Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Human Rights Bought Up By War Profiteer

With a twisted sense of irony, one of the biggest war profiteer firms, the Carlyle Group, purchased one of the oldest documents that helped to bring about liberty and democracy. The Magna Carta was signed nearly 800 years ago, back in 1215 by King John at Runnymede. The edicts of the document was a backbone to the laws of England that would follow. This 710 year-old copy is one of the most widely viewed and bears the official seal of King Edward I.

From RawStory:

The document, which had been expected to draw bids of $30 million or higher, was bought by David Rubenstein of The Carlyle Group, a private equity firm, the spokeswoman said.

Sotheby's vice chairman David Redden called the old but durable parchment "the most important document in the world, the birth certificate of freedom."

The document was owned by the Perot Foundation, created by Texas billionaire H. Ross Perot, since the early 1980s. It had been on exhibit at the auction house for the past 11 days.

Of course, there was no publicly expressed reason for purchasing the document. It was on loan to the National Archives when Ross Perot owned it, allowing throngs of Washington, D.C. tourists and residents alike to see a piece of the primordial soup that formed into our democratic government of today. Now that it is owned by this "private equity fund" not so well known for its dealings in war and geopolitics, who knows what will happen to this piece of history. I would think that being who they are, they'd probably burn it in a bonfire while doing some satanic dance around it, but that would be letting the conspiracy theory side of me going too far.

I hope it stays in a safe place, while the tenets of the document are being eroded around us.