This morning, ThinkProgress revealed charges of hypocrisy leveled against former Vice President Al Gore by Attorney General Gonzales were completely baseless. Now, the AP has updated its story on the Bush administration’s smear of Gore to include the facts:
McClellan said the Clinton-Gore administration had engaged in warrantless physical searches, and he cited an FBI search of the home of CIA turncoat Aldrich Ames without permission from a judge. He said Clinton’s deputy attorney general, Jamie Gorelick, had testified before Congress that the president had the inherent authority to engage in physical searches without warrants.
“I think his hypocrisy knows no bounds,” McClellan said of Gore.
But at the time of the Ames search in 1993 and when Gorelick testified a year later, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act required warrants for electronic surveillance for intelligence purposes, but did not cover physical searches. The law was changed to cover physical searches in 1995 under legislation that Clinton supported and signed.
Bush’s attorney general, Alberto Gonzales, made the same arguments as McClellan during interviews Monday on CNN’s “Larry King Live” and Fox News Channel’s “Hannity & Colmes.”
The White House responded to Gore’s criticism with a dishonest smear. The media, thankfully, is beginning to understand that.
The larger issue, however, is that the White House doesn’t have an honest response to criticism of their warrantless domestic wiretapping program.