Although he has so far refused to declare his candidacy Al Gore remains a very strong contender in various polls against the various Democrats who are currently running for President.
After his "loss" to George Bush in 2000 and the subsequent battle that went all the way the Supreme Court, Gore has remained a sympathetic high profile figure with his Academy Award winning film An Inconvenient Truth and his new best seller The Assault on Reason.
In a field full of strong candidates from H. Clinton to Edwards and Obama the drive for something and someone different in the field driving many proclamations of Gore's Imminent Entry into the Race is palpable - but none of these are reasons to support Al Gore as our next President.
Most of his own strongest supporters don't seem to even know just why we need him as desperate as we do.
It is true that Al Gore never voted for the Iraq War as did both Clinton and Edwards.
It's true Al Gore wouldn't have to explain why he "voted for the troop funding bill, before he voted against it."
It's true that by voting to take it from an internal government/university development project for protecting our vital assests and information from nuclear war to the world changing public information and publishing system - Al Gore really did help "create the Internet".
Vinton Cerf: Good evening, or whatever time zone you are in, hi!! While we're waiting for questions, I'd like to clear up one little item - about the Vice President ... He really does deserve some credit for his early recognition of the importance of the Internet and the technology that makes it work. He was certainly among the first if not the first in Congress to realize how powerful the information revolution would be and both as Senator and Vice President he has been enormously helpful in supporting legislation and programs to help further develop the Internet - for example the Next Generation Internet program.
It's true that Al Gore has been way out on the bleeding edge of telling truth to power with his speeches to Moveon.org four years ago on fact that 9/11 could have been avoided by good old fashion good police work rather than ever intrusive electronic surveillance and no knock warrants that have become so massively abused under the Patriot Act. (Not to mention Gitmo, Extraordinary Rendition and "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques")
* "In late August 2001, Nawaq Alhamzi and Khalid Al-Midhar bought tickets to fly on American Airlines Flight 77 (which was flown into the Pentagon). They bought the tickets using their real names. Both names were then on a State Department/INS watch list called TIPOFF. Both men were sought by the FBI and CIA as suspected terrorists, in part because they had been observed at a terrorist meeting in Malaysia.
* Checking for common addresses (address information is widely available, including on the internet), analysts would have discovered that Salem Al-Hazmi (who also bought a seat on American 77) used the same address as Nawaq Alhazmi. More importantly, they could have discovered that Mohamed Atta (American 11, North Tower of the World Trade Center) and Marwan Al-Shehhi (United 175, South Tower of the World Trade Center) used the same address as Khalid Al-Midhar.
* With Mohamed Atta now also identified as a possible associate of the wanted terrorist, Al-Midhar, analysts could have added Atta’s phone numbers (also publicly available information) to their checklist. By doing so they would have identified five other hijackers (Fayez Ahmed, Mohand Alshehri, Wail Alsheri, and Abdulaziz Alomari).
* Closer to September 11, a further check of passenger lists against a more innocuous INS watch list (for expired visas) would have identified Ahmed Alghandi. Through him, the same sort of relatively simple correlations could have led to identifying the remaining hijackers, who boarded United 93 (which crashed in Pennsylvania)."
In addition, Al-Midhar and Nawaf Alhamzi, the two who were on the terrorist watch list, rented an apartment in San Diego under their own names and were listed, again under their own names, in the San Diego phone book while the FBI was searching for them.
It's true that Al Gore has blasted the Administration for ignoring the contrary information about the Niger forgeries and aluminum tubes and for concocting phony connections between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein (again way back in 2003 just one year into the Iraq War long before it was either fashionable or politically expedient to do so.
For example, according to the just-released Congressional investigation, Saddam had nothing whatsoever to do with the attacks of Sept. 11. Therefore, whatever other goals it served -- and it did serve some other goals -- the decision to invade Iraq made no sense as a way of exacting revenge for 9/11. To the contrary, the US pulled significant intelligence resources out of Pakistan and Afghanistan in order to get ready for the rushed invasion of Iraq and that disrupted the search for Osama at a critical time. And the indifference we showed to the rest of the world's opinion in the process undermined the global cooperation we need to win the war against terrorism.
In the same way, the evidence now shows clearly that Saddam did not want to work with Osama Bin Laden at all, much less give him weapons of mass destruction. So our invasion of Iraq had no effect on Al Qaeda, other than to boost their recruiting efforts.
And on the nuclear issue of course, it turned out that those documents were actually forged by somebody -- though we don't know who.
As for the cheering Iraqi crowds we anticipated, unfortunately, that didn't pan out either, so now our troops are in an ugly and dangerous situation.