Sunday, May 20, 2007

TOO RADICAL FOR ASHCROFT

An editorial in Sunday's News-Leader says history will look kindly on John Ashcroft, the former attorney general and native of Greene County.

Ashcroft has always been viewed as a hard-core conservative. But recent reports about Ashcroft bucking the Bush Administration over a secret eavesdropping program have forced a rethink. As the News-Leader opines:
In January 2005, we wrote: "Ashcroft carried out — often to an extreme — the approach the president wanted."

It turns out, in at least one, very important instance, we were wrong. ...

We'll continue to believe that Ashcroft's political positions on the Patriot Act and secrecy restricted freedom more than necessary. But we have a newfound respect for the man's integrity and his understanding of the important and independent role the Justice Department must play in balancing out the objectives of the executive branch with the requirements of the U.S. Constitution.
A fascinating account in the Washington Post shows that Ashcroft repeatedly fought with the Bush Administration:
Ashcroft also opposed holding detainees indefinitely at the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, without some form of due process. He fought to guarantee some rights for those to be tried by newly created military commissions. And he insisted that Zacarias Moussaoui, accused of conspiring with the Sept. 11 hijackers, be prosecuted in a civilian court.
None of the revisionism makes John Ashcroft a moderate, and many of his actions as attorney general -- his embrace of torture, his cover-up of a topless statue, his fearmongering manipulation of the Jose Padilla arrest -- remain inexcusable.

The Bush Administration is so radical that Ashcroft, by comparison, seemed moderate. If that doesn't scare you, nothing will.

5 comments:

Sniderman said...

[whistle]

scared now.

Anonymous said...

wonder if the news-leader will print this chatter column for tomorrow's addition?

Anonymous said...

That's "edition," Einstein.

PS Jimmy who???

Anonymous said...

If the NL did publish this, and I hope it does to help stimulate the mind a bit, wouldn't it be an addition to the edition?

Anonymous said...

The way The News-Bleater's editorial content continues to shrink in size and quality, each day's product is a subtraction edition.