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Olbermann slams Bush after Hillary blamed for losing Iraq
David Edwards and Josh Catone
Published: Thursday July 19, 2007
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MSNBC's Keith Olbermann began tonight's Countdown program with a special comment. The unusual move to open his show with the comment, which is almost always reserved for the closing of the program, added gravity to his words.

"It is one of the great, dark, evil lessons of history," begins Olbermann, "that a country, a government, a military machine can screw up a war seven ways to Sunday; it can get thousands of its people killed; it can risk the safety of its own citizens; it can destroy the fabric of its nation; but as long as it can identify a scapegoat, it can regain, or even gain, power."

The Bush administration, says Olbermann, has found its scapegoat for Iraq in presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY). Olbermann referred to a letter Pentagon number two Eric Edelman sent to Clinton admonishing her for calling for a withdrawal in Iraq.

"Premature and public discussion of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq reinforces enemy propaganda that the United States will abandon its allies in Iraq," wrote Edelman, "much as we are perceived to have done in Vietnam, Lebanon and Somalia."

A spokesman for Clinton called Edelman's letter "outrageous and dangerous," which Olbermann feels "may actually understate the risk the Edelman letter poses to our way of life."

By choosing Hillary Clinton as his scapegoat, says Olbermann, Bush has consigned himself to "that remarkably small group of Americans whom Americans can not forgive. Those who have sold this country out, and who have willingly declared their enmity to the people, at whose pleasure they supposedly serve."

"A scapegoat, sir, might be forgivable," Olbermann continued, addressing President Bush, "if you had not just happened to choose a prospective presidential nominee from the opposition party."

Olbermann concludes that the Bush contention that withdrawal is abandonment is fallacious and that everyone already knows that the US is leaving Iraq, even if it means impeaching the president to do it.

The following video is from MSNBC's Countdown, broadcast on July 19.