February 17, 2006
Al Gore's Embittered Remarks
President Al Gore is bitterly disappointed he was not elected
president. Periodically, he expresses his disappointment in ways
that gives us reason to be thankful he wasn't.
recent was last weekend, when he traveled to Saudi Arabia to make
a speech denouncing the United States. The occasion was the annual
Jeddah economic forum, which is sponsored in part by the family
of Osama bin Laden (which claims to have distanced itself from
the family black sheep).
has not disclosed how much he was paid for his words of wisdom.
It probably is less than the $267,000 former president Bill Clinton
was paid for speaking to the group in 2002, but odds are his fee
was in six figures.
Mr. Gore's speaking fee was, his hosts likely thought it a bargain,
considering what the former vice president had to say. The U.S.
committed "terrible abuses" against Arabs after 9/11,
Mr. Gore said. Arabs were "indiscriminately rounded up, often
on minor charges of overstaying a visa and not having a green
card in proper order, and held in conditions that were just unforgivable."
to the Arab American Anti Discrimination Committee, about 1,200
Arabs were arrested after 9/11. Of these, 725 were held on immigration
violations, 100 on unrelated criminal charges, and 360 for possible
links to terrorism.
Bureau says there are about three million Arabs in the United
States. The number "indiscriminately rounded up" after
9/11 is much less than one tenth of one percent of that number.
didn't say what he thought was "unforgivable" about
the conditions in which the Arabs were held, but his source probably
was a June, 2003 report by the Justice Department's inspector
general, or, rather, erroneous news accounts of the report.
Los Angeles Times said most detainees were held for months
without charges. In fact, only 24 were held for more than a month
before being charged, and 59 percent were charged within three
days, the IG report said.
remember that 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were Saudis, but
Mr. Gore seems to have forgotten. He deplored the cancellation
of "Visa Express," the expedited program without background
checks through which several of the hijackers entered the United
In a footnote
on page 492 of its report, the 9/11 Commission said Khalid Sheikh
Mohammed, who planned the attacks, told interrogators most of
the hijackers he selected were Saudis because they had the easiest
time getting visas. According to statistics gathered by the Government
Accountability Office, before 9/11 only three percent of Saudi
applicants were interviewed prior to being issued a visa, and
only one percent were refused.
administration "is playing into al Qaida's hands" by
subjecting Saudi visa applicants to special scrutiny, Mr. Gore
said. "The worst thing we can possibly do is to cut off the
channels of friendship and mutual understanding between Saudi
Arabia and the United States," he said.
think it would be worse to let into the country terrorists bent
on perpetrating another 9/11.
vice president's speech attracted little attention from the news
media, but drew condemnation from Web loggers who were appalled
both by what he said and where he said it.
Al Gore could come up with the idea of criticizing Bush for not
sucking up to the Saudis enough," sighed law professor Glenn
Reynolds (Instapundit), who had been a volunteer on Mr. Gore's
1988 presidential campaign.
is one thing to say such things to an American audience in an
effort to change our policy...It is another thing entirely to
travel to a foreign country that features pivotally for the war
for our generation for the purpose of denouncing American policies,"
what possessed the former vice president to say what he said where
he said it. Perhaps he is so embittered by his narrow 2000 loss
that he doesn't mind saying things helpful to America's enemies
if they might be hurtful to George W. Bush. Perhaps he is desperate
for money and will say whatever his paymasters want to hear in
the hopes of garnering future invitations. And maybe he just isn't
all that bright.
He did flunk
out of both law school and divinity school.
the reason, Mr. Gore's remarks will not assist Democrats in persuading
swing voters they can be trusted with national security... which
may be why his remarks drew so little attention from the news