04/15/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Amazingly Fantastic Freedom Institute and Technicolor Political Dream Machine

Even in retirement, George W. B**h (I refuse to write his name any longer) and his retinue of sycophants cannot stop from being disruptive and culturally, as well as ethically, disconnected from reality. The Crawford Cowboys have picked a fight with Southern Methodist University in Dallas over a think tank that is to be a part of the B**h library. In an interview with journalist Robert Draper, B**h referred to it as a "fantastic freedom institute." Obviously, with the B**h imprimatur hanging over research conducted there it will likely have little to do with freedom. Unlike most presidential libraries, neither B**h nor his friend Don Evans, who is presently administering the facility, plans on having the library or the "institute" seek approval of faculty or administrators of host SMU.

As SMU struggles with the notion of being associated with the most profoundly failed president in American history, Mr. B**h's friend Karen Hughes is talking about classes that might be taught at the Freedom Institute. What kind of classes? Cooking classes? How to cook intelligence. Waterboarding 101. What kind of recipes, Karen? Take a pinch of distortion and puree all the facts and mix in a large fruit bowl of lies and stir until the world is on fire?

The actuality of what the B**h gang hopes to achieve on the SMU campus is a kind of legacy campaign. They are creating a new facet of what Sidney Blumenthal described as "the permanent campaign." After leaving office, the president's next campaign is to exert control of how history will judge his time in office. There seems to be little doubt that the "Freedom Institute" will be working to change how history and time view B**h. What we are going to have back in the Lone Star state is a kind of academic version of both Rumsfeld's Office of Special Plans or the White House Iraq Group. Both of these facilitated the Iraq War by cherry picking intelligence and then spinning it out in webs of fear. The Freedom Institute will be designed, however, not to "cook" intelligence but to "cook" history.

Who's going to want this job, though, of running this institution? W is sort of the 16 year-old whose daddy bought him a hot new car and he has lots of friends until he totals it and they all decide he's not worth hanging out with unless he's got wheels. B**h continues to insist that history will judge him differently years after he and his constituents have slipped away into the ether of mortality. He's wrong, however, because there simply is no contradictory evidence to be exhumed that he isn't history's most profoundly failed of presidents. In their search for someone to lead the "Fantastic Freedom Institute" the B**h believers will likely have to settle for someone like Alberto Gonzales, the persistently unemployed former attorney general whose memo insisting the Geneva Conventions against torture were "quaint." His analysis sent American policy into a moral spiral, which is a perfect resume' for the Freedom Institute.

Even people without the slightest sense of irony have to be giggling about the idea that the W gang is going to be pursuing the truth on the campus of an institution of higher learning. The currency in the marketplace of ideas at SMU is about to be devalued by the B**h attempts to prove he was right and the rest of the world was wrong. SMU cannot expect any more free thinking from that B**h institution than was ever proffered while he was in the White House. If, however, any independent scholarly work were ever to be conducted at the B**h Library or Freedom Institute, my suggestion for the most worthy project might be a thesis on how people arrive at a willingness to sacrifice their country's economic and political vitality for the sake of their own power and vanity? Not a new story, of course, but one still worth understanding.

The B**h team is insisting that SMU, the university which is going to house the library and institute, have no administrative approval on curricula or any projects to be conducted as part of the Freedom Institute's function. This condition contravenes the relationships between presidential libraries and other universities, which historically have given free access to scholars and researchers and allowed them to reach their own conclusions. While these protocols might be exercised at the Bush library, the Freedom Institute to be associated with the library has no intention of adhering to any university controls or guidelines.

The donors and the founders of the Freedom Institute seem to have no compromise in them with regard to SMU's standards for rigorous academic research. Their unrelenting approach on this means the Freedom Institute is a tacit admission by B**h and his people that they got it wrong and there are years of work ahead of them in trying to create documents and theses to offer alternative interpretations of their many failures. They are going to try to "cook" history precisely the same way they cooked intelligence to launch a war in Iraq and the way they cooked it to deny global warming and.......

Bush needs to return to his ranch and concentrate on chopping down cedar trees instead of the truth.

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