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Former VP calls for top administration officials to resign

From the "Wolf Blitzer Reports" staff

Former Vice President Al Gore.
Al Gore

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Al Gore lashed out at his rival from the 2000 election Wednesday: "How dare they subject us to such dishonor and disgrace! How dare they drag the good name of the United States of America through the mud of Saddam Hussein's torture prison."

In a speech to the liberal political action committee the former vice president took the current president to task over the war in Iraq, accusing Bush of arrogance, of bungling the war and making the world a more dangerous place. And he said the prisoner abuse scandal was a direct result of what he called the president's abuse of truth.

"He planted the seeds of war, and harvested a whirlwind. And now, the corrupt tree of a war waged on false premises has brought us the evil fruit of Americans torturing and sexually humiliating prisoners who are helpless in their care," said Gore.

Gore called for the immediate removal four top Pentagon officials, among them, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

"Donald Rumsfeld ought to resign immediately as the chief architect of the war plan. Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith and his intelligence chief Stephen Cambone should also resign. Our nation is especially at risk every single day that Rumsfeld remains as secretary of defense," Gore said.

He also singled out for immediate departure CIA Director George Tenet, a colleague in the Clinton administration, as well as President Bush's national security adviser Condoleezza Rice.

"Condoleezza Rice, who has badly mishandled the coordination of national security policy, should also resign immediately," said Gore.

At time of writing, there was no reaction from the Bush-Cheney campaign to Gore's speech.

But the Republican National Committee responded with a statement saying: "Al Gore served as vice president of this country for eight years. During that time, Osama bin Laden declared war on the United states five times and terrorists killed U.S. citizens on at least four different occasions ... Al Gore's attacks on the president today demonstrate that he either does not understand the threat of global terror, or he has amnesia."

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