The Seriousness of Al Gore

Robert George thinks the former veep is a more formidable opponent of the Bush administration than Senator Hillary Rodham-Clinton. I'm not so sure. But Al's recent speech is definitely worth a read. Frankly, I hope neither runs next time (yes, I know: fat chance). But Gore's nuanced and powerful critique of the president's use and abuse of executive power is a public service. Money quote:

"The executive branch has also claimed a previously unrecognized authority to mistreat prisoners in its custody in ways that plainly constitute torture and have plainly constituted torture -- in a widespread pattern that has been extensively documented in U.S. facilities located in several countries around the world.

Over 100 of these captives have reportedly died while being tortured by executive branch interrogators. Many more have been broken and humiliated. And, in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison, investigators who documented the pattern of torture estimated that more than 90 percent of the victims were completely innocent of any criminal charges whatsoever.

This is a shameful exercise of power that overturns a set of principles that our nation has observed since General George Washington first enunciated them during our Revolutionary War. They have been observed by every president since then until now.

They violate the Geneva Conventions, the International Convention Against Torture and our own laws against torture."

Alas, all of this is indisputable.