“The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved.” – excerpt from the Ashcroft resignation letter.
I hope the door doesn’t hit his ass on the way out, but there’s something mighty eerie about this sentence, taking me right back to Bush prancing about on that aircraft carrier wearing a flight-suit costume.
[quote]U.S. Circuit Judge A. Wallace Tashima expressed skepticism Saturday that the Bush administration’s war on terror can succeed without trampling the civil rights of citizens. “The war on terrorism threatens to destroy the very values of a democratic society governed by the rule of law,” Tashima told a conference at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. . .
Tashima, who was nominated to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals by President Clinton, said he was troubled by the hundreds of people who have been “arrested and detained against whom no charges have been filed and whose identities have not been [revealed].” He also criticized the federal government for interrogating people based solely on race and for searching Internet, library and university records of others without probable cause under the USA Patriot Act. . .
Other federal judges have criticized the current war on terror. On Oct. 20, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly issued an opinion that the Bush administration was continuing to thwart an earlier U.S. Supreme Court decision that would allow 600 detainees at the U.S. military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to meet privately with their attorneys.[/quote] latimes.com/news/local/state … news-state
[quote]ATLANTA, Oct. 16 – Fears of a terrorist attack are not sufficient reason for authorities to search people at a protest, a federal appeals court has ruled, saying Sept. 11, 2001, “cannot be the day liberty perished.”
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled unanimously Friday that protesters may not be required to pass through metal detectors when they gather next month for a rally against a U.S. training academy for Latin American soldiers.
Authorities began using the metal detectors at the annual School of the Americas protest after the 2001 terrorist attacks, but the court found that practice to be unconstitutional[/quote] washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/ar … Oct16.html
[quote]Federal sentencing guidelines likely to be stricken, panel says
Aspects of the federal sentencing guidelines will likely be deemed unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court and may have to be revised by Congress, a panel of the nation
That’s an interesting way of looking at it. But it’s the courts that are upholding the rule of law. Bush, Ashcroft and the rest of the administration are the ones passing laws and taking actions that keep getting struck down as unconsititutional. And I didn’t even mention above the Bush administration’s biggest violation of international law – the unprovoked military assault on a sovereign nation. Regardless of whether Saddam was a brutal tyrant, the US invasion was clearly a major violation of the rule of law.
If you figure that every time Bush, Ashcroft and their bunch do something that has to be declared “unconstitutional” you can be that somebody’s life has been turned upside down and/or ruined over it already. For anybody who’s wound up dead or stuck in unchallengeable indefinite detention, what the hell do you do? Then there’s that poor Canuck who ended up getting turned over to the Syrians for torture… bet he didn’t appreciate the Americans sending him for “take-out” interrogation.
Here’s a guy who has absolutely no respect for the Constitution generally, the separation of power specifically, and clearly no idea of how the American government works. Either that or he is being the world’s biggest hypocrite to say these things while retaining even a shred of respect for the rule of law. It is only within an administration that has no accountability whatsoever that he has been able to stay as AG for as long as he has. Check out nytimes.com/reuters/politics … oref=login
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Departing Attorney General John Ashcroft, dealt several court defeats over U.S. anti-terrorism policies, on Friday derided what he called judges’ second-guessing of the president’s decisions.
"These encroachments include some of the most fundamental aspects of the president’s conduct of the war on terrorism,’’ Ashcroft told the Federalist Society, a conservative lawyers group, in his first public remarks since the White House announced his resignation on Tuesday.
"The danger I see here is that intrusive judicial oversight and second-guessing of presidential determinations in these critical areas can put at risk the very security of our nation in a time of war,’’ Ashcroft said.
Basically, in Ashcroft’s view the Executive should be under no restraints whatsoever and the judiciary has to bend over backwards (forwards?) to accomodate them.
“Having just emerged from a campaign season in which President Bush constantly reminded the public that he was a war president in the never-ending fight against terrorism, it felt a little peculiar to hear John Ashcroft resign as attorney general with the announcement that “the objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved.” Mr. Ashcroft, however, is yesterday’s news. Now that he’s leaving, we hope that Mr. Bush will take the opportunity to put the Justice Department back in the business of enforcing the laws evenhandedly and upholding Americans’ constitutional rights.”
The mods combined threads again (the one in which Ashcroft said the war on terror was a “mission accomplished” and one examining his legacy), thus making it look like I had posted like mad within this one. I think Ashcroft’s piss-poor performance re: terror, civil rights, etc. has been a terrible stain on the Bush administration – certainly, it is one of my biggest causes for concern.
Regarding civil liberties of Americans, the articles above make it fairly clear that the Ashcroftian period at the DOJ has been disliked by Republicans and Democrats alike. Of course, if you think that Ashcroft represents the very best the GOP can put forward, then I can only say that you have very low expectations for government.