On Thursday's Countdown show, after recounting the story of American soldiers deployed to Iraq while still recovering from injuries, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann seemed to oddly suggest that not only military officers, but also politicians and even commentators, presumably conservative ones, were responsible for the orders that these troops be deployed. The Countdown host contended these critics of his are the same people who accuse those who are anti-war of "hating the troops" and of being "anti-American," and suggested that they "go to hell." Olbermann:
The men who ordered them back, in the military, and outside of it, are the ones who accuse those who criticize them of hating the troops or of being anti-American. And frankly, those politicians, those commentators, and those senior officers can go to hell.
Olbermann seemed to be citing a January 17 story in the Denver Post which focused on the case of Master Sergeant Denny Nelson of Fort Carson, Colorado's Third Brigade Combat Team, who was deployed to Kuwait, ostensibly for "light duty" as a liaison officer, while recovering from a leg injury he suffered on a trampoline. Nelson was deployed despite a decision by the Soldier Readiness Process site at Fort Collins that he should not be deployed. After his arrival in Kuwait, and his discovery of plans to send him into Iraq sooner than originally planned, a physician emailed Nelson's superior officer in Fort Collins, Captain Scot Tebo, "urging him to send Nelson back to the U.S.," leading to the master sergeant soon returning to the country. (The full article can be found here.)
Below is a complete transcript of Olbermann's comments from the Thursday, January 17 Countdown show on MSNBC, which were part of a regular segment on Bush administration scandals titled "Bushed!":
And number one, "Veterans-Gate." We've already seen how the administration treated Iraq and Afghanistan vets at Walter Reed. Now, from Fort Carson's Third Brigade Combat Team from Colorado, an email from the team surgeon that, quote, "We have been having issues reaching deployable strength, and thus have been taking along some borderline soldiers who we would otherwise have left behind for continued treatment." Specifically, a master sergeant named Denny Nelson, whose leg and foot were so injured that at home, he was issued a permit for a handicapped parking space, whose doctors said he was not permitted to carry more than 20 pounds, he was sent back for service in Kuwait.
Men like Denny Nelson are the heroes. The men who ordered them back, in the military, and outside of it, are the ones who accuse those who criticize them of hating the troops or of being anti-American. And frankly, those politicians, those commentators, and those senior officers can go to hell.