Former vice president Al Gore spoke out recently about the revelations of eavesdropping conducted by the Bush administration while fighting the war on terror. The wiretaps in question were done without permission from a secret court, which usually acquiesces to the president.
In a speech to 3,500 at the Daughters of the American Revolution Hall here in D.C., Gore said the executive branch is acting as if it has the “unilateral right to continue without regard to the established law by Congress to prevent such abuses.”
We find it curious that Gore was the first democrat to speak out. Why are elected democrats silent? Issues of such importance should not be relegated to election year stump speeches, but should be addressed when they crop up.
In reaction to the wiretaps the president has authorized since the 9/11 attacks, there is a tug of war between the executive and legislative branches. Some in Congress have called for impeachment, while many across America are wondering just what authority exists and who has it. Courts have upheld executive power in the past, and Section 1811 of the FISA lawallows presidents during periods of authorized war to engage in wiretapping “without a court order.”
For Bush it is an unwelcome scandal in an election year. However, the American public would be well served in knowing how their government works.