Al Gore gave a speech today at the Georgetown University Law School. An excerpt:
They have such an overwhelming political interest in sustaining the belief in the minds of the American people that Hussein was in partnership with bin Laden that they dare not admit the truth lest they look like complete fools for launching our country into a reckless, discretionary war against a nation that posed no immediate threat to us whatsoever. But the damage they have done to our country is not limited to misallocation of military economic political resources. Whenever a chief executive spends prodigious amounts of energy convincing people of lies, he damages the fabric of democracy, and the belief in the fundamental integrity of our self-government.
It’s a powerful argument, one that cuts through the Bush administration’s tapdancing of the last few weeks like, um, something that cuts through something else really powerfully. So go read it, okay?
Sigh. Can you tell I’m tired of all this? And depressed? I was up late last night, obsessing, and slept poorly. When my son woke me up (he’s the designated early riser of the house these days, which is my own fault for making daybreak the only time of day I’ll acquiesce in his insatiable desire to play video games), I was in the middle of a dream, and it has stayed with me all day.
In the dream I was Colin Powell. I was walking up a hillside in the company of George Bush and many of his closest advisors; I was just behind Bush. We were traversing smooth stones covered with a sprinkling of sand, and our dress shoes were threatening to slip on the steep surface.
“Be careful, Mr. President,” I said. “It would be easy to lose your footing here.”
We continued climbing the hillside. And then, for some reason, the subject of the torture memos came up. In the dream there had been even worse revelations, a smoking gun of presidential involvement in authorizing and condoning torture, and we were actually coming from a meeting of some sort where the subject had been discussed. So I suddenly felt compelled to ask the president about it.
“Sir,” I said. “Do you believe you’ve done anything wrong in all this?”
Bush paused, looked back down at me, shrugged his shoulders and said, “I guess. Maybe. Whatever.”
I looked back, stunned. And then, unable to contain myself, I blurted out, “You’re an asshole. You’re a fucking asshole.”
There was a moment’s shocked silence, the other aides looking at me aghast, and then, without warning, Bush kicked me in the face. And that’s when my son woke me up.
I’m not blaming Bush for my dream. It’s about me, and my need for some perspective. I need to lighten up.