Al Gore’s speech

Former Vice President Al Gore, charging that President Bush’s record on civil liberties posed a "grave danger" to America’s constitutional freedoms, on Monday urged the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Bush’s authorization of warrantless domestic surveillance by the National Security Agency.

In a detailed and impassioned speech sponsored by liberal and conservative groups, Gore said that although much remained unknown about the spying program, "what we do know … virtually compels the conclusion that the president of the United States has been breaking the law, repeatedly and insistently."

The Republicans responded with their usual slime attack. Democratic leadership sadly but predictably have done nothing to support Gore. I’ve not seen a single news report of a ranking Democrat standing by Gore and defending him on this, instead their reaction has been … crickets. Bush shreds liberties, a leading Democrat finally stands up and says this is wrong, and not one of his colleagues can watch his back? 

What is wrong with Democratic leadership? Why aren’t they standing up too and fighting against these most obvious and serious of abuses?

PS. Gore mentioned the Tashkent telegrams. Democrats should be doing the same from the floors of Congress.

"The President has also claimed that he has the authority to kidnap individuals in foreign countries and deliver them for imprisonment and interrogation on our behalf by autocratic regimes in nations that are infamous for the cruelty of their techniques for torture.

Some of our traditional allies have been shocked by these new practices on the part of our nation. The British Ambassador to Uzbekistan – one of those nations with the worst reputations for torture in its prisons – registered a complaint to his home office about the senselessness and cruelty of the new U.S. practice: "This material is useless – we are selling our souls for dross. It is in fact positively harmful."

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