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Rumsfeld relaxes at Mt. Misery

The defense secretary's manor once hosted Frederick Douglass for beatings.
 
 
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I don't have to editorialize -- it's all in the story, thanks to one of the worst political journalists in living history, Elizabeth Bumiller. The scene is St. Michaels, Maryland, and the topic is the new country houses of our political leadership:

There are motorcades of black SUVs on Talbot Street, buzzing Chinooks overhead and a no-flight zone that has private pilots in an uproar. But Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld have found peace and quiet in their new weekend hawks' nests, even if their presence in this Chesapeake Bay retreat causes a racket in town....

As anybody would tell you last week at the Carpenter Street Saloon, St. Michaels' unofficial town hall, two years ago Rumsfeld paid $1.5 million for Mount Misery, a former bed and breakfast with a checkered past. (The 19th-century red-brick house on 4.5 waterfront acres, or 1.8 hectares, was built by Edward Covey, a notorious breaker of rebellious slaves who beat the abolitionist Frederick Douglass on and off there in 1834.)

"On and off" is Bumiller's personal touch.

Jan Frel is an AlterNet staff writer.