'The US is Not
a Republic Anymore'
An interview with Gore Vidal by Afshin Rattansi, Press TV, Tehran
TV" -- -28/06/08 -- Press TV: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.
Press TV: 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.
Press TV: You have often written about the US's superpower status in
terms of the history of previous superpowers. Do you think we're witnessing the
end of US power as some suggest. Will the White House be seen like Persepolis?
Gore Vidal: Well it won't make such good ruins, no. It'll be more like
the tomb of Cyrus nearby. They managed to destroy the United States - why?
Because they're oil and gas people and they're essentially criminals. I repeat
that this is a criminal group that's seized control of the country through what
looked like an ordinary election. But there's some very nice films and documentaries
about what happened in the year 2000 when Albert Gore won the election for
president and they saw to it that he couldn't serve. They got the Supreme Court
- which is the Holy of Holies ordinarily in our system - to investigate and
then accuse the thieves of being absolutely correct and the winners - Mr. Gore
and the Democrats - of being the cheaters. It's the first law of Machiavelli,
whatever your opponent's faults are, you pick his virtues and you deny he has
them. That's what they did when Senator Kerry ran a few years ago for
president. He's a famous hero from the Vietnam War. They said he was a coward
and not a hero. That's how it's done. When you have a bunch of liars in charge
of your government you can't expect to get much history out of that. But later
on we'll dig and dig… and we will dig up Persepolis.
Press TV: Senator Obama talks about change but of course he has courting
Wall Street as well as the Israeli lobby - do you see any prospect of change
with him as president?
Gore Vidal: Not really. I don't doubt his good faith, just as I do not
doubt the bad faith of Cheney and Bush. They are such dreadful people that
we've never had in government before. They would never have risen unless they
were buying elections as they did in Florida in 2000, as they did in the State
of Ohio in 2004. These are two open thefts of the Presidency. When I discovered
that this did not interest the New York Times or the Washington Post or any of
the press of the country I realized our day was done. We are no longer a
country we are a framework for crooks to go in and steal money. Knowing that
they'll never be caught and they'll be admired for it. Americans always take
everybody on his own evaluation. You say I'm a state and they say "oh,
yeah yeah yeah, he's a state, isn't that great." And you accuse the other
people of your crimes before you commit them. It's an old trick which was known
to Machiavelli who wrote about it in his handbook, the Prince.
Press TV:Finally that issue which is exercising so many minds in the
Middle East and beyond. You, yourself have written about so many Imperial wars
of the United States. Do you think Bush and Cheney would risk another war in
what Mohammad ElBaradei of the IAEA calls a fireball?
Gore Vidal: They are longing to but they have spent all of the money.
They have got it in their own private companies like the Vice-President and a
company called Halliburton which is stealing more money and should be on trial
sooner or later before Congress. But perhaps not, who knows? But it's well
known in Washington, these people are leaking away the money of the country.
Well there's no more money. They are longing for a war with Iran. Iran is no
more a harm to us than was Iraq or Afghanistan. They invented an enemy, they
tell lies, lies, lies.
The New York Times goes along with their lies, lies, lies. And they don't stop.
When the public that's lied to 30 times a day it's apt to believe the lies, is
Gore Vidal is a renowned American writer and erstwhile political candidate.