In another instance, Gore says that "many feel that one of the hidden reasons for launching the war in Iraq in early 2003 was the oft-stated and long-held opinion of Vice President Dick Cheney and others that ensuring continued U.S. access to the easily recoverable oil reserves of the Persian Gulf is so important as to justify even the extraordinary cost and reckless risk to America's reputation of invading another country on false pretenses."
There seems little attempt to see the world through the president's eyes.
"It is love of power for its own sake that is the original sin of this presidency," Gore writes, not that Bush or Cheney have ever tried to do what they think the right course for the country.
At another point, Gore posits, "If we had behaved as a democracy, we would not have invaded Iraq," an argument that hangs there in complete contradiction with the overwhelming bipartisan votes in October 2002, authorizing the use of force against Iraq in the House (296-133) and the then-Democratic controlled Senate (77-23), not to mention public support for the action.
Gore is presumably arguing that the U.S. didn't behave as a democracy because the people were so misinformed about the war, but those people included former President Bill Clinton, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and a number of others who weren't presumably part of George Orwell's vision in "1984."
As for, "What now?" Gore says the nation and the world are at a fork in the road.
Gore calls for the U.S. to rejoin the international community and lead the war on crises involving global warming, water, terrorism and pandemics such as HIV/AIDS.
He calls for a repeal of the Patriot Act and for the Bush administration to disclose all of its interrogation policies.
He wants more transparency in political TV commercials and an expediting of the shift from television towards the Internet as a method of communication.
After Random House published 200,000 copies of "Putting People First: How We Can All Change America" -- the soporific campaign tome purportedly written by then-Gov. Bill Clinton and then-Sen. Al Gore -- the ill-fated reelection campaign of then-President George H.W. Bush filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission.
Republicans alleged that the book deal constituted an illegal corporate contribution to the Democratic ticket, which didn't directly profit financially from the book -- though the publicity certainly didn't hurt.
How quaint that book must now seem to those Republicans.