Tom-hen. march 30th .......Al Gore Katrina Heroism and 2002 Speech AGAINST Iraq War

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30 Mar 2008
Al Gore Katrina Heroism and 2002 Speech AGAINST Iraq War

. . .
March 30, 2008


by Tom Heneghan
non-inaugurated, duly elected
President Al Gore

Friday, September 9, 2005

Al Gore airlifts Katrina victims out of New Orleans

By Duncan Mansfield / Associated Press
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Al Gore helped airlift some 270 Katrina evacuees on two private charters from New Orleans, acting at the urging of a doctor who saved the life of the former vice president’s son.
Gore criticized the Bush administration’s slow response to Katrina in a speech Friday in San Francisco , but refused to be interviewed about the mercy missions he financed and flew on Sept. 3 and 4.
However, Dr. Anderson Spickard, who is Gore’s personal physician and accompanied him on the flights, said: "Gore told me he wanted to do this because like all of us he wanted to seize the opportunity to do what one guy can do, given the assets that he has."
An account of the flights was posted this week on a Democratic Party Web page. It was written by Greg Simon, president of the Washington-based activist group FasterCures. Simon, who helped put together the mission, also declined an interview.
On Sept. 1, three days after Katrina slamed into the Gulf Coast , Simon learned that Dr. David Kline, a neurosurgeon who operated on Gore’s son, Albert, after a life-threatening auto accident in 1989, was trying to get in touch with Gore. Kline was stranded with patients at Charity Hospital in New Orleans .
"The situation was dire and becoming worse by the minute -- food and water running out, no power, 4 feet of water surrounding the hospital and ... corpses outside," Simon wrote.
Gore responded immediately, telephoning Kline and agreeing to underwrite the $50,000 each for the two flights, although Larry Flax, founder of California Pizza Kitchens, later pledged to pay for one of them.
"None of the airlines involved required a contract or any written guarantee of payment before sending their planes and volunteer crews," Simon wrote of the American Airlines flights. "One official said if Gore promised to pay, that was good enough for them."
He also recruited two doctors, Spickard and Gore’s cousin, retired Col. Dar LaFon, a specialist in internal medicine who once ran the military hospital in Baghdad .
Most critically, Gore worked to cut through government red tape, personally calling Gov. Phil Bredesen to get Tennessee ’s support and U.S. Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta to secure landing rights in New Orleans .
About 140 people, many of them sick, landed in Knoxville on Sept. 3. The second flight, with 130 evacuees, landed the next day in Chattanooga.

Political Will Is a Renewable Resource
Al Gore speaks at the Sierra Summit
Friday September 9, 2005.

Photo by Tim Lesle
Gore’s Katrina Speech. Al Gore’s recent speech on Katrina is a must read.

Transcript of Al Gore’s speech
at the Sierra Summit, September 9, 2005

I know that you are deeply concerned, as I am, about the direction in which our country has been moving. About the erosion of social capital. About the lack of respect for a very basic principle, and that is that we, as Americans, have to put ourselves and our ability to seek out the truth because we know it will make us free. And then on the basis of truth, as we share it to the best of our abilities with one another, we act to try to form a more perfect union and provide for the general welfare and make this country worthy of the principles upon which it was founded.
My heart is heavy for another reason today, and many have mentioned this, but I want to tell you personally that my heart is heavy because of the suffering that the people of the gulf coast have been enduring. The losses that they’ve suffered in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, New Orleans in particular, but other cities as well, and rural areas. We are here thinking of them, thinking as well of the many brave men and women who have exceeded the limits of exhaustion as they do their duty in responding to this crisis, to the families of those responders and the families of the victims.  MORE

Remembering Al Gore’s Katrina Heroism

Posted March 21, 2006 | 02:48 PM (EST)
As The American Prospect covers Al Gore, I still think his heroism during the Katrina crisis is evidence that Gore is the most passionate national Democrat out there right now -- speaking his mind, but also ACTING on his convictions. Whether he runs for President again or not, he deserves more credit for saving those people in Louisiana .
Gore For It
The current Democratic leadership has a lot to learn from Al Gore.
"Don’t talk about it; be about it" is what R & B star R. Kelly’s disgruntled lover advised him to do if he wanted to remain in her good graces in his 1998 song "Don’t Put Me Out." The infamous Kelly may be an unlikely tutor for American politicians, but some of our elected officials should heed the same advice when it comes to leadership.
President Bush fell down on the job of leading us so badly in the days after Hurricane Katrina and the flooding of New Orleans that even the reporters at conservative-leaning FOX News could not restrain themselves from criticizing the administration for allowing literally helpless Americans to die from starvation, dehydration, drowning, and heat stroke while waiting days for rescue. The American people, faced with the irrefutable televised evidence of babies screaming for milk and the elderly left to die seems to be losing faith in the president they elected because they believed he would "be about" protecting them. Thus, the twin tragedies of Katrina and Iraq have pushed Bush’s poll numbers down to Watergate-era lows.
Bush’s disastrous response was so horrific that -- to use another example from the music world -- hip-hop phenom Kanye West, after watching the spectacle at the Superdome, declared on national television that "George Bush doesn’t care about black people"
One man who did care enough to "be about" leading people to safety was former Vice President Al Gore. Together with Greg Simon, head of the nonprofit FasterCures, Gore defied government bureaucracy, military regulations, and perhaps political interference to charter and accompany two airplane flights into New Orleans to rescue patients and bring them to safety at Tennessee hospitals. While other politicians appeared to be debating whether or not to leave their Labor Day vacations early or to be dithering with their consultants over the political ramifications of various actions and statements, Gore did what many of us watching television from our homes only wished we could do: He flew into New Orleans and rescued people.
Desperate for effective leadership, factions of the Democratic Party have been wrestling with one another about whether we should go left or right in order to win elections. Gore’s actions have punctured a hole in this debate by simply going forward. The tragedy of Katrina was not political so much as humanitarian. American citizens were dying, homeless, and injured, and those who truly cared about them could not sit by and watch from the height of their private planes or the comfort of their ranches and beach houses. Gore not only cares about America ; he proved he cares about Americans enough to land a plane in the midst of the misery and "be about" rescuing more than 200 desperate people.
Gore has been reluctant to discuss what he did on those two flights, most likely for fear of politicizing his actions. But maybe his actions should be politicized; Americans are hungry for any conviction in today’s politics. That hunger was evident as people flocked to the promise of presidential candidates Howard Dean, John McCain, and Wesley Clark in past election years. Voters believed these men offered us something different, something genuine. They were convinced for a time that these guys wouldn’t just "talk about" leading us, they would "be about" leading us.
It may be time for America to see more of Al Gore. When he was last on the national stage, he looked hesitant and unsure of himself. The nation found it hard to feel comfortable with a man who did not seem to feel comfortable with himself. That may have changed. Gore has been charging forward, voicing his consistent criticism about how and why we went to war in Iraq (uncompromised by having voted for the war resolution) and continuing to talk about the threats posed by climate change, which have only become more evident this hurricane season, and by acting rapidly and effectively to rescue sick and injured Americans on his own dime when they needed it most. Whether Al Gore wants to be President or not, his example should serve as a marker for anyone else who does: "Don’t talk about" leading us anymore, just "be about it."
Jamal Simmons, the president of New Future Communications, managed regional press operations for Al Gore during the 2000 presidential campaign and was a spokesman for the former vice president during the Florida recount.

The American Prospect
non-inaugurated, duly elected
President Al Gore Jr.
arrives at a San Francisco hotel
with his wife, Tipper,
to deliver a speech on Iraq

Gore challenges Bush Iraqi policy

Questions the timing of a military strike

From John Mercurio
CNN Washington Bureau
Tuesday, September 24, 2002 Posted: 3:38 PM EDT (1938 GMT)
(CNN) -- Re-entering America’s foreign policy debate, former Vice President Al Gore warned Monday that President Bush’s doctrine allowing for a "pre-emptive" strike against Iraq could create a global "reign of fear." MORE

Al Gore’s Speech AGAINST the Iraq War

Transcript of September 23, 2002 Speech

(Excerpt)...If Saddam Hussein does not present an imminent threat, then is it justifiable for the Administration to be seeking by every means to precipitate a confrontation, to find a cause for war, and to attack? 

...At the same time, the concept of pre-emption is accessible to other countries. There are plenty of potential imitators: India/Pakistan; China/Taiwan; not to forget Israel/Iraq or Israel/Iran.  Russia has already cited it in anticipation of a possible military push into Georgia, on grounds that this state has not done enough to block the operations of Chechen rebels. What this doctrine does is to destroy the goal of a world in which states consider themselves subject to law, particularly in the matter of standards for the use of violence against each other. That concept would be displaced by the notion that there is no law but the discretion of the President of the United States.

I believe that we can effectively defend ourselves abroad and at home without dimming our principles. Indeed, I believe that our success in defending ourselves depends precisely on not giving up what we stand for...

Al Gore’s Historic Anti-War Speech is CENSORED

"America will never be destroyed from the outside.
If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
Abraham Lincoln

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."  Benjamin Franklin

Al Gore on "Restoring the Rule of Law"

Excerpts of this Historic Speech
on January 16, 2006

US Constitution in Grave Danger
By duly elected
President Albert Gore Jr.
    I was elected to Congress in 1976 and served eight years in the house, 8 years in the Senate and presided over the Senate for 8 years as Vice President. As a young man, I saw the Congress first hand as the son of a Senator. My father was elected to Congress in 1938, 10 years before I was born, and left the Senate in 1971.
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.
    The rule of law makes us stronger by ensuring that decisions will be tested, studied, reviewed and examined through the processes of government that are designed to improve policy. And the knowledge that they will be reviewed prevents over-reaching and checks the accretion of power.
    A commitment to openness, truthfulness and accountability also helps our country avoid many serious mistakes. Recently, for example, we learned from recently classified declassified documents that the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution , which authorized the tragic Vietnam war, was actually based on false information. We now know that the decision by Congress to authorize the Iraq War, 38 years later, was also based on false information. America would have been better off knowing the truth and avoiding both of these colossal mistakes in our history. Following the rule of law makes us safer, not more vulnerable.
    The President and I agree on one thing. The threat from terrorism is all too real. There is simply no question that we continue to face new challenges in the wake of the attack on September 11th and that we must be ever-vigilant in protecting our citizens from harm.
    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.
    Once violated, the rule of law is in danger. Unless stopped, lawlessness grows. The greater the power of the executive grows, the more difficult it becomes for the other branches to perform their constitutional roles. As the executive acts outside its constitutionally prescribed role and is able to control access to information that would expose its actions, it becomes increasingly difficult for the other branches to police it. Once that ability is lost, democracy itself is threatened and we become a government of men and not laws...  MORE

and learn of his courageous patriotic acts
on behalf of We, the American People,
fighting for our freedoms





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