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Date: Thu, 07 Aug 2003 13:29:31 -0700
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From: "Eli Pariser," <[log in to unmask]>
To: "Doug Brugge" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Al Gore's MoveOn Speech and Other Great News
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Dear MoveOn member,

Two weeks ago, we received a call from former Vice President Al Gore.
Mr. Gore explained that he was deeply concerned about the President's
pattern of misleading the public -- most recently on Iraq, but also on
the environment, the economy, and a host of other domestic issues.  He
said he was working on a major policy speech, and he wanted to give it
to MoveOn members and with MoveOn's sponsorship.  MoveOn was a good
partner, he said, because so many MoveOn members are engaging in the
national conversation about the direction of our country.

Today, at NYU, over 600 MoveOn members gathered to hear the address.
Attendance was so high that the crowd filled two overflow rooms and
spilled out into the halls, and over 100 members of the national press
corps was there -- every major media outlet in the country and scores
of international outlets as well.  CNN and MSNBC covered the speech

Gore's speech reflected and built upon what over 400,000 MoveOn
members have been saying for months now about the evidence on Iraq: In
the rush to war, the President misled the country.

Here's an excerpt:

"I mentioned the feeling many have that something basic has gone
wrong. Whatever it is, I think it has a lot to do with the way we seek
the truth and try in good faith to use facts as the basis for debates
about our future -- allowing for the unavoidable tendency we all have
to get swept up in our enthusiasms.

That last point is worth highlighting.  Robust debate in a democracy
will almost always involve occasional rhetorical excesses and leaps of
faith, and we're all used to that.  I've even been guilty of it myself
on occasion.  But there is a big difference between that and a
systematic effort to manipulate facts in service to a totalistic
ideology that is felt to be more important than the mandates of basic

Unfortunately, I think it is no longer possible to avoid the
conclusion that what the country is dealing with in the Bush
Presidency is the latter.  That is really the nub of the problem --
the common source for most of the false impressions that have been
frustrating the normal and healthy workings of our democracy."

You can read the entire speech transcript, and, by 5pm EST today, view
streaming video of the event at our homepage:

At a time when some politicians are scared to take a stand, it's
tremendously heartening to see statesmen like Al Gore take the
President on.  And it's MoveOn members like yourself that made this
happen.  By consistently speaking out on the important issues, you've
helped make MoveOn a powerful voice for a better future.  Thank you.

Amazingly, Al Gore's speech is just one piece of the good news.  On a
host of other fronts, our campaign to press Congress to demand the
truth on the distortion of evidence in Iraq is gaining great momentum.
Here's our full report:



In early July, a number of Members of Congress contacted us to let us
know that they'd be reading MoveOn members' comments  on the House
floor from the petition to establish an independent commission on Iraq
intelligence.  Since then, night after night, Representatives like
Barbara Lee (D-CA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and
Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) have taken the floor to highlight your powerful

Here's a short excerpt from Congressman Brown's remarks:

"A hundred sixty-five years ago, Madam Speaker, the United States
Congress, amazingly enough, the House of Representatives, passed a
rule prohibiting its Members from debating the great issue of slavery,
the greatest blemish on American history. In those days, John Quincy
Adams, former President, then elected to the House of Representatives,
came down to the well of the House week after week reading letters
from his constituents, reading what he called petitions from groups in
his State of Massachusetts, many of them written by women in women's
clubs, women who actually could not in those days, as we all know,
vote in American elections. He read these letters protesting this rule
prohibiting the discussion of slavery and protesting the institution
of slavery itself."

"Today, we find ourselves in a Congress where this Congress has
refused to discuss and investigate what exactly the President did and
said about weapons of mass destruction. As the gentlewoman from
Illinois (Ms. Schakowsky) said earlier in the evening, an organization
called, an organization of 1 1/2 million Americans, tens of
thousands in my State of Ohio, asked its members to sign an on-line
petition saying that we believe Congress should support an independent
commission to investigate the Bush administration's distortion of
evidence of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."

"Tens of thousands of those members, in addition to signing the
petitions, wrote letters to Members of Congress. And similar to John
Quincy Adams's coming to the House floor to expose the Congress'
inability and unwillingness to discuss issues of national import, many
of us have come to the House floor every night to share the concerns,
not just our concerns, Members of Congress, but to share the concerns
of people in my district in my State."

You can view the entire transcript of their powerful speeches, as well
as dozens of MoveOn members' comments, at:



Another example of the growing momentum on this issue in Congress is
the number of Representatives who have pledged their support of an
independent commission to investigate the evidence Bush used to make
the case for war.  Only a few weeks into our legislative lobbying, 112
Members of Congress are now co-sponsors on Rep. Henry Waxman's (D-CA)
legislation to establish a commission. With grassroots in-district
meetings happening with Members of Congress around the country this
month (we'll let you know if one's happening in your district next
week), that number will only go up from here.

The list of co-sponsors is online at:



With over 400,000 signers, our Distortion of Evidence petition is one
of our largest ever.  The signers come from across the country and
across the political spectrum, and many have added poignant and
powerful comments.

Here's an example from Ron Macek, whose comment was read by Rep.
Schakowsky on the House floor.

``My wife is with Freeport's 333rd MP Company. She has been overseas
since late April. She has been on active duty since February 9. She
has not slept in her own bed next to her own husband in 4 months and 6
days. We still have no idea when this nightmare can be over for us. We
understand a call to duty for our Nation. We truly do. However, she
did not join the National Guard with an open-ended deployment and a
war zone in mind. None of them did. We always thought the Guard was
for short deployments and emergencies only. She tells me that morale
with her soldiers is extremely low. There are short tempers, long
days, fear, crying soldiers, and no idea when it can be over for them.
That is the root of our anguish. These people have been uprooted from
their lives and jobs, and they answered that call, yet no one can
answer their most-asked question: When can I go home?

``The average soldier is not a stupid order taker. We have a highly
intelligent military, and they realize what is going on back home with
the controversy around the evidence of weapons of mass destruction. I
cannot speak for other soldiers, but it disturbs my wife deeply to
think that she could be over there risking her life and living a daily
heartbreak based on distorted testimony.

It makes her feel like a pawn of political agenda, not an American
doing good in the world. All of this together most certainly
influences her ideas of retention. We need the truth, not someone's
version of the truth, not some of the truth but all of the truth. And
we need to know when we can be reunited to live our lives together.''



The campaign to demand the truth on Iraq has gathered widespread
attention in the national news media.  Articles on the petition have
appeared in the Washington Post, AP, Reuters, the Boston Globe, and
hundreds of other papers around the country and around the world.
Here's an excerpt from the Washington Post.

Antiwar Groups Say Public Ire Over Iraq Claims Is Increasing
by Evelyn Nieves
Washington Post, July 22, 2003

SAN FRANCISCO -- The letters are pouring in like a water main break --
fast and, yes, furious. From Alabama: "We want to know the truth!"
From Arizona: "If there's nothing to hide, what's the harm in a
bipartisan inquiry?" From Mississippi: "We must get to the truth --
whatever it is!"

About 400,000 people from every state have contacted members of
Congress in the past three weeks as part of a petition that
asks Congress to investigate the controversial claims that led to the
war on Iraq, with more than 50,000 people signing on to the liberal
activist Web site in the past five days alone.

"It seems more and more people who supported the war are signing on,"
said Eli Pariser,'s campaigns director. "They're angry.
People who in the past couple of weeks before the war decided to
support it are swinging back."



From Phoenix, AZ to Portland, ME, local groups are taking up the call
to get to the bottom of Iraq evidence.  With MoveOn members' support,
groups in 12 cities ran local copies of our "Misleader" print ad,
pressing their Members of Congress to support an investigation.
Covered widely in the press, these events have rallied local
communities around this issue.  Here's an example of the coverage.

Activists call for investigation
Portland Press Herald, July 25, 2003
By Elbert Aull

Throughout August, across the country, press conferences, rallies, and
even "readings" of the MoveOn petition by Members of Congress will
continue to make the case for investigating the President's WMD


By joining together around this simple message, we've created an
enormous grassroots groundswell.  As Al Gore points out,

"Americans have always believed that we the people have a right to know
the truth and that the truth will set us free.  The very idea of self-
government depends upon honest and open debate as the preferred method
for pursuing the truth -- and a shared respect for the Rule of Reason
as the best way to establish the truth."

This campaign is about nothing less than maintaining the integrity of
our democracy.  Thank you for being involved, for your courage in
speaking out, and for your dedication to this fight.  Let's keep

--Carrie, Eli, Joan, Noah, Peter, Wes, and Zack
  The MoveOn Team
  August 7th, 2003

P.S.  All of this work is made possible by the contributions of
MoveOn's members.  If you'd like to contribute to support it, you can
give easily and quickly online at:

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