Republicans, once again, are trying to turn the recent domestic spying issue into another front of the Blame-each-other War (dare we call it an Orwellian-sounding War on Lies) in some sort of effort to convince people that there really is a difference between the two subsets of jackyderms. The latest round was fired at Al Gore by Scott McClellan. From the 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.
“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.
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.
McClellan’s salvo missed the mark for two reasons. The first is that Gore isn’t the only spokesperson on the issue. Former Republican Congressman Bob Barr was scheduled to speak with Gore. Human Events Online billed it this way:
Former Vice President Al Gore will attack President Bush’s domestic eavesdropping program at a Washington, D.C., speech on Martin Luther King Day — with a Republican by his side.
Gore is teaming up with former Rep. Bob Barr, a Republican, for the policy address, which is endorsed by MoveOn.org and sponsored by the American Constitution Society and Liberty Coalition. Barr is an outspoken critic of Bush on issues of national security. He led the drive to impeach President Bill Clinton, Gore’s partner in the White House for eight years.
The LA Times explains a bit more:
Gore was scheduled to be introduced via a satellite feed by former Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.), one of the managers of the House impeachment case against Clinton. But problems with a satellite link prevented Barr from speaking.
McClellan almost hit on one issue. Had he had not started on unlevel ground with the insinuation that this is a Democrat v. Republican issue, this barrage might have found a target:
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.
“I think his hypocrisy knows no bounds,” McClellan said of Gore.
In the end, it is obvious that the GOP is merely shooting spitwads, as they have never gone after the Clinton administration about the Ames search — that is until it suddenly became convenient for them. Those with inside-the-beltway mentality may not get it, but most of America sees McClellan calling Gore a hypocrite yet the latest jackyderm example of pot-calling-the-kettle-blackism.