sir, is the weakness of judgment suspended in favor of self-fulfilling prophecy. The weakness the terrorists see, sir, is the weakness of moral force supplanted by violence and revenge fantasies.

The weakness the terrorists see, sir, is the weakness of Dick Cheney. And yet still, ceaselessly, indefatigably, you moralize and lie to us.

"I might add," someone said today, "that people who consistently distort the truth in this way are in no position to lecture anyone about values." Very apt. The quote, of course, is from your speech. Your speech which was at essence about your fantasy that you and Mr. Bush were not negligent. Not your pig-headed certainty, but first these attacks were impossible; then they were a good excuse for a war you already planned in Iraq; and finally that they were to be imminently repeated and only you knew when the next threat would come.

You saved no one, Mr. Cheney. All you did was help kill Americans. You were negligent before 9/11. Your response to your complicity by omission on 9/11 was panic and shame and insanity, and lying this country into a war that did nothing but kill 4,299 more of us.

We will take no further instructions from you, sir. And let me again quote Oliver Cromwell to you, Mr. Cheney. "You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of god, go."

That`s COUNTDOWN for this, the 2,212th day since the previous president declared mission accomplished in Iraq. I`m Keith Olbermann, good night and good luck.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.