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.
But if anyone is helping Bin Laden, it is Scheuer himself, and his host Bill O'Reilly.
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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.