Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Ding dong the witch is gone...maybe

Even if Bush wins a second term as President it is highly unlikely that Attorney General John Ashcroft will not be retained. One of the most divisive political figures of recent history is said to be a hindrance to efforts to reauthorization of provisions of the Patriot Act. Administration officials feel Ashcroft is too polarizing and will not be the mediator Bush needs to keep the Patriot Act intact. Ashcroft has also cited personal health concerns as a reason he may want to resign his post. Apparently the Attorney General suffers from a rather painful bout of pancreatitis.

So my voodoo doll did work. Just kidding. Mostly.

Ever since Ashcroft stepped in the door he has been one of the most frightening political figures of recent memory. The top attorney in the government actually advocated suspending attorney/client privilege in the case of suspected terrorists. At the bequest of Ashcroft’s Justice Department 1,200 people have been detained, some indefinitely, in the continuing battle against terrorism. Of those detained only a handful has been prosecuted with a net of only two convictions thus far. Most of the detainees’ identities have been kept secret as have the various legal proceedings regarding such. Ashcroft has orchestrated a program of warrentless wire taps, secret detentions, and has stonewalled dozens of Freedom of Information Act requests. Ashcroft’s denizens have operated under a cloak of secrecy since 9-11.

Speaking of cloaks…who could forget about Ashcroft personally requesting that nude statues in the Justice Department building be covered.

Ashcroft has supported ten different Constitutional Amendments, including one that would make the Amendment process easier. Even U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist has been openly critical of Ashcroft’s practices. Ashcroft has also employed disturbing tactics in the fight to pass the now infamous Patriot Act. In a speech before Congress Ashcroft said flatly that those who oppose the Act give aid to terrorists and pause to our allies. Such inflammatory rhetoric stops just short of accusing opponents of treason.

In 1984, Ashcroft actively fought against desegregating Missouri public schools. He called the St. Louis plan that was at the center of the case an “outrage against human decency.” The courts eventually found the state of Missouri guilty of intentional wrong doing.

Robin Williams said it best. In his latest HBO special Williams railed against Ashcroft and his loss to a corpse in the 2000 Missouri Senate race. Ashcroft went down in infamy for losing to the deceased Mel Carnahan to which Williams quipped, “Sorry John, the dead guy scares us less than you do.”

If our current Attorney General does call it quits or is forced out I for one will not miss him one iota. Ashcroft has been called a modern-day Torquemada. I’m glad the new Grand Inquisitor will be no more.