I expect Chairman King well understands the stakes. He is an experienced, wily, and — at times — even a wise man.
There is great value in the authentic question — no matter how awkward — because an authentic question is open to new understanding.
The method of Socrates had no script. It was a high wire act. The wisest of all could still stumble over preconceived notions, private prejudices, and Plato’s own purposes imposed post-hoc.
An authentic question need not be innocent, but it does require a spacious susceptibility to honest answers and (especially) to being surprised.
Each of us who listened today will likely judge Chairman King, the committee’s other members, and each witness in light of our own intent, our own innocence, our own authenticity… or in the dimness and darkness thereof.
I have lost my taste for the politics of these events. Many others are offering their thoughts on that (linked below).
See if you share my sense of hearing an interesting answer to the committee’s questions (and comments) in these words written seventy years ago:
From By the Grave of Henry James by W. H. Auden.
Less poetic consideration of Thursday’s House Homeland Security Committee hearings:
Peter King’s Obsession (New York Times, editorial)
Homegrown Islamic Radicalization: Worth Studying (Washington Post, editorial)
Islamic Radicalization: The questions that Rep. Peter King is right to ask (Ruth Marcus, opinion)
The terrorist threat is real (Peter King, opinion)
Peter King defiant at tense Muslim hearing (Politico, news)
Islam show-trial opens in US Congress (Telegraph, news)
House hearing worries US Muslims (Al Jazerra, news)
Republicans and Democrats disagree on Muslim hearings (Gallup, survey results)
Friday morning update:
The homegrown terror hearings (Wall Street Journal, opinion)
King: Next hearing is on Muslims in prison (AP, news)
Tears, fears at hearing on Muslims (The Hill, news)
Local Muslims slam hearings as unfair, unbalanced (Detroit Free Press, news)
Cries of McCarthyism over US Muslim hearing (Independent, news)
Spectre of McCarthy hangs over hearing into radicalization of American Muslims (The Australian, news)
Muslim hearings in US Congress dismissed as equivalent of reality TV (The Guardian, news)