White House accuses Gore of hypocrisy over spy program
Published: Wednesday, January 18, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 17, 2006 at 8:50 p.m.
WASHINGTON - 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 Gore, who lost the 2000 election to Bush.
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."
McClellan also said Sen. Hillary Clinton was "out of bounds" when she said the Bush administration was "one of the worst" in U.S. history and compared the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to a plantation where dissenting voices are squelched.
Asked about the criticism coming from the two high-profile Democrats on the same day, McClellan said, "Well, I think we know, one tends to like or enjoy grabbing headlines; the other one - sounds like the political season may be starting early."
Clinton is running for re-election to the Senate this year and is a potential candidate for the 2008 presidential race.
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.
The American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights filed federal lawsuits Tuesday seeking to block the eavesdropping program.
Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.
Comments are currently unavailable on this article