Yesterday, we sponsored a powerful speech by former Vice President Al Gore on the fallout from the war in Iraq. In the speech, Mr. Gore took on the Bush administration, arguing that the "abuse of the prisoners at Abu Ghraib flowed directly from the abuse of the truth that characterized the Administration's march to war and the abuse of the trust that had been placed in President Bush by the American people in the aftermath of September 11th." To sustained applause, he then called for the architects of the Bush foreign policy – Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, George Tenet, Paul Wolfowitz, and others -- to resign, arguing that "the current team is making things worse with each passing day."
You can read a full transcript of the speech and watch a great five-minute video of the highlights at:
We're also offering a DVD of the speech, which will be sent out in four to six weeks, for a $5 contribution. To order a DVD now, go to:
Mr. Gore began the speech by focusing on the policy of domination which pervades the Bush Administration:
"Dominance is not really a strategic policy or political philosophy at all. It is a seductive illusion that tempts the powerful to satiate their hunger for more power still by striking a Faustian bargain. And as always happens -- sooner or later -- to those who shake hands with the devil, they find out too late that what they have given up in the bargain is their soul."
This policy, he explained, is making us less safe as a country:
To sustained applause, he then called for the resignation of the Bush foreign policy team:
"It is therefore essential that even as we focus on the fateful choice, the voters must make this November that we simultaneously search for ways to sharply reduce the extraordinary danger that we face with the current leadership team in place. It is for that reason that I am calling today for Republicans as well as Democrats to join me in asking for the immediate resignations of those immediately below George Bush and Dick Cheney who are most responsible for creating the catastrophe that we are facing in Iraq."
"We desperately need a national security team with at least minimal competence because the current team is making things worse with each passing day. They are endangering the lives of our soldiers, and sharply increasing the danger faced by American citizens everywhere in the world, including here at home. They are enraging hundreds of millions of people and embittering an entire generation of anti-Americans whose rage is already near the boiling point."
"We simply cannot afford to further increase the risk to our country with more blunders by this team. Donald Rumsfeld, as the chief architect of the war plan, should resign today. His deputies Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith and his intelligence chief Stephen Cambone should also resign. The nation is especially at risk every single day that Rumsfeld remains as Secretary of Defense. Condoleezza Rice, who has badly mishandled the coordination of national security policy, should also resign immediately."
And, at the end, he called for us to hold Bush accountable in November:
"I believe we have a duty to hold President Bush accountable -- and I believe we will. As Lincoln said at our time of greatest trial, 'We -- even we here -- hold the power, and bear the responsibility.'"
To read the whole speech and watch video highlights of the best moments, go to:
MoveOn.org Political Action
May 27th, 2004
P.S. The speech has also been getting terrific press from around the country. Here are the first few paragraphs of a good write-up in the Washington Post:
GORE CALLS FOR TOP OFFICIALS TO RESIGN
DEMOCRAT ASSAILS BUSH'S WAR CABINET
By Mike Allen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 27, 2004; Page A03
Former vice president Al Gore accused President Bush's war cabinet of reckless incompetence yesterday and called for the resignations of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice and CIA Director George J. Tenet.
"George W. Bush promised us a foreign policy with humility. Instead, he has brought us humiliation in the eyes of the world," Gore said at a speech in New York sponsored by the liberal MoveOn.org Political Action. "We simply cannot afford to further increase the risk to our country with more blunders by this team."
Gore, jabbing his fingers and raising his voice to a shout, called the horrors of the Abu Ghraib prison "the predictable consequence of policy choices that flowed directly from this administration's contempt for the rule of law." His broad critique of that policy ranged from its aims to its vocabulary, and he complained about Bush aides' "frequent use of the word 'dominance' to describe their strategic goal."