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Keith begins...

My friend Michael Moore told CNN, quote, “We’ve lost something of our soul here in this country. Maybe I’m just an old-school American who believes in our judicial system. We’re better than them, we don’t just operate in an uncivilized way the way they did on 9/11.”

Keith does not agree but he is alarmed at the uproar that Michael's comments have created in the media.  Keith makes the case that respecting the right to a divergent opinion is essential to the health of our democracy.
Demonizing of the questioner is what got us into Iraq.  

When we are afraid to question official stories, we have entered into  a lockstep mentality that allows distortions to drive critical policy decisions.

I want Michael Moore to question everything. I want him even to repeat the ten tweets he had in the aftermath of the killing of Bin Laden, in which he picked up on his theme from three years ago, when he told Larry King that the story that Bin Laden was living in caves, moving from one to the other, was palpable nonsense, that the only millionaire who willingly lived in a cave was Batman, and he only went there to change costumes.

Michael and those like him who will raise moral questions in a moment of patriotic nationalism are brave.  They serve a function, like the canary in the coal mine.  When the canary stops singing, there is danger in the air.

Michael Moore is damned good at questioning official stories and should be encouraged to do so, even at the risk of offending some liberals of uncertain provenance. Because I’d rather have one question too many than one too few and because while the Official Story is always “official” it is not always more than just ”a story.”

Edward R. Murrow would be proud.  Keith does not agree with Michael on this one, but he sure as Hell is going to defend a critic of the government in their right to be be wrong.

The quickest way for a nation to ruin itself is to sanctify falsehood. And the quickest way to sanctify falsehood, is to attack anyone who even asks if it’s falsehood.

It's nice to know that Michael Moore will be a regular commentator on Current TV when Keith's Countdown  begins on June 20th.

Originally posted to crystal eyes on Fri May 13, 2011 at 01:40 PM PDT.

Also republished by Fok News.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I agree absolutely. (5+ / 0-)

    Now can KO say something nice about Chomsky?  

  •  So criticizing someone means you are (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Southside, jalenth, 57andFemale

    trying to shut them down?

    Keith is an idiot.  Thank god O'Donnell replaced him.

  •  Exquisite. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueness

    BTW, I have the murdered people at the bin Laden compound photos, if anyone wants to see them.

    •  why aren't there photos of the weapons (0+ / 0-)

      in the room bin laden was executed in?

      •  If you have some actual proof he was executed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Geekesque, Delilah

        lets fucking hear it! If not then I suggest you go actually learn what is and is not permissible against a known enemy combatant and/or status target in a declared conflict recognized by the international community and the UN.

        In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

        by jsfox on Fri May 13, 2011 at 02:15:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  bin laden was unarmed. leon panetta admitted (0+ / 0-)

          ubl wasn't given a chance to surrender. ergo, he was assassinated.

          "To be frank, I don't think he had a lot of time to say anything," CIA Director Leon Panetta said in an interview airing on PBS NewsHour.

          But bin Laden didn't appear to have been given a chance to surrender himself to the SEALs.

          •  oops (0+ / 0-)

            accidentally scrambled the blockquote. the second paragraph should be the first.

          •  No, it means he was shot. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Delilah, doc2, bobinson, SeaTurtle

            Execution is a post-custody killing.  There is no indication he even made an attempt to surrender.

            It's asinine to suggest one must give every single enemy a chance to surrender before shooting them.  

            "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

            by Geekesque on Fri May 13, 2011 at 02:25:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  leon panetta admitted he wasn't given a (0+ / 0-)

              chance to surrender.

              •  Again, that is not relevant. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Jerry056, SeaTurtle

                Giving the enemy a second to surrender also gives him a second to pull a gun or throw a grenade.

                Absolutely zero obligation to give any enemy a chance to surrender.

                "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                by Geekesque on Fri May 13, 2011 at 02:29:31 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  The minute the SEALS blew the wall (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Geekesque, second gen, Jerry056

                and starting shooting down stairs he had the chance to surrender. All he had to do before the SEALS burst into the room was to have his arms raised and to tell his wife not to do anything.

                In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

                by jsfox on Fri May 13, 2011 at 02:32:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Maybe, maybe not. Maybe the lead (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Geekesque

                  SEAL got a secret order to blow him away. We'll probably never know. As for me, I'm perfectly fine with it whatever happened. I can't believe people really give two shits whether OBL had a real chance of surrendering or not.

                  I'm in the I-fucking-love-this-guy wing of the Democratic Party!

                  by doc2 on Fri May 13, 2011 at 02:35:53 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The whole he was supposed to be killed meme (5+ / 0-)

                    falls apart with the minor fact the we had lawyers, interrogators and translators standing by just in case the SEALS were able to bring Osama out alive.

                    In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

                    by jsfox on Fri May 13, 2011 at 02:39:56 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Really, that does it for you? (0+ / 0-)

                      Obama cannot publicly admit he ordered an execution, as that is against international law, etc. So if he did, of course they'd have such a team on board the ship just to be able to say what you are right now. It proves nada. Again, we just don't know. But bringing him out alive would have introduced numerous complications, including the trial itself. We just don't know, but whatever decision Obama made I support.

                      I'm in the I-fucking-love-this-guy wing of the Democratic Party!

                      by doc2 on Fri May 13, 2011 at 03:06:51 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  again, your scenario runs counter to what (0+ / 0-)

                  leon panetta already admitted. ubl wasn't given time to surrender.

                  •  He wasnt' given time to pull a gun or (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    second gen, NedSparks

                    grenade.

                    It is not an execution if they fail to give him time to react.  It's called getting the drop on him and killing him before he can kill them.

                    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                    by Geekesque on Fri May 13, 2011 at 02:41:27 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Once the SEALS burst into the room (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Geekesque, second gen

                    I am sure he wasn't. If I'm a SEAL on a highly risky, life threatening raid and several minutes have gone by with large amounts of gun fire and explosions and burst into a room and the hands aren't already up I'm killing the guy and hope I don't kill the woman when I shoot.

                    In the end no harm not foul and Internatioanl norms were followed. IT WAS NOT AN EXECUTION!

                    In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

                    by jsfox on Fri May 13, 2011 at 02:43:54 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Actually, there IS video, even though it (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Geekesque

                    wasn't seen in the Sit Room, it was recorded.

                    So far, the findings are that bin Laden came out of his bedroom, then retreated. He could have surrendered then, instead, he decided to run. Fatal mistake.

                    Seen on Twitter: "This has to be the first time in history that old white men tried to take credit from a black guy for someone getting shot." ~@MikeDrucker

                    by second gen on Fri May 13, 2011 at 02:58:49 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  from your cbs link (0+ / 0-)
                      When the second SEAL entered, bin Laden's wife rushed forward at him -- or perhaps was pushed by bin Laden. The SEAL shoved her aside and shot bin Laden in the chest. A third seal shot him in the head.

                      the administration has already admitted bin laden didn't use his wife as a human shield.

                      plus, this account doesn't contradict what leon panetta admitted to, ubl was't given a chance to surrender.

                      •  panetta quote says wasn't given much chance to SAY (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        second gen

                        anything.
                        Having arms in the air isn't a bunch of words.

                        and
                        also maybe pushing someone away isn't using someone as a shield really. That would be holding someone in front of you

                        I don't know, you don't know
                        We share that
                        We are free to opine

                        •  panetta says he wasn't given time to surrender. (0+ / 0-)

                          that suggests either 1) he wasn't given time to raise his hands to surrender.

                          Having arms in the air isn't a bunch of words.

                          or 2) apart from the administration correction saying that he didn't use his wife as a human shield, we aren't told how the seals found him. he could have had his hands up for all we know.

                          •  The quote you linked earlier in diary was (0+ / 0-)
                            "To be frank, I don't think he had a lot of time to say anything," CIA Director Leon Panetta said in an interview airing on PBS NewsHour.

                            not he wasn't given time to  to surrender

                            and no, we don't know where his hands were. How can I deny "he could have had his hands up for all we know" and for that matter he could have been doing a handstand or seeing if he could rub his belly in a circle and pat his head at the same time.
                            Are we just making crap up now?

                      •  Yep. He heard shots, and he ran. (0+ / 0-)

                        Could'a surrendered, and he didn't. Now he's dead.

                        Que Sera

                        Seen on Twitter: "This has to be the first time in history that old white men tried to take credit from a black guy for someone getting shot." ~@MikeDrucker

                        by second gen on Fri May 13, 2011 at 06:29:55 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  How can you say that? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Geekesque, second gen

                Any time over the past 10 years he could have surrendered to authorities. Any time. So what is this "he didn't have a chance to surrender" bullshit?

                I'm in the I-fucking-love-this-guy wing of the Democratic Party!

                by doc2 on Fri May 13, 2011 at 02:34:24 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  yet many people continue to insist (0+ / 0-)

              ubl WAS given a chance to surrender.

              It's asinine to suggest one must give every single enemy a chance to surrender before shooting them.  

              a link from someone who cited it on the mm thread:

              Cherif Bassiouni, head of DePaul University's International Human Rights Law Institute and a former U.N. war crimes investigator, said that the "killing of any individual sought by law enforcement in the course of a lawful arrest is always a question of facts. Did the person resist? Did the person have a deadly weapon? Were the arresting officers in fear of their lives? These are all pertinent questions."

              Bassiouni stressed that any "extrajudicial execution of an unarmed person is in violation of international law."

              "It is necessary for the Navy to conduct an internal investigation into the appropriateness of the use of armed force," Bassiouni told CNN. "However, it is also important not to make the Navy SEALs be the scapegoats for (any) secret orders which the public is unaware of to simply kill bin Laden no matter what."

              •  Not. a. law. enforcement. situation. (5+ / 0-)

                These were not police, they were not serving an arrest warrant.

                http://www.cnn.com/...

                Washington (CNN) -- Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has voiced support for the killing of al Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden by U.S. forces, saying it was legally justified.

                In remarks Thursday evening at his alma mater, Northwestern University, the 91-year-old former justice said the order by President Barack Obama for the covert mission by U.S. Navy SEALs was "to remove an enemy who had been trying every day to attack the United States," according to two people who attended a symposium and dinner that was closed to the media.

                 . . .

                Stevens said based on his knowledge of the facts, "I haven't the slightest doubt it was entirely appropriate for American forces to act" as they did. "It was not merely to do justice and avenge September 11."

                "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                by Geekesque on Fri May 13, 2011 at 02:39:00 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Good point. ABC reports OBL plot to kill Obama (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Geekesque, BarackStarObama
              U.S. officials are analyzing one million pages of data from the trove found in Osama bin Laden's compound during the raid that killed him, and say they have learned more in the past ten days than in the past 10 years.

              Among the things they've learned is that the al Qaeda leader wanted to find a way to kill President Obama.

              http://abcnews.go.com/...

              for those crying crocodile tears over Bin Laden's supposed assassination, and posing the question: What would happen if Bin Laden had assassinated Obama? Guess what? HE WAS PLOTTING TO!

              But you know? This is war and just as OBL wanted to kill our President, even after he had already launched an attack that killed thousands of innocent people, the President deserved the right to send him to the bottom of the ocean.

              But the crocodile tears continue, the rules of war and the concept if self defense notwithstanding.... Geesh, makes me wonder if people just like to argue just for the sake of arguing.... Unbelievable.

          •  Believe it or not (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Geekesque

            the fact that he was unarmed matters not as far as The Rules of War or International Norms go for a status based target in a declared military conflict in a military operation.  The only thing that would make it an execution is if and only if he made some attempt to surrender by word or deed.

            Just in case you find this hard to beleive -

            CNN

            "The United States offered bin Laden the possibility to surrender, but he refused," Martin Scheinin, the United Nations' special rapporteur for human rights, said Tuesday. "Bin Laden would have avoided destruction if he had raised a white flag."

            [emphasis added]

            If someone can show me that he did try and surrender then I will be the first to say we broke the law.

            In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

            by jsfox on Fri May 13, 2011 at 02:29:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  your if ≠ then (0+ / 0-)
            ubl wasn't given a chance to surrender. ergo, he was assassinated.
            It's not so black and white, either/or.

            The US military is not a police force. The SEALs are not a totally awesome SWAT team. They are trained killers.

            ubl was not given a chance to kill or injure one of the SEALs.

            "As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."- Arthur Carlson

            by bobinson on Fri May 13, 2011 at 03:50:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  There were no murders at the compound. eom (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SeaTurtle

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Fri May 13, 2011 at 02:30:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tipped and recced. (5+ / 0-)

    I hope this makes the rec list, because it's important to acknowledge that good people can disagree.

    To every millionaire who decries they don't want their grandchildren paying for the deficit, I say: PAY MORE TAXES NOW and your grandkids won't have a deficit burden.

    by gooderservice on Fri May 13, 2011 at 01:54:18 PM PDT

  •  Commenters here need to read this (9+ / 0-)
    Michael Moore [Jane hamsher, Gleen Greenwald, etc., etc. etc., etc.] is damned good at questioning official stories and should be encouraged to do so, even at the risk of offending some liberals of uncertain provenance. Because I’d rather have one question too many than one too few and because while the Official Story is always “official” it is not always more than just ”a story.”

    If I could emblazon this on the sky above DKos...

  •  I can only speak for myself (7+ / 0-)

    but I smacked Michael a bit for his opinion, not because he isn't entitled to one or shouldn't make the case for his opinion. Rather it is having an opinion without first making an effort to understand the International Rules of War and what is and is not permitted for a status based target. Then there is the issue of his making some rather broad assumptions based on his lack of knowledge. These are the things that irritated me and irritated me with all the diaries screaming assassination, murder, extra-judicial killing.

    So yes I disagreed with him and disagreed with him strongly. The difference is I did it with facts something he failed to do.

    In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

    by jsfox on Fri May 13, 2011 at 02:01:31 PM PDT

    •  It smacked of grandstanding (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      doc2, 57andFemale

      Let's wring our hands over what might have happened; the idea that the SEALS were ordered to go in and kill Bin Laden?  oy.  What a dumb case to try to revive issues of constitutionality and international law.  For one, we don't know if the order was to kill.  The official line was that if he offered himself in surrender, they had to accept.  The reality is that Bin Laden wasn't in custody.  He was in a country whose allegiances were ambiguous at best, in a hostile environment with one US helicopter already out of commission.  There were no guarantees that he wasn't going to get out of there free until he was dead.  

      It's so easy, after the fact, after he's dead, to sit around and bloviate about it now, which is all Moore has done here.   None of this, when directed at the Bin Laden case, is going to get the general public to begin to take these issues more seriously.  Quite the contrary.  Moore, ironically, did anyone who cares about this a disservice but that aint new for him.  

      Forget it, he's rolling.

      by Sun dog on Fri May 13, 2011 at 02:22:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  i read a list of guest commentators (0+ / 0-)

    who'll appear on the show. didn't see david shuster mentioned!

  •  Moore's last statement really should (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doc2, dougymi, bobinson

    have been his first one.  It was thoughtful, reflective, nuanced, and accuately captured what he was thinking.

    Moore is the type of person who should stay away from Twitter.

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Fri May 13, 2011 at 02:26:46 PM PDT

    •  Exactly. He's now engaged in damage (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Southside, jalenth, 57andFemale

      control. His reputation was one of an extreme liberal who usually is right on the issues. In this case he was the knee-jerk liberal who was (obnoxiously) wrong on the issue, and insensitive the way he approached it.

      I'm in the I-fucking-love-this-guy wing of the Democratic Party!

      by doc2 on Fri May 13, 2011 at 02:38:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Moore often has a bunch of thoughts flying (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        doc2, 57andFemale

        around at the same time--and when he has trouble reconciling them (he's glad bin Laden is dead and no longer a threat vs it would have been better to have a trial) the cognitive dissonance causes him to say some really stupid shit.

        "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

        by Geekesque on Fri May 13, 2011 at 02:46:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Honestly, I think it is completely inane for (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geekesque, dougymi, GlowNZ, bobinson

      anyone to try to use Twitter as a platform for discussion of anything complicated.  Limiting yourself to 140 characters on just about any topic limits discussion to the point of ridiculousness.

  •  The opera's over, the large-boned singer sang (0+ / 0-)
    When the canary stops singing, there is danger in the air.
    It wasn't a cave or a coal mine; it was a dynamic entry and the target was neutralized after having an opportunity to surrender.

    I am off my metas! Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above join the DAILY KOS UNIVERSITY "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03)

    by annieli on Fri May 13, 2011 at 02:47:58 PM PDT

  •  I can't believe some of these (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PatConnors, denise b, stolen water

    comments.  Michael Moore is now a traitor and KO is covering for him because he didn't tear him from limb to limb.  Furthermore, Lawrence O'Donnell is a wimp.

    You guys are attacking almost the entire media that supports liberals because you don't agree which word should be used to describe the killing of Bin Laden.  gheeze.


    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Fri May 13, 2011 at 03:27:08 PM PDT

  •  Love Keith (0+ / 0-)

    but hes 100 percent wrong here.

    It is bad enough that people are dying of AIDS, but no one should die of ignorance. ~Elizabeth Taylor

    by GlowNZ on Fri May 13, 2011 at 03:48:30 PM PDT

  •  Moore is nothing like Edward Murrow (0+ / 0-)

    and that comparison is ridiculous.

  •  Moore is a filmmaker who likes to make (0+ / 0-)

    money off of movies. That's basically he is. He has gotten rich off of making movies that appeal to the already convinced. Don't get me wrong. There were parts of Fareinheit 9/11, Capitalism, and SiCKo that were good.

    But I also can't forget how he aggressively pushed for Nader in 2000. Like the rest of the wealthy celebrities who pushed for Nader they could afford the luxury of throwing their votes away because, if Bush were to win, they weren't going to have to deal with the consequences. And to this day Moore has yet to admit that he was wrong for pushing Nader.

    Moore could have told Nader to drop out and have endorsed Gore. Yes, sensing the debacle that was to come, he did tell Naderites in FL to vote for Gore. But that wasn't enough. He should have told Nader to drop out and endorsed Gore.

  •  Moore's comments were not going to be (0+ / 0-)

    received well. And sometimes he makes liberals look bad.

  •  Now, if we could only convince (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stolen water

    people here that marching in lockstep is not a virtue.

    The viciousness with which progressive commentators are attacked for deviating from the official line is most depressing.

    We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

    by denise b on Fri May 13, 2011 at 07:47:38 PM PDT

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