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White House accuses Gore of hypocrisy

by Mark5019 / January 17, 2006 6:53 AM PST

WASHINGTON (AP) ? The White House accused former Vice President Al Gore of hypocrisy Tuesday for his assertion that President Bush broke the law by eavesdropping on Americans without court approval.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan stands at the podium during Tuesday's briefing.
Evan Vucci, AP

"If Al Gore is going to be the voice of the Democrats on national security matters, we welcome it," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said in a swipe at the Democrat, who lost the 2000 election to Bush only after the Supreme Court intervened.

Gore, in a speech Monday, called for an independent investigation of the administration program that he says broke the law by listening in ? without warrants ? on Americans suspected of talking with terrorists abroad. (Related: Gore rips domestic espionage program)

Gore called the program, authorized by President Bush, "a threat to the very structure of our government" and charged that the administration acted without congressional authority and made a "direct assault" on a federal court set up to authorize requests to eavesdrop on Americans.

Meanwhile, two civil liberties groups ? the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights ? filed federal lawsuits Tuesday seeking to block the eavesdropping program, which they called unconstitutional electronic surveillance of American citizens.

McClellan said the Clinton-Gore administration had engaged in warrantless physical searches, and he cited an FBI search of the home of CIA turncoat Aldrich Ames without permission from a judge. He said Clinton's deputy attorney general, Jamie Gorelick, had testified before Congress that the president had the inherent authority to engage in physical searches without warrants.


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1 wrong plus 1 wrong make a right?
by grimgraphix / January 17, 2006 7:23 AM PST

Aside from McClellans effort at redirecting attention away from the Bush administration with a grade school argument of "they did it so why can't we?" I have to ask...

If Scott McClellan feels so strongly that Gore and Clinton was wrong here (else why raise this particular incident to begin with) then why doesn't the current administration reopen the Aldrich Ames investigation?

I'm rubber, Your Glue... Grin


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What you are missing,
by duckman / January 17, 2006 7:29 AM PST

is that the Bush Whitehouse isn't saying it was wrong to search Ames's house. So there NYAH,NYAH

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by grimgraphix / January 17, 2006 7:41 AM PST
In reply to: What you are missing,

I am still chuckling over the NYAH,NYAH... Give me a second...

Okay, I think I can type.

I just think it silly for the White House to raise such an issue. If they are attempting to suggest that this was a legal precedent of some sort then this should be raised in court or congress. But it's just an obvious spin doctoring, trying to discredit Gores remarks and label him as a hypocrite. Problem is that Gore, Clinton and Bush all come off looking bad in this comparison IMO.


I liked your rebuttal though !

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It's not silly
by TONI H / January 17, 2006 7:56 AM PST
In reply to: LOL

Gore knew it was legal to do with Presidental power at the time 'they' did it, so why would he think it's illegal now that another Pres has used that power as well?

You can't have it both ways.......


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Is it legal?
by grimgraphix / January 17, 2006 8:11 AM PST
In reply to: It's not silly

That's where we differ... I'm no lawyer but from all I've read it is not.

Just because a president says the sky is green does not make it so, no matter what party they belong to. The Bush administration is on record in it's exploration of extending its search powers after the legislation that Bush argues gave him the power to wiretap without warrant was passed. Why do this if he was confident that he was legally authorized to do this?

Until some one can convince me that they laws against unlawful searches and by extension, eavesdropping, can be circumvented... then no matter who did it... they broke the law.

Gore, is just a convenient distraction in this case... if you unthinkingly support Gore then the comparison my distract someone. I have no love for Gore and thus see Scott McClellan's raising of this issue as so much smoke screen.


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The actual document
by TONI H / January 17, 2006 8:18 AM PST
In reply to: Is it legal?

giving the ability to do so was posted here a couple of times already. I'm under the impression from all I'VE read that it was legal.....for both Presidents.


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Sorry but I must have missed that one.
by grimgraphix / January 17, 2006 8:35 AM PST
In reply to: The actual document

Still, I do have 3 books on the Constitution but it's all Colonial history. Constitution must have changed since then, right?


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Article II Sections 1 (executive powers)...
by Edward ODaniel / January 17, 2006 8:54 AM PST

and Section 2 (Commander in Chief) grant the Presidential Powers in question and the Congressional Debates as well as the Federalist Papers offer up the thinking of the founders with regard to those powers which are rather extensive.

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Nice link for the Times article
by grimgraphix / January 17, 2006 9:19 AM PST

what are these articles and sections quoted from specifically please?

The Federalist papers can be used as a window into the views of some of the founding fathers but keep in mind that the authors made some arguments against the provisions in the Bill of Rights as well.


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About the article...
by Edward ODaniel / January 17, 2006 9:57 AM PST

you will have to make use of the info to locate sources--I did way back when I first linked to them.

The Federalist Papers do offer up both pro and con arguments (then go to the Anti-Federalist Papers) which is understandable because of their limited authorship but both sides of the arguments are readily available even up to and including the ratification conventions of the states and the words and comments of their delegates. That is also why the Congressional Record is of great import when considering what the adopted language of a bill or amendment actually means. Both sides are important because then you can actually see how final versions came about because it was the most popular version accepted by the majority that became finalized and thus demonstrates exactly what was in the minds of the founders.

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(NT) (NT) read war acts 1,2,3
by Mark5019 / January 17, 2006 9:44 AM PST
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Would it help you to be aware that...
by Edward ODaniel / January 17, 2006 8:45 AM PST
In reply to: Is it legal?

there have been many court decisions that accept warrantless searches as a part of the President's war powers as granted by the Consitution?

Congress cannot legislate binding changes to the President's powers--that has to be accomp-lished through Constitutional Amendment.

In a 2002 opinion about the constitutionality of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and the USA Patriot Act, the court wrote: "We take for granted that the President does have that authority and, assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the President's constitutional power."

Indeed, previous administrations have used that same authority.

One of the most famous examples of warrantless searches in recent years was the investigation of CIA official Aldrich H. Ames, who ultimately pleaded guilty to spying for the former Soviet Union. That case was largely built upon secret searches of Ames' home and office in 1993, conducted without federal warrants.
(be sure to read the second page also)

In short, yes it is legal.

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Because the law has changed, Toni.
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / January 17, 2006 12:12 PM PST
In reply to: It's not silly

To quote Mark's linked document, "at the time of the Ames search in 1993 and when Gorelick testified a year later, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act required warrants for electronic surveillance for intelligence purposes, but did not cover physical searches. The law was changed to cover physical searches in 1995 under legislation that Clinton supported and signed. (emphasis added). So there's no inconsistency -- McLellan's merely trying to confuse the issue by comparing apples and oranges.

The key issue here is the very same one as in Watergate -- is or is not the President subject to the law, or can he merely claim "national security" without any check on his power. That way lies the risk of dictatorship, because it strips away all checks and balances that prevent it.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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(NT) (NT) Where did you get that from?
by Evie / January 17, 2006 7:37 AM PST
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where was the
by Mark5019 / January 17, 2006 7:44 AM PST

outrage then seems your Dem's are so hypocritical, but then again they have a record of backing losers like gore, kerry, and whos next:D

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You seem to be thinking I'm supporting Gore
by grimgraphix / January 17, 2006 8:00 AM PST
In reply to: where was the

if the accusations of illegal searches are true then any evidence taken from an illegal search that was used in convicting Ames should be reconsidered. eg a search warrant should have been secured because that is the law.

What's wrong is wrong. If Gore is a hypocrite then he is but the point I'm making is that IF Clinton side stepped due process in the search mentioned and in the process broke the law THEN comparing the Bush administrations actions as similar is self defeating.

Yeah, it makes Gore look like a yahoo... but in my mind it just makes Bush, Gore and Clinton three peas in a pod then. The association, IMO, doesn't make bush look any better


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but where was the outrage then?
by Mark5019 / January 17, 2006 8:20 AM PST

i forget its bush and if bush has it done then it must be bad:(

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Where was the outrage?
by grimgraphix / January 17, 2006 8:30 AM PST

I don't know Mark... I didn't have you around to point out to me this infraction so I wasn't aware of it. If I had known then I would have been outraged... or are you just voicing your frustration in general? Did it get much press?

I just don't fall for the "it's Us against Them" arguement.


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i know you dont
by Mark5019 / January 17, 2006 10:00 AM PST
In reply to: Where was the outrage?

just another reason to wonder.
when we get hit again what you would say if it takes a mem,ber of your famially and the evesdropping would have provented it?

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What in the world
by grimgraphix / January 17, 2006 10:59 AM PST
In reply to: i know you dont

does that have to do with an asinine comparison and attempt to deflect attention from the White House by pointing a finger at a critic... Remember... thats what I commented on way back when. If the powers in charge are on such solid footing then they only belittle themselves by using the "I know you are but what am I" argument that this equates to.

Disagree with me on that point if you want but please drop the "Their out to get us and your just helping them" theatrics. In the history of mankind someone will always be out to get you and yes, sometimes they will do it by cutting off your head. Jeffrey Dahmer did that and he wasn't even a muslim... imagine that. Wink


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and why was it legal for good
by Mark5019 / January 17, 2006 11:06 AM PST
In reply to: What in the world

old bill but not now, when were in a war.
try to answer that if you can as its just funny you dont find its scary that a weapon for our safty has been nutered.

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And why, and why, and why
by grimgraphix / January 17, 2006 11:38 AM PST

When did I say it was alright for Good Old Bill?

You keep appealing to emotion and fear Mark, and when that doesn't apply you the pull the "liberals are out to destroy the country" card.

I posted about my opinion that the administration did not help their cause by comparing their situation to Clinton and the Ames search. If you want to talk about that, fine.

I will give you this bit to criticize all you want.

Most liberals will admit their candidates can be wrong... Most conservatives can admit that liberal candidates can be wrong as well!
See ! We do have something in common Grin


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it was legal then and legal
by Mark5019 / January 17, 2006 12:04 PM PST

now ok critize that

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Totally missed it.
by EdH / January 17, 2006 10:14 AM PST

McClellan was NOT saying the Clinton Admin was wrong...He was saying, how come it's okay for them but not okay for us?


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(NT) (NT) and he's guilty.
by Kiddpeat / January 17, 2006 10:29 AM PST

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