- The Washington Times - Friday, June 25, 2004

Nobles: Solicitor General Theodore Olson, for honorable service and patriotic sacrifice.

This week, Mr. Olson announced that he will soon be departing a post he has served with dignity and distinction since 2001.

Mr. Olson will leave behind a remarkable record. Of the 26 cases he argued before the Supreme Court, Mr. Olson won 20 of the 23 decided to date. He also leaves a determined defense of democracy through his staunch support of the administration’s legal action in the war on terrorism.

The war was personal to Mr. Olson, although he rarely permitted his deep grief to show. His wife — the beautiful, sparkling Barbara — was killed on September 11 by the members of al Qaeda who slammed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon.

Mr. Olson is planning to return to private law practice when he officially steps down next month. He has earned a rest and what are certain to be ample financial rewards.

For setting a benchmark by which future Solicitor Generals will be judged, Mr. Olson is the Noble of the week.

Knaves: Al Gore, for black accusations and brown-shirted rhetoric.

The author of “Earth in the Balance” seems to have become a bit unbalanced. On one of January’s coldest days, Mr. Gore accused Mr. Bush of being a “moral coward” on global warming policy. A month ago, he said that Mr. Bush had “brought deep dishonor to our country” and demanded the resignations of several top administration officials.

This week, Mr. Gore soiled himself even further with rhetorical excess. In a speech at Georgetown University’s Law Center, Mr. Gore castigated the administration for “intentionally misleading” Americans about the connection between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein and for telling “clearly outright falsehoods.” Mr. Gore compared Mr. Bush unfavorably with Richard Nixon. King George III, Julius Caesar and Enron’s Ken Lay also had cameos. Mr. Gore even claimed, “The administration works closely with a network of rapid responders, a group of digital brownshirts who work to pressure reporters and their editors.”

Presumably, those “brownshirts” got to the members of the September 11 commission who have repeatedly asserted that there were connections between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda, even though the two entities may not have conspired on the September 11 attacks.

Perhaps Mr. Gore was long ago beaten senseless by the same “digital brownshirts,” since he repeatedly talked about the linkage between Iraq and global terrorism during the 1992 presidential campaign.

During his philippic, Mr. Gore asked rhetorically of the administration, “Are they too dishonest or are they too gullible?” Sadly, the same question must now be asked of the former vice president.

For his insensible accusations, Al Gore is the Knave of the week.

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