The Shifter

Bush's change of standard for firing a leaking staffer last week was staggering. He can't be allowed to get away with it.

By Michael Tomasky
Web Exclusive: 07.26.05

E.M. Forster famously said that if he "had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country."

The novelist's quote -- which I believe he delivered apropos the Cambridge spy quartet, two of whom (Anthony Blunt and Guy Burgess) had been Cambridge Apostles, as Forster had in an earlier time -- is usually invoked approvingly as the gold standard to which all friendships should aspire.

But Forster didn't have the opportunity to watch George W. Bush and Karl Rove in action. The Cambridge ring did its damage in the service, however abysmally misguided, of an ideology that its members thought would elevate mankind. What they did was worse from a legal perspective, but from a moral point of view, it was at least a matter of principle (as they saw it).

The Bush White House, on the other hand, may not be guilty of treason, but it is acting on no principle other than power -- except maybe the principle of defending a lie that helped launch a disastrous war. [...] Read it all at the American Prospect web site: http://tinyurl.com/a2hzj

© Virginia Metze


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Juli 2005

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