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Speaking at McGill University in Montreal on Tuesday, Al Gore described the NSA measures revealed by Edward Snowden as "outrageous" and "completely unacceptable." According to the Guardian, Gore also said he doubted the far-reaching surveillance would be allowed to continue: "I think they will have to pull this back. I think you will see a reining in." He also said that Snowden "has revealed evidence of what appears to be crimes against the Constitution of the United States."

"I say that as someone who was a member of the National Security Council working in the White House and getting daily briefings from the CIA," Gore said, in comments reported by the Canadian Press. Gore had previously said he believed the practice of the NSA collecting US citizens phone records was unlawful and "not really the American way", but his comments on Tuesday represent his strongest criticism yet.
Wryly, Gore added: "When you are looking for a needle in a haystack, it's not always wise to pile more hay on the haystack."

The comments after the article are interesting too and worth a look. Some suggest that Snowden should be pardoned. And one wistfully says: "Sure wish the people's vote had been the deciding factor and [Gore] became president. History might have been so much better than it is." Others are doubtful that the NSA will be reined in: "It won't happen, too much taxpayers money has been spent for this to become a white elephant."

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (21+ / 0-)

    The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

    by ybruti on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 09:22:56 AM PST

  •  Does Gore have any power to make (7+ / 0-)

    a difference? I sure wished he had, but how can he say with a straight face that he believes ...that the far-reaching surveillance would (not) be allowed to continue: "I think they will have to pull this back. I think you will see a reining in." ... Who, he thinks, will still believe that this is even possible?

    •  He has the power -- (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ybruti, offgrid, Stude Dude

      -- to draw crowds and continue speaking out.  Look what he did / continues to do for Climate Change as a private citizen.

      all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

      by 4kedtongue on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 09:41:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  the crowds can talk and talk, nobody cares (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ybruti, polecat, Stude Dude, corvo, Odysseus

        he has no political power anymore. I hope he tries to run again for office. He deserves it to have political power.

        •  The Koch Brothers -- (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mimi, offgrid, Stude Dude

          -- don't hold political office, but they certainly have power in politics.  And (forgive me in advance for mentioning this name in a diary about Al Gore) Ralph Nader has never held elected office, but his dogged Public Interest work brought about RADICAL change in the political sphere in the 60's and 70's...everything from automobile safety to FOIA to Clean Air / Water to the EPA.

          One need not hold elected office in order to instigate political change.

          I like Gore, but he, like Jimmy Carter, has done his best work as a private citizen and FORMER politician.

          all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

          by 4kedtongue on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 09:50:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I agree that Gore is not all-powerful. (0+ / 0-)

      He has the bully pulpit but that is not enough.

    •  If he ran for President again he would. /nt (0+ / 0-)

      Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
      I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
      —Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 10:41:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not if he keeps on saying things (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        4kedtongue

        that render him categorically unelectable, sadly enough.

        What political party machinery would support his candidacy?  Certainly not ours.

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 11:13:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  As far as I can tell (0+ / 0-)

      the only thing Al has done is to make millions of dollars through speaking and investments in riding the climate change train.  

      Any impact? Any change?  

      Nope, just millions of dollars, multiple homes, personal jets, helicopters, cars, SUVs. etc, etc.

      Love Al, but he's in it for himself and has affected no change as far as I can see.

      Please correct me if I am wrong about this..

      Tks

      "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

      by EdMass on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 10:52:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  He addressed the young adults and said it is their (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ybruti, NonnyO, Cofcos

      choice... their leadership and their decision... to alter the acceptance of this stalker economy in which we live.

      Much like the torture in Iraq and the professionals who now claim they "had no choice" but to comply. That is a lie and their heinous irresponsibility should not be swept under the rug.


      One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. --Carl Jung

      by bronte17 on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 10:58:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's heartening that -- (12+ / 0-)

    -- an elder statesman of the Democratic Party is able to discuss the benefits of what Snowden did without trashing him.

    "He has revealed evidence of what appears to be crimes against the Constitution of the United States," Gore said.
    Now, if only our current crop of elected Dems (and more than a few contributors to this site) would follow suit.

    all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

    by 4kedtongue on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 09:34:55 AM PST

  •  Really. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, NonnyO

    Given their willingness to lie to everyone, including those supposedly overseeing it, I don't believe it for a second. However, it's nice that Mr. Gore still has enough faith in what's right that he believes the NSA will be reined in. I don't.

  •  My God, think of this world had he been President (8+ / 0-)

    per the FACT that he had more votes, before the skewed Supreme Court intervened.

    I feel of sigh of relief today hearing someone I admire so much state something reasonable about these outrageously brazen crimes against the Constitution.

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 10:15:11 AM PST

    •  As much as I admire Al (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Einsteinia

      I'm not so sure that he would handle any of this any differently than Obama has.

      When you are President of the United States, you have to play that role. Part of playing that role is that you have to kill people, or at least you have to be prepared to kill people.

      Part of being prepared to kill people is having a good intelligence apparatus, which means spying on people and their governments around the world.

      I would certainly like to see this change of course, but that won't be easy. It would first require that all nations relinquish their monopoly power to use force, and impart that power strictly to a global entity like the UN, just like the US States have given the military power to our federal government, but on a worldwide scale. Fat chance of that anytime soon.

      "If you lose your sense of humor, it's just not funny anymore" Wavy Gravy

      by offgrid on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 10:56:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We would skipped the whole "W" debacle (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ybruti, NonnyO, offgrid

        and our Supreme Court would be quite different:
         

        Citizens United would not have happened'
         Iraq war would not have happened
         Economic melt-down would not have happened
         NSA would not be out of control
        What else?

        Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

        by Einsteinia on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 11:34:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  9/11 would have been prevented. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          offgrid, Einsteinia

          The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

          by ybruti on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 11:50:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I also believe this (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ybruti, Einsteinia

            to be the truth.

            "If you lose your sense of humor, it's just not funny anymore" Wavy Gravy

            by offgrid on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 04:33:17 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  When Bush/Cheney came in, they stopped (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Einsteinia, offgrid

              considering terrorism a serious threat and focused again on missiles in Europe. Richard Clarke testified how worried he became at their lack of attention to what he knew was our greatest threat.

              Clarke came to widespread public attention for his role as counter-terrorism czar in the Clinton and Bush administrations in March 2004, when he appeared on the 60 Minutes television news magazine, released his memoir about his service in government, Against All Enemies, and testified before the 9/11 Commission. In all three instances, Clarke was sharply critical of the Bush administration's attitude toward counter-terrorism before the 9/11 terrorist attacks....Link

              The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

              by ybruti on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 05:38:05 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Well, I disagree, because: (0+ / 0-)

            We decided to retaliation against Iraq and begin a hugely costly $$$ and Lives lost WAR for no good reason.

            They were not behind 9/11
            They did not have weapons of mass destruction

            Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

            by Einsteinia on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 05:45:33 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I DO agree that 9/11 would have been prevented. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ybruti

              I think I read your comment wrong--sorry!

              Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

              by Einsteinia on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 05:47:29 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Richard Clarke was astonished when Cheney (0+ / 0-)

                met him soon after 9/11 and said "IRAQ!" Even after the evidence of the nationalities of the hijackers became known, and none were Iraqi, the Bush/Cheney duo seem to have believed that Iraq had engineered 9/11. Or, more likely, Bush/Cheney just used 9/11 as an excuse to start a war of conquest.

                The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

                by ybruti on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 06:01:26 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Yes! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Einsteinia

          I'm certainly NOT suggesting that Al Gore should not have been the one taking the oath of office on January 20th, 2001.

          Nor am I suggesting that Al wouldn't have been a great President. In fact, I absolutely would vote for him if he were to run in 2016.

          I'm just saying that the Presidents "job" includes many unsavory duties.

          "If you lose your sense of humor, it's just not funny anymore" Wavy Gravy

          by offgrid on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 04:32:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Think of it this way: (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4kedtongue, Einsteinia, wu ming, MRA NY

      Eight years of a successful Gore presidency, and the obvious heir apparent would be . . . Joe Lieberman.

      Every cloud has its silver lining.

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 11:14:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Al Gore who 'lost' the 2000 election... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Einsteinia, ybruti, Odysseus, MRA NY

      ...is not the same Al Gore who speaks today.

      Gore is arguably much more liberal than the 2000 candidate who ran on expanding the number of federal crimes punishable by the Death Penalty, to cite but one example.  'Losing' that election freed him to ignore the constaints imposed on a candidate wrt The Issues.  He can speak his mind without having to moderate his positions based on a potential negative reception.

      Gore can criticize the Surveillance State and refuse to trash Snowden BECAUSE he is unemcumbered by a political backlash any candidate would risk when addressing controversial subjects or people.

      Were Gore to ever re-enter politics as a candidate for office -- and I like the guy, so don't get me wrong -- he'd be doing a lot of back-peddaling wrt to some of his positions on certain issues.

      I think the media (Maureen Dowd in particular) unfairly savaged Gore in 2000, but he held some pretty conservative positions in that race.  Since then, he has been able to take off the tie, unbutton the collar button, and speak in his voice rather than in the voice of a man who wants to win a political race.

      all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

      by 4kedtongue on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 11:20:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Steve Jobs tried to talk him into running for Pres (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wu ming

    again, but it didn't work.

    link

    Apple board member and former US vice president Al Gore would win the presidency if he ran for election, says Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 10:40:51 AM PST

    •  not the best character reference for Sen. Gore nt (0+ / 0-)

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 11:15:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Al was able to resist Steve's reality distortion (0+ / 0-)

        field -- which is the point.

        Steve may have been an *ss, but he was right.

        Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
        I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
        —Spike Milligan

        by polecat on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 11:23:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  as are we both n/t (0+ / 0-)

          Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

          by corvo on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 11:42:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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