The Campaign Spot

Can Al Gore Please Get as Angry at North Korea as He Is at George W. Bush?

We know Al Gore can get angry. We remember his denunciation of “digital brownshirts” and his furious bellowing that President Bush “played on our fears!” Addressing MoveOn.org a few years back, Gore asked, with ever-growing fury and intensity “How dare they?”

Three months ago, the North Korean regime detained two women who are effectively Al Gore’s employees. Laura Ling and Euna Lee were on assignment for Current TV on the North Korea/China border when they were detained by North Korean border guards. They have been held in isolation and were just sentenced to twelve years in a labor camp.

I understand that the president may or may not want to be the bad cop, but somebody ought to be playing that role. Outrageous behavior ought to meet up with outrage. I realize that a man who spent last year insisting he would meet without preconditions with Kim Jong Il may not be able to offer pointed warnings to the dictator. I realize there are no good options when it comes to North Korea.

But somebody ought to be angry when Americans are effectively kidnapped and held for ransom – i.e., bargaining chips – by hostile regimes. Somebody ought to be able to bellow, ever louder, “How dare they?” Somebody ought to be making the case for bigger sticks and smaller or no carrots, and somebody ought to be offering a modern version of “Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead!

We know Al Gore is capable of high-profile expressions of righteous fury; we’re left wondering where it is in this circumstance.

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