Friday, June 29, 2007

Truth and History, When Rewritten, Never Stay Rewritten

I was thinking about Dick Cheney’s wild claims that his office does not exist within the Executive branch, as I watched Rahm Emmanuel’s bid to withhold a $5 million appropriation from the Vice President’s office

Quoting Jim Abrams AP article:

“The vote, on an amendment to a 2008 spending bill for the Treasury Department and executive branch agencies, was defeated 217-209.”
It concerned me because up until this past week, I was pretty sure that the office of the Vice President was definitely within the scope of the Executive Branch, but now it apparently is not. In a wave of a magic wand, truth changes and lies become fact.

Then I started thinking about the Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Brown v. Board, and how Chief Justice Roberts twisted the facts of history in using the very case as justification to overturn the decision.

I was thinking just how fragile the truth actually is.

And then I read an article that makes Cheney’s and Roberts’ shenanigans pale in comparison. These shenanigans occurred 3500 years ago.

Upon her death around 1500 BCE, Pharaoh Queen Hatshepsut had passed away at about the age of 50 and was buried in an elaborate tomb that is built into a cliff. But her successor Pharaoh King Thutmose III, her stepson, sought to erase all evidence of her existence, including having her mummy removed and placed in a humble tomb.

Like Cheney and Roberts, Thutmose tried to remake history in an image that he preferred.

And hopefully, like Thutmose, the scheme will fail one day. Egyptologists are now convinced that an unidentified mummy discovered in 1903 in an obscure tomb is that of Queen Hatshepsut.

I believe that “Truth” is a spirit that can be obscured, but that it’s impossible to repress the truth forever. One day, the truth will re-emerge. Cheney’s and Roberts’ lies and re-writes of history will eventually be revealed as the shenanigans that they really are.

I just hope that it takes less than 3500 years this time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There was a good article in the Smithsonian Magazine some months ago about Queen Hatshepsut. The story put out on her for years was that she seized power from the young Tutmose III and that he erased all trace of her after overthrowing her. In fact, she had kept the throne SAFE for him like a dutiful member of the dynasty, died of natural causes, leaving Tutmose to inherit the throne after being seasoned as a soldier. He only tried to erase her reign from history many years after becoming King, in order that her reign not become a precedent. It was a necessary expedient at the time, but not a good example to be followed, Tutmose felt, rather like Dick Cheney's regard for Constitutional limits on his authority.