Al Gore was speaking in San Francisco before what you would call an adoring crowd.
He focused on what he saw as a difference between post-9/11 and what he called "the run-up to 9/11" — in other words, the just less-than-a-year George W. Bush had on the job that he thinks he should have had... and this is what he said:
"I was amazed to read just a few days ago that the FBI had one agent assigned to monitor Al Qaeda. I found that just absolutely incredible... and well, I'll bite my tongue about the rest of it."
Here is what he left unsaid, but clearly implied: When we, the Clinton-Gore administration were on the job, we were all over Al Qaeda. When Bush came in, he dropped the ball.
That, my friends, is what you call revisionist history.
If there was only one FBI agent assigned to Al Qaeda, wasn't it the Clinton-Gore FBI chief Louis Freeh who made that one assignment? Wasn't current FBI chief Robert Mueller only on the job a few days when Sept. 11 happened?
Didn't the Clinton-Gore administration's CIA chief George Tenet declare war on Al Qaeda in 1998, only to have his declaration ignored by the White House, the FBI and Pentagon?
Didn't the Clinton-Gore administration have two — perhaps three — major Al Qaeda terror attacks on its watch? What was the response to those attacks? Were those cruise missile strikes viewed as adequate at the time, or is it only in retrospect that they seem so limp, so weak?
I could go on, but I'll take the lead from the former vice president and just bite my tongue.
That's My Word.
What do you think? We'd like to hear from you, so send us your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. Some of your emails will be featured on the air or on our site.
• Looking for some previous My Word columns? Click here!