Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Al Gore on GOP Response to His Speech

Al Gore is a very smart man and he no doubt knew that the GOP smear patrol would come after him within seconds of his fiery, Washington D.C. speech ending on Monday.

White House Press Secretary Scott McClellen claimed that Gore's "hypocrisy knows no bounds" saying – more on this whopper later – that the Clinton administration had done the same kind of illegal domestic spying done by Team Bush.

The Republican National Committee's RSM (Rapid Slime Machine) unit was also spinning quickly.

"Al Gore's incessant need to insert himself in the headline of the day is almost as glaring as his lack of understanding of the threats facing America. While the President works to protect Americans from terrorists, Democrats deliver no solutions of their own, only diatribes laden with inaccuracies and anger," said the RNC's Tracey Schmitt.

Far from having an "incessant need" to be in the public eye, I've kind of missed Gore, as he's pretty much stayed away from the action over the last few years. Oh well, I guess the Republicans had to say something quickly.

Here's Gore's response to the predictable right-wing attacks:
"The Administration's response to my speech illustrates perfectly the need for a special counsel to review the legality of the NSA wiretapping program.

"The Attorney General is making a political defense of the President without even addressing the substantive legal questions that have so troubled millions of Americans in both political parties.

"There are two problems with the Attorney General's effort to focus attention on the past instead of the present Administration's behavior. First, as others have thoroughly documented, his charges are factually wrong. Both before and after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was amended in 1995, the Clinton/Gore Administration complied fully and completely with the terms of the law.

"Second, the Attorney General's attempt to cite a previous administration's activity as precedent for theirs - even though factually wrong - ironically demonstrates another reason why we must be so vigilant about their brazen disregard for the law. If unchecked, their behavior would serve as a precedent to encourage future presidents to claim these same powers, which many legal experts in both parties believe are clearly illegal.

"The issue, simply put, is that for more than four years, the executive branch has been wiretapping many thousands of American citizens without warrants in direct contradiction of American law. It is clearly wrong and disrespectful to the American people to allow a close political associate of the president to be in charge of reviewing serious charges against him.

"The country needs a full and independent investigation into the facts and legality of the present Administration's program."

Keep the faith, Mr. Gore. As Paul Newman's Henry Gondorf said in The Sting when Redford's character said the bad guys had threatened to kill him, "Hell, Kid, if they don't do that you know you're not gettin' through to 'em."