Bush abused power by allowing domestic spying, Gore says
Speech also urges Congress to stand up to the White House
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
WASHINGTON — Former Vice President Al Gore charged yesterday that President Bush had broken the law repeatedly by authorizing domestic eavesdropping without court approval and warned that Bush’s aggressive assertion of power puts “America’s Constitution in grave danger.”
Gore called for lawmakers to demand the appointment of a special counsel to investigate the National Security Agency’s wiretapping of U.S. citizens and criticized Republicans and Democrats in Congress for failing to stand up to the White House.
In a speech sponsored by two civil-liberties groups, the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy and the Liberty Coalition, Gore frequently drew applause and standing ovations at DAR Constitution Hall by denouncing what he saw as abuses of power by the man he narrowly lost the presidency to in 2000.
“A president who breaks the law is a threat to the very structure of our government,” Gore said. “Our Founding Fathers were adamant that they had established a government of laws and not men.”
Gore also criticized Bush for citing the threat of terrorism to claim other powers, including the imprisonment of U.S. citizens without warrants and the torture and kidnapping of individuals in foreign countries.