State of Alabama secondary Archives: on Homeland Security


Donald Rumsfeld: 9/11: First response was to look for Iraq link

As a result of the 9/11 Commission report, we now know that within hours after the attack on 9/11, Secretary Rumsfeld was busy attempting to find a way to link Saddam Hussein with the attack. We have the sworn testimony of the president's White House hea of counterterrorism, Richard Clarke, that on the day after the attack, September 12, the president wanted to connect the attacks to Saddam. Clarke recounted, "The president said, 'I want you to find whether Iraq did this.' I said, 'Mr. President, there's no connection.' The CIA/FBI report we sent to the president got bounced back saying, 'Wrong answer. Do it again.' I don't think the president sees memos that he wouldn't like the answer."

By 2004, even Rumsfeld, who saw all of the intelligence availabl to President Bush that might bear on the alleged connection between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, finally admitted under tough repeated questioning from reporters, "To my knowledge, I have not seen any strong, hard evidence that links the two."

Source: The Assault on Reason, by Al Gore, p.107-108&111 Jul 1, 2008

George W. Bush: Signing statement: We will decide what is torture

The administration sought to justify torture and to somehow provide a legal rationale for the sadistic activities conducted in the name of the American people.

The uproar caused by the disclosure of this legal analysis forced the administration to claim it was throwing out the memo and to dismiss it as irrelevant and over-broad, but the administration still refuses to acknowledge that the memo's original audacious claims that the president can ignore the law are just wrong.

Congress enacted the McCain Amendment by overwhelming, veto-proof majorities. Rather than see his veto overridden, the president signed the law but simultaneously issued a signing statement indicating that he would not be bound by the new law. The statement declared that the McCain Amendment would be "construed" to make it "consistent with" the president's power as head of the unitary executive and as commander-in-chief and also in light of the "constitutional limitations on the judicial power."

Source: The Assault on Reason, by Al Gore, p.153-154 Jul 1, 2008

John McCain: McCain Amendment: Torture ban passed by veto-proof majority

You'll recall the strange and perverted legal memorandum from inside the administration that actually sought to justify torture. The uproar caused by the disclosure of this legal analysis forced the administration to claim it was throwing out the memo and to dismiss it as irrelevant and over-broad, but the administration still refuses to acknowledge that the memo's original audacious claims that the president can ignore the law are just wrong.

Congress was understandably unmoved by these disclaimers and enacted the McCain Amendment, preventing not only what the memo regards as torture but also "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment" of detainees. Despite the threat of a veto, the legislation passed by overwhelming, veto-proof majorities in both houses. Rather than see his veto overridden, the president signed the law but simultaneously issued a signing statement indicating that he would not be bound by the new law.

Source: The Assault on Reason, by Al Gore, p.153-154 Jul 1, 2008

Al Gore: Our government condones torture for first time in history

For the first time in American history, the Executive Branch of our government has not only condoned but actively promoted the treatment of captives in wartime that clearly involves torture, thus overturning a prohibition established by General George Washington during the Revolutionary War.

It is too easy--and too partisan--to simply place the blame on the policies of Pres. Bush. We are all responsible for the decisions our country makes. We have a Congress. We have an independent judiciary. We have checks and balances. We are a nation of laws. We have free speech. We have a free press. Have they all failed us? Why has America’s public discourse become less focused and clear, less reasoned? Faith in the power of reason--the belief that free citizens can govern themselves wisely and fairly by resorting to logical debate on the basis of the best evidence available, instead of raw power--remains the central premise of American democracy. This premise is now under assault.

Source: The Assault on Reason, by Al Gore May 16, 2007

Al Gore: Mass eavesdropping threatens integrity of Bill of Rights

The disclosure that our government has been cruelly and routinely torturing captured prisoners--and was continuing to do so as official policy--provoked surprisingly little public outcry, even though it threatened America’s values and moral authority in the world. Similarly, the disclosure that the executive branch had been conducting mass eavesdropping on American citizens without respecting the constitutional requirement that it obtain judicial warrants--and was continuing to do so--caused so little controversy that the Congress actually adopted legislation approving and affirming the practice. Yet this action threatened the integrity of the Bill of Rights, which is at the heart of America’s gift to human history.
Source: The Assault on Reason, by Al Gore, p. 53 May 16, 2007

Alan Schlesinger: Iran has 6 enriched nuclear warheads; no negotiating

Q: When should military action be considered against North Korea and Iran?

LAMONT: In each case, first and foremost, it’s time for hard-headed direct negotiations--negotiations backed up by sanctions, and negotiations are always backed up by the threat of force. Negotiation is not a form of appeasement.

SCHLESINGER: North Korea can be dealt with Either bilaterally or in 6-way talks. When it comes to Iran, our policy must be consistent. We must speak with a strong and unified voice. Ahmadinejad has 18 nuclear facilities, 6 enriched nuclear warheads, and a silo deep underground to test them, and believe me, that’s not for energy purposes. If you think you can negotiate with Ahmadinejad, no, our security is on the line.

LIEBERMAN: We need to first use economic and diplomatic sanctions. But they must know that in the final analysis, the US and our allies are prepared to stop Iran from becoming nuclear, and to stop North Korea from selling any of its nuclear weapons to terrorists.

Source: CT 2006 Debate with Al Terzi, moderator Oct 19, 2006

Joseph Lieberman: North Korea must know that we are prepared to use force

Q: When should military action be considered against North Korea and Iran?

LAMONT: In each case, first and foremost, it’s time for hard-headed direct negotiations--negotiations backed up by sanctions, and negotiations are always backed up by the threat of force. Negotiation is not a form of appeasement.

SCHLESINGER: North Korea can be dealt with either bilaterally or in 6-way talks. In Iran, Ahmadinejad has 18 nuclear facilities, 6 enriched nuclear warheads, and that’s not for energy purposes.

LIEBERMAN: The nuclearization of North Korea & Iran remind us that we live in a dangerous world. With regards to both Iran & North Korea, we need to first use economic and diplomatic sanctions, as we’re doing now, through the UN and other organizations. But they must know that in the final analysis, the US and our allies are prepared, though We do not want to use military power, To stop Iran from becoming nuclear, and to stop North Korea from selling any of its nuclear weapons to terrorists.

Source: CT 2006 Debate with Al Terzi, moderator Oct 19, 2006

Joseph Lieberman: Iran: Sponsored resolution calling for regime change

LAMONT: Sen. Lieberman endorsed a resolution calling for regime change in Iran. That’s how we got into Iraq. You can’t be calling for regime change at the same time we’re trying to engage these countries in a direct bilateral way.

SCHLESINGER: Haven’t we learned anything from history? If you think you can negotiate with Ahmadinejad, no, our security is on the line. The guy’s playing cat-and-mouse with us. One day he says he’ll go with the incentives, and the next day not.

LIEBERMAN: I’m proud that I co-sponsored that bipartisan resolution calling for regime change in Iran because there are some leaders you can’t negotiate with. Look at what Ahmadinejad has said. History reminds us in the case of Hitler and Osama bin Laden that they said exactly what they ultimately did. He wants to wipe out Israel and he has told thousands “Imagine a world without the USA; that is possible in our time.” We need to be working with people in Iran, who hate this government, to help them overthrow it.

Source: CT 2006 Debate with Al Terzi, moderator (X-ref Lamont) Oct 19, 2006

Ned Lamont: North Korea: Negotiation is not appeasement

Q: When should military action be considered against North Korea and Iran?

LAMONT: While we have been bogged down in Iraq, the world has become a much more dangerous place. In each case, first and foremost, it’s time for hard-headed direct negotiations --negotiations backed up by sanctions, and negotiations are always backed up by the threat of force. Negotiation is not a form of appeasement - it’s one of the tools in our toolbox for dealing with these rogue nations, and we’ve got to use it.

SCHLESINGER: North Korea can be dealt with either bilaterally or in 6-way talks. In Iran, Ahmadinejad has 18 nuclear facilities, 6 enriched nuclear warheads, and that’s not for energy purposes.

LIEBERMAN: With regards to both Iran and North Korea, we need to first use economic and diplomatic sanctions. But they must know that in the final analysis, the US and our allies are prepared to stop Iran from becoming nuclear, and to stop North Korea from selling any of its nuclear weapons to terrorists.

Source: CT 2006 Debate with Al Terzi, moderator Oct 19, 2006

Ned Lamont: Iran: Cannot negotiate while we’re calling for regime change

LAMONT: Sen. Lieberman endorsed a resolution calling for regime change in Iran. That’s how we got into Iraq. You can’t be calling for regime change at the same time we’re trying to engage these countries in a direct bilateral way.

SCHLESINGER: Haven’t we learned anything from history? If you think you can negotiate with Ahmadinejad, no, our security is on the line. The guy’s playing cat-and-mouse with us. One day he says he’ll go with the incentives, and the next day not.

LIEBERMAN: I’m proud that I co-sponsored that bipartisan resolution calling for regime change in Iran because there are some leaders you can’t negotiate with. Look at what Ahmadinejad has said. History reminds us in the case of Hitler and Osama bin Laden that they said exactly what they ultimately did. He wants to wipe out Israel and he has told thousands “Imagine a world without the USA; that is possible in our time.” We need to be working with people in Iran, who hate this government, to help them overthrow it.

Source: CT 2006 Debate with Al Terzi, moderator Oct 19, 2006

Al Gore: Real danger to WTC is not terrorism, but rising sea levels

In Manhattan, the World Trade Center Memorial is intended to be, among other things, an expression of the determination of the United States never to allow such harm to befall our country again.

But if sea levels rose 20 feet worldwide, the site of the World Trade Center Memorial would be underwater.

Is it possible that we should prepare for other serious threats in addition to terrorism? Maybe it is time to focus on other dangers as well.

Source: An Inconvenient Truth, by Al Gore, p.208-209 May 26, 2006

Al Franken: Terror alerts are politicized; purpose is to scare people

Could it be that terror alerts like the August 1, 2004, warning, which was based almost entirely (if not entirely entirely) on the intelligence obtained prior to 9/11, were more geared toward freaking people out than protecting them? Could it be, as cynics charged, that the much-vaunted Homeland Security apparatus was less about homeland security and more about politics?

Sorry, cynics! Asked about a possible political motive the day after the suspiciously unwarranted August 1 alert, Tom Ridge was firm: "We don't do politics in the Department of Homeland Security."

On the other, cynical, hand, it did come out after the election that Ridge had met with hotshot GOP pollsters [regularly]. What we don't know is whether the pollsters specifically focus-group-tested the phrase "We don't do politics in the Department of Homeland Security."

The terror alerts served no purpose other than to remind people that they could be incinerated at any moment. But that reminder was exactly the point.

Source: The Truth (with jokes), by Al Franken, p. 28-29 Oct 25, 2005

Al Franken: 9/11 Commission says Bush failed to prevent 9/11

George W. Bush had failed to prevent the most deadly terrorist attack in American history.

As an official, bipartisan body, the 9/11 Commission couldn't come right out and say, as I did, that Bush had dropped the ball on terrorism over and over again from the minute he came into office. But anyone who reads the report can't come to any other conclusion.

To me, the most infuriating passage deals with Bush's nonreaction to the August 6 Presidential Daily Brief, memorably titled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike Inside US." The brief warned, among other things, "preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in NY."

Furthermore, the 9/11 Commission found that following the August 6 PDB, "We have found no indication of any further discussion before September 11th between the President and his advisors about the possibility of a threat of al Qaeda attack in the US."

It is my firm belief that President Bush never read the August 6 PDB.

Source: The Truth (with jokes), by Al Franken, p. 35-36 Oct 25, 2005

Al Franken: War on Terror failing: number of terrorist attacks has risen

An obvious metric of the success of the War on Terror is the number of terrorist attacks worldwide. At least that's what the State Department boasted when it initially released its annual "Patterns of Global Terrorism" report in 2004. The report showed that the incidence of terrorist attacks was down to its lowest level in more than 30 years--a 45% decrease since 2001.

But the State Department had made a number of small mistakes, including leaving out the terrorist attacks that had taken place during an unusually busy terrorist attack season from Nov. 12 through Dec. 31. [After those corrections], the number of "significant" terrorist attacks had shot up from the previous year, reaching, not the lowest, but the HIGHEST level ever recorded.

The next year, the State Department's report on terrorism did not include statistics on terrorist attacks--the very activity that defines terrorism. Which isn't to say they didn't COLLECT the statistics: [they just stopped reporting them].

Source: The Truth (with jokes), by Al Franken, p.284-285 Oct 25, 2005

Al Gore: Pre-9/11 warnings were as strong as Millennium threats

Al Gore, from a speech in 2004:

"[CIA's] George Tenet wrote, 'The system was blinking red,' when Bush was presented with a CIA report with the headline, more alarming and more pointed than any I saw in 8 years of daily CIA briefings: 'Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the US.'

"The only warnings of this nature that remotely resembled the one given to George Bush were about so-called Millennium threats predicted for the end of the year 1999 and less specific warnings about the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996. In both cases these warnings were followed, immediately, the same day--by the beginning of urgent daily meetings in the White House of all the agencies and offices involved in preparing our nation to prevent the threatened attack.

"By contrast, when Pres. Bush received his fateful and historic warning of 9/11, he did not bring together the FBI and CIA and other agencies with responsibility to protect the nation, and apparently did not even ask follow-up questions about the warning."

Source: The Truth (with jokes), by Al Franken, p. 37-38 Oct 25, 2005

Colin Powell: Pottery Barn Rule about Iraq: you break it, you own it

Colin Powell didn't think things were going to be as quick, cheap and easy as the rest of the gang. Powell seemed reluctant to entrust Iraq's postwar fate to the shady Chalabi. The Iraqi exile leader was regarded with distrust after feeding the CIA inaccurate intelligence. In Powell's view, the mere fact that he would be better than Saddam Hussein was hardly a sufficient qualification to recommend Chalabi as the next leader of Iraq.

Powell felt that the person most likely to wind up holding the bag in Iraq was his boss, George Bush. It was the Pottery Barn Rule. "You break it, you own it," Powell argued. Once the US invaded Iraq--"broke it"--it would fall to the US to govern ("own") that country and its 25 million people. To the rest of the inner circle, invoking the Pottery Barn Rule was a namby-pamby, passive-aggressive way to argue against the war itself. For Powell, it was meant as a reminder that with victory would come great responsibility.

Source: The Truth (with jokes), by Al Franken, p. 240-241 Oct 25, 2005

Colin Powell: 2004: Stopped reporting number of terrorist attacks

The State Department boasted in its 2004 report that the incidence of terrorist attacks was down to its lowest level in more than 30 years--a 45% decrease since 2001.

It wasn't long before the State Department realized they had made a number of small mistakes, including leaving out the terrorist attacks that had taken place during an unusually busy terrorist attack season from Nov. 12 through Dec. 31. An embarrassed Colin Powell did some damage control, saying, "I'm not a happy camper on this. We were wrong. We're going to get to the bottom of it." Once the books had gone through the State Department's de-cookerator, the number of "significant" terrorist attacks had shot up from the previous year, reaching, not the lowest, but the HIGHEST level ever recorded.

The next year, the State Department's report on terrorism did not include statistics on terrorist attacks--the very activity that defines terrorism.

Source: The Truth (with jokes), by Al Franken, p.284-285 Oct 25, 2005

Condoleezza Rice: Speech scheduled for 9/11/01 focused on missile defense

During the transition, Sandy Berger (Clinton's national security adviser) told Condi Rice that she would spend more time on bin Laden and al Qaeda than on anything else. But despite these warnings, or maybe because of them, the Bush team decided to shift its focus to missile defense.

In fact, Condi Rice was scheduled to give a speech on this very topic on September 11, 2001, at Johns Hopkins University. As the Washington Post reported on April 1, 2004, Rice's speech was intended to address "the threats and problems of today and the day after, not the world of yesterday." But the text of the speech, which was never delivered, contained not one word about the actual threat of "today," which, as became clear that day, was al Qaeda. Here's the Post: "The address was designed to promote missile defense as the cornerstone of a new national security strategy, and contained no mention of al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden or Islamic extremist groups, according to former US officials who have seen the text."

Source: The Truth (with jokes), by Al Franken, p. 40-41 Oct 25, 2005

Dick Cheney: 2004: Wrong choice for president & we'll get hit again

As Dick Cheney had put it more succinctly 7-1/2 weeks earlier:

"It's absolutely essential that 8 weeks from today, on November 2, we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again, that we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the US, and that we'll fall back into the pre-0/11 mindset, if you will, that in fact these terrorist attacks are just criminal acts and that we are not really at war."

Source: The Truth (with jokes), by Al Franken, p. 27 Oct 25, 2005

George W. Bush: A president must not shift in the wind

Here's an excerpt from Bush's address at Tinker Field in Orlando, Florida, on October 30, 2004:

"A president must not shift in the wind; a president has to make tough decisions and stand by them. Especially in a time of war, mixed signals only confuse our friends and embolden our enemies. All progress on every other issue depends on the safety of our citizens. Americans will go to the polls Tuesday in a time of war and ongoing threats. The terrorists who killed thousands of innocent people are still dangerous, and they're determined to strike. The most solemn duty of the American president is to protect the American people. If America shows uncertainty or weakness in these troubling times, the world will drift toward tragedy. This is not going to happen on my watch."

Source: The Truth (with jokes), by Al Franken, p. 27 Oct 25, 2005

George W. Bush: OpEd: Clinton told Bush that biggest threat was al Qaeda

During the transition, Clinton personally told Bush that "by far your biggest threat is bin Laden and al Qaeda," and Sandy Berger (Clinton's national security adviser) told Condi Rice that she would spend more time on bin Laden and al Qaeda than on anything else. But despite these warnings, or maybe because of them, the Bush team decided to shift its focus to missile defense.

In fact, Condi Rice was scheduled to give a speech on this very topic on September 11, 2001: Rice's speech was intended to address "the threats and problems of today and the day after, not the world of yesterday." But the text of the speech, which was never delivered, contained not one word about the actual threat of "today," which, as became clear that day, was al Qaeda.

The Bush administration has never allowed the full text of that speech to become public, even though it would have been public if she had been able to deliver it. My guess is that it's being withheld on "national security grounds."

Source: The Truth (with jokes), by Al Franken, p. 40-41 Oct 25, 2005

Harry S Truman: 1941: War profiteering is treason

In early 1941, Truman took a 10,000-mile tour around the US to look into rumors of defense contractor mismanagement. When he returned, he convinced a Senate and a president from his own party that waste and corruption would impair the nation's mobilization for war. On March 1, 1941, the Truman Committee was born, launching a 3-year marathon investigation into "waste, inefficiency, mismanagement, and profiteering," saving millions of dollars and the lives of American soldiers.

Truman considered war profiteering "treason." It still is. And the senators who stand by and allow it to happen must be called to account. Their refusal to act is killing our men and women in uniform.

Source: The Truth (with jokes), by Al Franken, p.262 Oct 25, 2005

Henry Waxman: 2004: discovered $108M Halliburton overcharges in Kuwait

On October 8, 2004, the Defense Contract and Audit Agency discovered that Halliburton's KBR had overcharged the US government $108 million for importing fuel from Kuwait to Iraq. When a UN monitoring board asked for the DCAA's report, the Pentagon allowed KBR to black out almost all negative references to the company before handing it over. Sometime later, hero congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA) uncovered an un-redacted copy of the audit, and discovered that sentences like "KBR did not demonstrate the prices for Kuwait fuel and transportation were fair and reasonable" had been covered with thick black ink.
Source: The Truth (with jokes), by Al Franken, p.260-261 Oct 25, 2005

Rush Limbaugh: Nobody got physically injured in Abu Ghraib scandal

When the photos of the abuse at Abu Ghraib first surfaced in 2004, most people around the world were appalled. Not Rush Limbaugh: "I thought it looked like anything you could see at a Madonna or Britney Spears concert."

The next day, Rush drew a different parallel: "We're going to ruin people's lives over it, and we're going to hamper our military effort, because they had a good time. You know, these people are being fired at every day. You ever hear of emotional release? You ever heard of 'need to blow some steam off'?"

On day 4: "All right, so we're at war with these people. And they're in a prison where they're being softened up for interrogation. And we hear that the most humiliating thing you can do is make one Arab male disrobe in front of another. Sounds to me like it's pretty thoughtful. Sounds to me in the context of war this is pretty good intimidation. Maybe the people who executed this pulled off a brilliant maneuver. Nobody got hurt. Nobody got physically injured."

Source: The Truth (with jokes), by Al Franken, p.272-273 Oct 25, 2005

Tom Ridge: OpEd: Ignored FOIA request from AP until he left office

Could it be, as cynics charged, that the much-vaunted Homeland Security apparatus was less about homeland security and more about politics? Sorry, cynics! Asked about a possible political motive the day after the suspiciously unwarranted August 1 alert, Tom Ridge was firm: "We don't do politics in the Department of Homeland Security."

On the other, cynical, hand, it did come out after the election that Ridge had met with hotshot Republican pollster Frank Luntz just 4 days before embarking on the 1st of his 16 trips to 10 swing states at the height of the campaign season.

We know about the meeting with the GOP pollsters because the Associated Press filed a Freedom of Information Act request for Ridge's daily appointment calendars, a request that Ridge's staff conveniently failed to comply with until 3 days after he left office. What we don't know is whether Luntz specifically focus-group-tested the phrase "We don't do politics in the Department of Homeland Security."

Source: The Truth (with jokes), by Al Franken, p. 28-29 Oct 25, 2005

Al Sharpton: Military increases have nothing to do with terrorism

The military budget has increased by 30% in 2002. Most of the expenses had nothing to do with terrorism but were things they were trying to push through for years. Bush has called for even more money to be pumped into the military, but the majority of that money will never see its way down to the soldiers; it will not dramatically increase their pay and benefits or protect them. Meanwhile, schools, Social Security, and other domestic needs are getting a budget cut.
Source: Al On America, by Rev. Al Sharpton, p. 34 Jan 1, 2002

Al Gore: Even as student at anti-war Harvard, Gore intended to serve

In the summer of 1967, just before the antiwar movement at Harvard intensified, military service was part of Al Gore’s plan. Gore’s cousin recalled a series of conversations in which it sounded like a sure thing. “Never, ever did he indicate to me that he wasn’t going to go in,” the cousin recalled. Gore had no great passion for soldiering, but neither was it in his nature to buck the system.

But as Gore neared graduation, he found himself caught between two nearly irresistible forces: the newly charged moral and political climate at Harvard and a deep sense of obligation to protect his father, whose antiwar position was imperiling his political future in Tennessee. Each wrenched at his conscience.

His Harvard friends remember Gore’s ethical concerns, but they also recall a series of explicit signals from his parents about what needed to be done. “He said if he had my parents, he would have made a different decision,” said one friend. “He was committed to his father’s situation.”

Source: Inventing Al Gore, p. 60-3 Mar 3, 2000

Al Gore: Concluded Vietnam was a mistake, but had valid purpose

In 1988, Gore said that Vietnam “certainly matured me in a hurry. It gave me a tolerance for complexity. I didn’t change my conclusions about the war being a terrible mistake, but it struck me that opponents to the war, including myself, really did not take into account the fact that there were an awful lot of South Vietnamese who desperately wanted to hang onto what they called freedom. Coming face to face with those sentiments [in the local people] was something I was naively unprepared for.”
Source: Inventing Al Gore, p. 87 Mar 3, 2000

Al Gore: Called for replacing MIRVed MX with single-warhead Midgetman

[After a teen audience said most of them believed they would see nuclear war in their lifetime], Gore resolved to become an arms control expert. There was a place in the debate for a moderate voice, he believed, one that bridged the chasm between the emerging “nuclear freeze” movement and the bellicose rhetoric of Ronald Reagan and his Cold Warriors. He studied for more than a year and laid out his thoughts in a Senate floor speech in 1982.

Gore called for the US and USSR to convert all their multiple-warhead missiles to single-warhead. Under Gore’s plan, the superpowers would agree to a freeze on new weaponry while they negotiated a schedule for converting from the huge MX to the Midgetman system. Although he didn’t kill the MX, he managed to limit proliferation of a dangerous weapon (only fifty were finally deployed) and came close to carrying out his vision for the Midgetman.

Source: Inventing Al Gore, p.142-5 & p. 149-50 Mar 3, 2000

Al Gore: Against SDI & more carriers; for Grenada & nuclear freeze

[In the 1988 presidential campaign, Gore debated sharply with six other Democratic contenders] over the proposed “Star Wars” defensive shield, which Gore opposed. [A reporter at the time] called it his “one moment of passion.”

Gore searched for ways to differentiate himself from the Democratic pack: as Al Gore, national security candidate, the only one willing to use force to protect America’s vital interests. He was a recognized player in he arms control debate and collaborated with the Reagan White House on the MX missile compromise. [He pointed out that he] had supported the Grenada invasion and the flagging of Kuwaiti tankers in the Persian Gulf and opposed a ban on ballistic missile test flights.

But on major defense issues Gore was solidly in the Democratic mainstream. He had supported the nuclear freeze and sharp limits on Star Wars spending, opposed funds for two new aircraft carriers and, until the campaign, most aid to the Nicaraguan contras.

Source: Inventing Al Gore, p.194 Mar 3, 2000

Al Gore: Quicker than Clinton to favor force; but avoided it in Haiti

Gore was inherently quicker than Clinton to favor military force as an option. Even before official CIA reports confirmed Saddam Hussein’s involvement in a foiled plot to assassinate former President Bush with a car bomb on a visit to Kuwait City, Gore urged a tense and tentative Clinton to launch a retaliatory cruise missile attack.

Gore’s instincts were the same in the Balkans. At meeting after meeting, Gore argued passionately for bombardment to force the Serbs to the peace table [regarding Bosnia]. He and Clinton were not together on the issue. But after the administration was unable to persuade European allies to join them, even Gore stood down.

His impulses weren’t unswervingly hawkish, however, and he brought a willingness to think outside of the box to solve problems. He was the administration’s most consistently vocal supporter of former president Jimmy Carter’s intervention into the diplomatic crises in North Korea and Haiti. Both ended successfully.

Source: Inventing Al Gore, p.275-6 Mar 3, 2000

  • The above quotations are from State of Alabama Politicians: secondary Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Homeland Security.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2016 Presidential contenders on Homeland Security:
  Democrats:
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Andrew Cuomo(NY)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(IL)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)

Republicans:
Amb.John Bolton(MD)
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(UT)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Rep.Peter King(NY)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Secy.Condi Rice(CA)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
2016 Third Party Candidates:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura(I-MN)
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