Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Text of Gore Speech

At Raw Story.

It was an awesomely sobering speech, one I didn't want to hear about the Great Power Grab threatening our country's democracy. LA Times, our sorta local paper, carried a decent Ron Brownstein summary on page 8. Needless to say, I was sorely disappointed the piece didn't get a bold headline on the front page.

One theme I'd like to point out was this. The biggest irony of the Great Power Grab is that in the name of safety and security, we are losing our real source of safety and security: our freedom, our civil liberties, our democracy.
Vigilant adherence to the rule of law strengthens our democracy and strengthens America. It ensures that those who govern us operate within our constitutional structure, which means that our democratic institutions play their indispensable role in shaping policy and determining the direction of our nation. It means that the people of this nation ultimately determine its course and not executive officials operating in secret without constraint.


Where we disagree is that we have to break the law or sacrifice our system of government to protect Americans from terrorism. In fact, doing so makes us weaker and more vulnerable.


Fear drives out reason. Fear suppresses the politics of discourse and opens the door to the politics of destruction. Justice Brandeis once wrote: "Men feared witches and burnt women."
We lose our true source of safety when we give into fear and pursue security at all costs.

Gore offers steps. I'm taking this summary from a dkos diary

1. A special counsel should immediately be appointed by the Attorney General.

2. Second, new whistleblower protections should immediately be established for members of the Executive Branch who report evidence of wrongdoing.

3. Third, both Houses of Congress should hold comprehensive hearings into these serious allegations of criminal behavior.

4. Fourth, the extensive new powers requested by the Executive Branch in its proposal to extend and enlarge the Patriot Act should, under no circumstances be granted.

5. Fifth, any telecommunications company that has provided the government with access without a warrant...should immediately cease and desist.
I'm relieved to see Gore offered a few concrete steps, something to hold onto in these times. I'm hoping this will be enough to get us back onto the proper course.