Progressive Minds

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Required Reading From Keith Olbermann on 9/11

@ 09:43 PM (102 months, 2 days ago)

This commentary from Keith Olbermann, given on the 5th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, should be required reading for every American citizen.

This hole in the ground

Half a lifetime ago, I worked in this now-empty space.   And for 40 days after the attacks, I worked here again, trying to make sense of what happened, and was yet to happen, as a reporter.

All the time, I knew that the very air I breathed contained the remains of thousands of people, including four of my friends, two in the planes and -- as I discovered from those "missing posters" seared still into my soul -- two more in the Towers.

And I knew too, that this was the pyre for hundreds of New York policemen and firemen, of whom my family can claim half a dozen or more, as our ancestors.

I belabor this to emphasize that, for me this was, and is, and always shall be, personal.

And anyone who claims that I and others like me are "soft,"or have "forgotten" the lessons of what happened here is at best a grasping, opportunistic, dilettante and at worst, an idiot whether he is a commentator, or a Vice President, or a President.

However, of all the things those of us who were here five years ago could have forecast -- of all the nightmares that unfolded before our eyes, and the others that unfolded only in our minds -- none of us could have predicted this.

Five years later this space is still empty.

Five years later there is no memorial to the dead.

Five years later there is no building rising to show with proud defiance that we would not have our America wrung from us, by cowards and criminals.

Five years later this country's wound is still open.

Five years later this country's mass grave is still unmarked.

Five years later this is still just a background for a photo-op.

It is beyond shameful.

At the dedication of the Gettysburg Memorial -- barely four months after the last soldier staggered from another Pennsylvania field -- Mr. Lincoln said, "we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

Lincoln used those words to immortalize their sacrifice.

Today our leaders could use those same words to rationalize their reprehensible inaction. "We cannot dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground." So we won't.

Read an archive of his commentaries here:

Comment(s) »

  1. Naturally I don't agree with Olbermann. Never have and never will. I liked him on ESPN and thought he was a good sports guy. His present sin is trying to pass off what he does as "news" (his word not mine) when he is yet another pundit. As a pundit, like all pundits, he is free to spout whatever opinion any network is willing to pay him for and broadcast. Claiming he is doing "news" is a lie making him a liar as well as not a "news" person.

    ps: seems to remain accidentally omitted from your blogroll. I am sure this is an oversight due to your busy schedule and hopefully you will be able to squeeze in a little time soon to take care of this. Thanks!

    Comment by Barry G.— 2006/09/14 @ 05:53 PM — (Reply)

  2. I find it absurd and aonrbreht that Mr. Jacobson needed to explain Lincoln as so called divine intervention . Why is it so hard to accept that he was a competent politician who rose to level of statesman in a crisis? Do this also mean that Jefferson Davis was the spawn of Hell rather than a micro-manager of a flawed clause. If Mr. Jacobson feels a need to filter his to history through the Old Testament or Greek hero myths, he was either deeper in his cups than you or he admitted to or he is bankrupt as a historian. The fact that both sides appealed to the Deity and assumed they were on the favored side does not mean that God choose one or the other, or even exists at all. How much more virulent or quicker could the secession crisis have been if Seward or Stanton had been elected? South Carolina\'s reactionaries had been calling for secession since the Nullification Crisis in the 1820 s and every crisis between then and 1860. If a moderate, like Lincoln, had them working for secession before the election was over, how could Seward or Stanton got them any more worked up without catching fire?

    Comment by David— 2014/04/06 @ 06:43 PM — (Reply)

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