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November 09, 2004

Comments

Futures in Crisco are going up!

Mmmm...did I blink and miss it, or did we have one single terrorism conviction since 9/11?

Ashcroft was good and bad.

He was bad in that he's as crazy as a loon and he believes civil rights only pertain to white male Christian evangelicals. Sometimes.

He was good in that he was comically inept.

Mmmm...did I blink and miss it, or did we have one single terrorism conviction since 9/11?

You missed it.

well, it beats "spending more time with my family." Not as good as being raptured from his press conference, but you win some you lose some.

I can think of worse AG's: for instance Janet Reno (Waco, seizing little Elian Gonzalez at gunpoint to ship back to a dictatorship), and Ramsey Clark (advisor to Kim Il Sung, Ayatollah Khomeni, defender of Rwandan muderers, Palestinian terrorists, etc)

Just saying some people don't consider it such a scary thing for a gov't official to be a Christian. But those people are probably all from Jesusland.

Just to be clear: my problem with Ashcroft was never that he was a Christian. Never. It was that he seemed to me to be legally illiterate, and to have no respect for the Constitution and the rule of law.

Here's a statement of Ashcroft's we can all agree with,

I believe that the Department of Justice would be well served by new leadership

Do you have any idea how many people John Ashcroft has sent back to murderous dictatorships? Or imprisoned and gotten beat up in the interim? And not to reunite minor children with their parents, either.

Ramsey Clark didn't do things as attorney general, I don't believe. He surely is anti-american wackjob now. When exactly did he go nuts? I've never looked into it.

Only Palmer compares of the ones I know about.

May we never have these conversations about Ashcroft's replacement.

Felixrayman:

That was a state court trial in Oklahoma.

some people don't consider it such a scary thing for a gov't official to be a Christian.

Nort being a Christian I may have it wrong, but let's see: Humility, charity, mercy, sympathy for the downtrodden, reluctance to judge others; Ashcroft does not strike me as an exemplar of Christian virtues.

Aha! I knew that investing in porn and marijuana futures would be a smart gamble!

How long do you think before he's nominated to the Supreme Court?

Just saying some people don't consider it such a scary thing for a gov't official to be a Christian.

Ashcroft supported finding ways to torture people. There's nothing in the teaching of his church that excuses that. He dishonored his church in so many ways, to call him a "Christian" is an insult to Christ.

This article might be of interest.

Ashcroft supported finding ways to torture people

Cite please.

Don't tell me that Ashcroft order Abu Ghraib.

And don't give me Katherine' extraordinary rendition stuff. Arar was a deportation case and the Eyptians had already been convicted in Egyptian courts, so they were actually extradited. The real extraordinary rendition is with the likes of Kkkhalid Sheik Muhammed, etc., and personally I don't think the public or the world should know where he is being held. This is on the grounds that if he is being held in Pakistan, it may incite terrorist acts and kidnappings to try and coerce their gov't to free him (a tactic that has workked for Palestinian terrorist prisoners), or if he is being held in the US, then some attorney may insist that he be able to question or communicate with other al Qaeda suspects in order to pursue his legal case.

There is a war against terrorism going on whether you accept that or not. Prisoners of war can be treated differently than US citizens in jail, that is, held without charge until hostilities are over. I am not even sure that POWs are even under the AG's jurisdiction.

I think people are remembering that many (200-400?) people were detained as suspicion of being material witnesses in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. My memory of that time is that immediate action had to be taken. Maybe you all don't think there was a crisis in September and October of 2001, so we can disagree about that. But at any rate, look at the potential for violent retribution against Arabs in the US and the number of cases which actually occurred - a handful, which were crimes committed by private citizens and not the Justice Dept.

If you Google "Ashcroft Detention", every hit on the first page is abou Nat Henthoff's Village Voice 2002 article out of 79,200 hits for Ashcroft Detention.

If you google the Christian angle you get 235,000 hits for "Ashcroft Christian". No, not all of them are negative - who knows, they may break positive by 51-48, though I doubt it.

But you see, what I am getting at is that Ashcroft's religious affiliation is more of a controversy than his actual record.


I've posted several comments, and because it's the middle of the night, they have not been refuted. I feel... triumphant!

However, the thought just occurred to me that my flag in the front yard is not properly illuminated, so I must attend to that before the authorities notice it.

DaveC
Pride goeth before the fall ;^)

It would be hard to believe that the AG was completely bypassed on discussions of the legal status of Gitmo, the applicability of the Geneva conventions, etc. You know, I can't bring any proof that Rummy signed off on the torture at Abu Grahib, so that means that it can't be believed?

As for Ashcroft's religious affiliation being a lightning rod, I would agree that it makes a convenient hook to hang a story on, but if you google "Ashcroft prisoners", you get 126,000 hits, including this 1st page hit, which is an NPR piece on Ashcroft's testimony about the Iraqi prisoners. This piece discusses a memo that originated in the Justice department.

My biggest problem with Ashcroft, being almost entirely ignorant of the law myself, is his apparent problem with prioritization. Going after pot-smokers is probably not the wisest use of limited resources. Pornography in general is another of those things that...hey, aren't there people out there trying to kill us?

The kiddy-porn thing, though, I support him on to a very large degree.

I do disagree with John Cole's (and commenter Dean's) assertion here that the people of Missouri are to blame for Ashcroft. I mean, convenient scapegoats, yes. But let's not go overboard.

I generally think AG's job really should be strictly bidness, without all the showboating of getting Tommy Chong's bongs off the internet, covering up statue breasts, etc. But I do sort of fantasize about some possible replacements:

Alan Keyes - Now THAT's Christian fundamentalism. Personally conducts interrogations.

Arnold Schwartzenegger - "No more civil liberties girly-men"

Rudy Giuliani - Vows to clean up federal pan-handling. Conducts sweeps of the Senate and House of Representatives.

Ditka - Just because.

Katherine - Then she would realize that there indeed have to be "tough guys" in the govt, especially when we are fighting some real bad guys. Good luck with the DOJ job hunt by the way. We need all the bright people that we can get. Administrations come and go, and the professional people in government provide a continuity that we often take for granted.

Quoth DaveC:

"Maybe you all don't think there was a crisis in September and October of 2001, so we can disagree about that."

Your arguments might be somewhat persuasive if you didn't try to insult people. I believe Edward, for one, lives in New York City. My best friend is a pilot for American, and he lost colleagues on September 11. Just because some of us disagree with the Keystone Kops antics of the Bush League doesn't mean we didn't take 9/11 very seriously.

And as for your blithe acceptance of post-9/11 civil rights violations, all I can do is wonder how smug you'd have been if the Reno Justice Department had started rounding up loud-mouthed conservatives at gun shows post- Oklahoma City.

Alberto Gonzales?

Uh...if Bush is trying to distance himself from the torture memo, hiring the author as AG wasn't quite the thing to do.

Slarti -- I had exactly the same reaction. The only difference was that I heard it as a rumor and not as, apparently, fact. Thanks a lot; you've managed to ruin a perfectly lovely dream I was having in which the rumor remained exactly that.

Alberto Gonzales. As in "what Geneva Convention?", "why should the accused see the evidence against them?", "torture is not a war crime", "leak, what CIA leak?", "my client Enron is innocent of these charges", and "it's ok to execute the mentally retarded". Really a nice guy, I'm sure.

Why is anyone surprised? Hope is not prediction. The Bush administration has a track record on appointing hard ideologues and team players and will continue to do so. The absurd expectations that they'll 'moderate' for no apparent reason in the second term are just that.

The absurd expectations that they'll 'moderate' for no apparent reason in the second term are just that.
McCain seems to be the one insisting, with a pained expression on his face, that Bush will moderate. I think, without another election to worry about, it will be Bush unbound. Political capital to spend, yeehah!

JKC:

all I can do is wonder how smug you'd have been if the Reno Justice Department had started rounding up loud-mouthed conservatives at gun shows post- Oklahoma City

I give Ashcroft full credit for staying on the cold Eric Rudolph case until he was captured. And yes, if there was good reason to round up Michigan militia types, then I would have been behind that as well.

(And so now I have probably offended folks from Michigan as well as New York.)

DaveC- I'll give you kudos for consistency. But do try to remember that disagreeing with an approach to a problem is not synonymous with denying the existence of the problem.

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