10/22/2007 10:23 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Let's Not Forget Al Gore's "Mr. Bad Guy" Past

Without denigrating Al Gore's work on global warming, which I think is pretty damn wonderful, let's not forget his history as an altogether too typical American politician, as this snatch from Richard Clarke's book (Against All Enemies, 143-4) demonstrates:

"extraordinary renditions", were operations to apprehend terrorists abroad, usually without the knowledge of and almost always without public acknowledgement of the host government.... The first time I proposed a snatch, in 1993, the White House Counsel, Lloyd Cutler, demanded a meeting with the President to explain how it violated international law. Clinton had seemed to be siding with Cutler until Al Gore belatedly joined the meeting, having just flown overnight from South Africa. Clinton recapped the arguments on both sides for Gore: Lloyd says this. Dick says that. Gore laughed and said, "That's a no-brainer. Of course it's a violation of international law, that's why it's a covert action. The guy is a terrorist. Go grab his ass."