I listened to Britt Hume interview the two Bushes on Fox News Sunday. It was less than inspiring, but informative of the mentality of these three men. At one point one of the bushes referred to the Oval Office (in which they were standing) as a "shrine of democracy."
Having spent some time in that room, I must say that it never struck me as anything other than a working office for the person who runs the Executive Branch of the federal government. This talk of "shrines" is more of the monarchical baloney that has tended to attach itself to the presidency over the course of the Republic’s history. "Shrine of Democracy?" Through a connecting door is the pantry where Monica and Bill trysted and where she said she earned her "presidential kneepads." A few feet farther away is the little room where Cheney explained to Bush at lunches what is that he (Bush) really thought about things. Considering the rather limited scope of Cheney’s world view, one must wonder which clever person had previously explained Cheney’s opinion to Cheney. "Shrine of democracy…" Remarkable.
The BIG MOMENT for me in the interview was GW’s assertion that torture a la Jack Bauer had been a good thing for the US government to employ because it had enabled the winkling out of information from "known killers," and at another point in his discourse "known criminals."
How were they "known?"
In the US scheme of things it has usually been thought that criminals and killers are "known" by virtue of having been convicted by a jury of the crimes for which they are accused. I seem to remember that this notion starts back in the time of King John of evil memory. You remember him, "Magna Carta" and all that. Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham maybe?
It would seem that this is not a meaningful discussion for GW. By that I mean a discussion of the epistemology of guilt. If you follow his logic, then the accusation of police, bureaucrats or other enemies might well be sufficient cause for one’s (anyone’s) imprisonment and questioning under "enhanced procedures."
Is the man really that blind to the tyranny lying close to the surface of such a notion of "knowing."
On the other hand, I and others like me who have criticized him savagely are still walking around, perhaps a little the worse for wear, but still free to criticize.
For that, I salute him. pl