In my more than two years of blogging and commenting on blogs, I have been accused of ranting just twice - both times on someone else's blog. I am sure many more of my commentaries have qualified as rants - just that no one has said so. Ranting, in my book is not necessarily a bad thing if the ranter is focused on the issue and is ticked off. Once before I was amused and impressed enough by a third party rant to attach it to one of my own. Last night Keith Olbermann of MSNBC let it rip with a rant about torture, Bush, Judge Mukasey and Daniel Levin that is worth publishing.
It is a fact startling in its cynical simplicity and it requires cynical and simple words to be properly expressed: The presidency of George W. Bush has now devolved into a criminal conspiracy to cover the ass of George W. Bush.
All the petulancy, all the childish threats, all the blank-stare stupidity; all the invocations of World War III, all the sophistic questions about which terrorist attacks we wanted him not to stop, all the phony secrets; all the claims of executive privilege, all the stumbling tap-dancing of his nominees, all the verbal flatulence of his apologists...
"Waterboarding is torture," Daniel Levin was to write. Daniel Levin was no theorist and no protester. He was no troublemaking politician. He was no table-pounding commentator. Daniel Levin was an astonishingly patriotic American and a brave man.
Brave not just with words or with stances, even in a dark time when that kind of bravery can usually be scared or bought off.
Charged, as you heard in the story from ABC News last Friday, with assessing the relative legality of the various nightmares in the Pandora's box that is the Orwell-worthy euphemism "Enhanced Interrogation," Mr. Levin decided that the simplest, and the most honest, way to evaluate them ... was to have them enacted upon himself.
Daniel Levin took himself to a military base and let himself be waterboarded. Mr. Bush, ever done anything that personally courageous? ....
Waterboarding, he said, is torture. Legally, it is torture! Practically, it is torture! Ethically, it is torture! And he wrote it down.
Wrote it down somewhere, where it could be contrasted with the words of this country's 43rd president: "The United States of America ... does not torture."
Made you into a liar, Mr. Bush.
Made you into, if anybody had the guts to pursue it, a criminal, Mr. Bush.