Gore sees Bush as 9/11 fiend
In his latest book, The Assault on Reason, Al Gore casts a harsh spotlight over what he sees as George Bush's treacherous behavior during the 9/11 crisis.
Gore quotes Richard Clark, then the White House terrorism chief, as saying that on Sept. 12 Bush was pressuring him to pin the blame for the attacks on Iraq, despite the fact that the U.S. intelligence system knew this to be a false charge.
Gore then says that Bush quickly started tying Saddam to the attacks via sound-bite innuendo, demonstrating that Bush knew he was using callous deception in order to exploit the tragedy for his crazed purposes.
The former vice president decries the de facto censorship concerning 9/11 and other major issues, blaming power-hungry monopolists in control of a debased media system. This system suits lowball Bush propaganda tactics, says Gore.
A reader is left to wonder why Bush was more interested in establishing a fairy tale about who was responsible than about being absolutely sure who carried out the attacks. Gore is suggesting that Bush didn't really care who was behind the attacks.
So is Gore hinting that Bush's suspicious behavior during the 9/11 crisis implies something really sinister? Gore doesn't go that far, and yet he is plain about his estimate of Bush's potential for evil.
Gore's commentary differs from George Tenet's recollections of the period soon after the attacks, in which the ex-CIA chief claimed that Bush wasn't yet hopped up about Iraq. However, Bush's attitude seems plausible in light of Tenet's claim that then Pentagon adviser Richard Perle left a White House huddle very soon after the attacks and was ready to blame Iraq.