quarta-feira, 18 de janeiro de 2006


Al Gore, discursando no passado dia 16, dia de Martin Luther King e das liberdades cívicas nos EUA, acusou o Presidente Bush de pôr em causa princípios básicos da Constituição norte-americana, a pretexto do combate ao terrorismo.

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.

Entre as violações da lei identificadas por Gore, estariam a realização de prisões extra-judiciais, o uso da tortura para obter confissões de suspeitos detidos, o mau trato de prisioneiros, o rapto de suspeitos no estrangeiro, e, claro, os abusos na vigilângia das comunicações, em particular electrónicas, e nas escutas telefónicas. Sobre estes últimos abusos, Gore recordou a história do problema nos EUA e criticou vigorosamente o seu ressurgimento actual.

On this particular Martin Luther King Day, it is especially important to recall that for the last several years of his life, Dr. King was illegally wiretapped-one of hundreds of thousands of Americans whose private communications were intercepted by the U.S. government during this period. […]
This campaign continued until Dr. King's murder. The discovery that the FBI conducted a long-running and extensive campaign of secret electronic surveillance designed to infiltrate the inner workings of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and to learn the most intimate details of Dr. King's life, helped to convince Congress to enact restrictions on wiretapping.
The result was the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act (FISA)… […]
Yet, just one month ago, Americans awoke to the shocking news that in spite of this long settled law, the Executive Branch has been secretly spying on large numbers of Americans for the last four years and eavesdropping on “large volumes of telephone calls, e-mail messages, and other Internet traffic inside the United States.” The New York Times reported that the President decided to launch this massive eavesdropping program “without search warrants or any new laws that would permit such domestic intelligence collection”. […]
At present, we still have much to learn about the NSA's domestic surveillance. What we do know about this pervasive wiretapping virtually compels the conclusion that the President of the United States has been breaking the law repeatedly and persistently. […]
…we need to be aware of the advances in eavesdropping and surveillance technologies with their capacity to sweep up and analyze enormous quantities of information and to mine it for intelligence. This adds significant vulnerability to the privacy and freedom of enormous numbers of innocent people at the same time as the potential power of those technologies. These techologies have the potential for shifting the balance of power between the apparatus of the state and the freedom of the individual in ways both subtle and profound. […]
Freedom of communication is an essential prerequisite for the restoration of the health of our democracy.

Al Gore contestou ainda, com veemência, que a situação actual dos EUA possa ser classificada como tão crítica que não haja solução para garantir a segurança nacional que não passe pela redução das liberdades, direitos e garantias dos cidadãos.

Is our Congress today in more danger than were their predecessors when the British army was marching on the Capitol? Is the world more dangerous than when we faced an ideological enemy with tens of thousands of missiles poised to be launched against us and annihilate our country at a moment's notice? Is America in more danger now than when we faced worldwide fascism on the march-when our fathers fought and won two World Wars simultaneously?
It is simply an insult to those who came before us and sacrificed so much on our behalf to imply that we have more to be fearful of than they. Yet they faithfully protected our freedoms and now it is up to us to do the same.

Gore denunciou também a tentativa da Administração Bush de subalternizar o Congresso, assim evitando o funcionamento do sistema de pesos e contrapesos que é suposto evitar os abusos de poder e garantir a natureza liberal da democracia americana.

Whenever power is unchecked and unaccountable it almost inevitably leads to mistakes and abuses. In the absence of rigorous accountability, incompetence flourishes. Dishonesty is encouraged and rewarded.

Apesar de todas as (fundamentais) diferenças, algumas analogias são irresistíveis e inevitáveis…