Afshin Rattansi and Gore Vidal on Iran & Power June 2008
Gore Vidal speaks to Afshin Rattansi about another of President Bush’s attorney-generals facing a subpoena, the White House becoming Persepolis and military action against Iran.
Afshin Rattansi: We hear that Michael Mukasey is going to become the latest of the President’s Attorney-Generals to be subpoenaed, this time over his conversations with Bush and Cheney — does this show that Congress is serious about calling the executive to account?
Gore Vidal: No, Congress has never been more cowardly, nor more corrupt. All Bush has do is to make sure certain amounts of money go in the direction of certain important congressmen and that’s end of any serious investigation. After all, one of the bravest members of Congress is Denis Kucinich who brought the article of impeachment in to the well of the House of Representatives. The House of Representatives must then try the president, and then after that it goes to the Senate for judgment. However, none of these things will happen because there’s nobody there except for Mr. Kucinich who has the courage to take on a sitting president who is kind of a Mafioso.
Afshin Rattansi: How can it just be one person among so many hundreds of Congressmen who wants the impeachment of George W. Bush in these circumstances?
Gore Vidal: Well it’s because we no longer have a country. We don’t have a republic any more. During the last 7 or 8 years of the Bush regime, they’ve got rid of the Bill of Rights, they’ve got rid of habeas corpus. They have got rid of one of the nicest gifts that England ever left us when they went away and we ceased to be colonies — the Magna Carta — from the 12th century. All of our law and due process of law is based on that. And the Bush people got rid of it. The president and little Mr. Gonzales who for a few minutes was his Attorney General. They managed to get rid of all of the constitutional links that made us literally a republic.
Afshin Rattansi: You have often written about the United States’ superpower status in terms of the history of previous superpowers. Do you think we’re witnessing the end of U.S. power as some suggest. Will the White House be seen like Persepolis?