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Crooked Timber on David Graeber

Crooked Timber's online seminar on David Graeber's Debt: The First 5000 Years (previously, previously, previously and previously). [more inside]
posted by nangar on Apr 7, 2012 - 20 comments

Let the Eagle Soak

John Ashcroft stands up to prove waterboarding isn't torture, by offering to lie down for his own waterboarding. Well, that is, he offers he'd do it if it were necessary, and if he could survive the torture. Is that a brave offer, an admission that US has resulted in deaths, or both? Daniel Levin, one of Ashcroft's subordinates at the Department of Justice, went further, actually undergoing waterboarding himself. He survived it -- but his career didn't, after he he concluded torture was "abhorrent". [more inside]
posted by orthogonality on Nov 28, 2007 - 43 comments

"I am not the attorney general. That's the attorney general."

Comey made frantic calls to his own chief of staff and to Robert Mueller, then FBI director, while he raced to the hospital, sirens blasting. He sprinted up the stairs of the hospital to get to Ashcroft's room before Gonzales and Card did. . . . "I couldn't stay if the White House was engaging in conduct that had no legal basis." Comey testifies that there was something of a line to resign that day: Mueller; then Comey's chief of staff; and then Ashcroft's chief of staff—who asked only that Comey wait until "Ashcroft was well enough to resign with me."
A Saturday Night Tuesday Morning Massacre narrowly averted by an illness and the Madrid Train Bombings? Is it a High Crime and Misdemeanor if "the president was quite willing to forge ahead with an illegal program"?
Absoluelty riveting, it reads like a tale out of paperback thriller: in a darkened hospital room, a White House consigliere barges past the sick man's wife, and demands the disoriented Attorney General official sign a paper.
"First, they tried to coerce a man in intensive care -- a man so sick he had transferred the reins of power to Mr. Comey -- to grant them legal approval. Having failed, they were willing to defy the conclusions of the nation's chief law enforcement officer and pursue the surveillance without Justice's authorization." I'm waiting for the movie, but you can watch the video now.
posted by orthogonality on May 16, 2007 - 95 comments

Supreme Court upholds Oregon's assisted suicide law.

Supreme Court upholds Oregon's assisted suicide law. Justice Kenedy wrote the opinion for the majority, concluding that Ashcroft did not have the authority to sanction doctors under the Controlled Substances Act. Justice Scalia dissented, joined by Justice Thomas and Chief Justice Roberts. Thomas also wrote a separate dissent. The Washington Post has the opinions, and you can get the pdf from the Supreme Court's website.
posted by monju_bosatsu on Jan 17, 2006 - 44 comments

Let the Eagle Soar

The Boob is back at the Department of Justice. The Ashcroft curtain has come down and the "Spirit of Justice" statue, commissioned from sculptor C. Paul Jennewein, can once again supply her breast for ironic photos.
posted by Otis on Jun 26, 2005 - 38 comments

You're an Ashcroft! No, you're the Ashcroft!

You're an Ashcroft! No, you're the Ashcroft! Some airline passengers watching the Oscar-nominated film "Sideways" on foreign flights are, in fact, hearing Ashcroft as a substitute for a certain seven-letter epithet commonly used to denote a human orifice.
posted by grateful on Feb 24, 2005 - 31 comments

My new hero

DOJ coup d'etat. Ashcroft is gone. Now, six days before the confirmation hearings of Alberto Gonzales, the acting Attorney General, Daniel Levin, issues a new official memo (pdf)on torture, reversing and specifically repudiating the definitions of torture from the August 2002 memo addressed to Gonzales. The new memo states, among other things,
'we disagree with statements in the August 2002 Memorandum limiting "severe" pain under the statute to "excruciating and agonizing" pain [...] or to pain "equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death'

posted by boo on Dec 31, 2004 - 18 comments

NotintheNewsFilter

Not-in-the-NewsFilter "Is Mr. Ashcroft neglecting real threats to the public because of his ideological biases?" Paul Krugman on the case of William Krar, a terrorist the justice department isn't talking about.
posted by jpoulos on Jun 22, 2004 - 32 comments

Doom and Sta-Puff

"The Ashcroft Fear Remix." (a potential summer mini-blockbuster)
[link goes to broadband and dialup option for Quicktime movie file]

posted by moonbird on Jun 9, 2004 - 6 comments

Ashcroft's terror warning

One of Ashcroft's "credible sources" from last week's terror warning came from Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades, a group that has also claimed responsibility for the blackout in the Northeast last year, the power outage in London, the Madrid bombing and has been called "notoriously unreliable" by U.S. officials. “The only thing they haven't claimed credit for recently is the cicada invasion of Washington". Ashcroft blames the FBI who have admitted that claims that terrorists were 90 percent ready to attack came not from al-Qaida, but from the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades’ statements.
posted by gfrobe on May 29, 2004 - 12 comments

How I Lost the Big One

How I Lost the Big One Lawrence Lessig on losing Eldred v. Ashcroft: "We had in our Constitution a commitment to free culture. In the case that I fathered, the Supreme Court effectively renounced that commitment. A better lawyer would have made them see differently."
posted by ericost on Mar 3, 2004 - 40 comments

I hear Osama likes anchovies on his.

Paris Hilton and John Ashcroft are #1 and #2, respectively, on the list of fake names used by people ordering pizza. In other news, people with Dean bumper stickers on their car tip more than those with Bush bumper stickers. And 42 percent of Americans will have pizza on New Year's Eve, while only 2 percent will have caviar. (All this courtesy of a Domino's Pizza survey.)
posted by Vidiot on Dec 29, 2003 - 7 comments

Ashcroft and FBI not doing enough to fight domestic terrorism.

Ashcroft and FBI not doing enough to fight domestic terrorism. More information on the Krar posion gas plot at thememoryhole.org.
posted by skallas on Dec 15, 2003 - 18 comments

Department of Justice... Ha!

Attorney General Is Closely Linked to Inquiry Figures Karl Rove, President Bush (news - web sites)'s top political adviser, whose possible role in the case has raised questions, was a paid consultant to three of Mr. Ashcroft's campaigns in Missouri, twice for governor and for United States senator, in the 1980's and 1990's, an associate of Mr. Rove said on Wednesday. Jack Oliver, the deputy finance chairman of Mr. Bush's 2004 re-election campaign, was the director of Mr. Ashcroft's 1994 Senate campaign, and later worked as Mr. Ashcroft's deputy chief of staff. No wonder 69% of Americans think that an independent counsel should conduct the investigation.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly on Oct 2, 2003 - 48 comments

Ashcroft Vs The Librarians

After calling our concerns Hysteria and saying we've been Duped by those who are ideologically opposed to the Patriot Act, Ashcroft Now Says the FBI has not sought a single record from a library or business under a part of the Patriot Act widely criticized as opening Americans' reading habits or personal information to undue government scrutiny.
After a Phone Call to the Head of the American Library Assoc, he promised to declassify a report on how often the agency has sought information from public libraries under the USA Patriot Act.
Congressman Bernie Sanders Says who has authored legislation that would amend section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, welcomed reports today that Attorney General Ashcroft, after months of pressure from Congress and national civil liberty and privacy organizations, has agreed to disclose to the public how Section 215 has been used.
posted by Blake on Sep 18, 2003 - 18 comments

It's getting hot in here....

Greenpeace obtains smoking-gun memo: White House/Exxon link Did conservative elements in the White House provoke an Exxon front group to sue EPA to suppress a report on climate change? That's the question that two State Attorney Generals have asked US Attorney General John Ashcroft to investigate, after Greenpeace uncovered a routine email in a Freedom of Information Act request.
posted by Espoo2 on Sep 11, 2003 - 14 comments

Baby, I Want Your Medical Records!

Two Years After 9/11: Ashcroft’s Assault on the Constitution. "Under the direction of Attorney General John Ashcroft, the Department of Justice has undermined the constitutional rights of all Americans as it has prosecuted a war on terrorism since the September 11, 2001 attacks, according to a new report released today by People For the American Way Foundation" [via TalkLeft.] On the bright side, I hear the Patriot Act Summer Tour rocked [flash.]
posted by homunculus on Sep 9, 2003 - 9 comments

Victory Gin, Anyone? Perhaps a Victory Cigarette?

Ashcroft's Victory Act? I can't find any other mention of it on the mighty Web, but a handful of left-leaning sites are linking back to this article in the NY Daily News. Is this a renaming of the impending sequel to the PATRIOT Act? And if so, does anyone else find the use of the word "Victory" as creepy as I do?
posted by grabbingsand on Aug 8, 2003 - 23 comments

Ashcroft's Very Chocolate Brownies

"Eat ye that which is good and let your soul delight itself in fatness." Can John Ashcroft find salvation in a recipe for chocolate brownies? Hey, every little bit helps.
posted by PrinceValium on Dec 16, 2002 - 5 comments

Not Just Whistling Dixie

The neo-Confederacy movement is a potent force in the Republican Party in today's South, as Trent Lott's comments about Strom Thurmond demonstrate. Trent Lott has neo-Confederate ties, as does John Ashcroft who praised Jefferson Davis in an interview with the Southern Partisan magazine. Associated with the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Sons of Confederate Veterans, adherents of the neo-Confederate movement can even buy T-shirts gloating transforming the Republican Party into Abraham Lincoln's worst nightmare.
posted by jonp72 on Dec 15, 2002 - 71 comments

The John Ashcroft Snow Globe

The John Ashcroft Snow Globe. Make your own punch line. Other merchandise on the site includes a literal Bible Belt, and what I believe to be Newt Gingrich underoos of some sort.
posted by condour75 on Dec 13, 2002 - 9 comments

tom tomorrow

Total Information Awareness v. Holden Caulfield. Great Tom Tomorrow cartoon on our new "permanent records" under Ashcroft's plan. What books did you check out of the library as a teenage "malcontent" that might arouse suspicion today?
posted by serafinapekkala on Dec 3, 2002 - 23 comments

KEEP BIG BROTHER'S HANDS OFF THE INTERNET

KEEP BIG BROTHER'S HANDS OFF THE INTERNET Ashcroft as Senator! That was then. This is now. Does it still apply?
posted by Postroad on Nov 25, 2002 - 16 comments

Secret U.S. court OKs electronic spying

Secret U.S. court OKs electronic spying Big Brother much? John Ashcroft is well on his way to becoming the next J. Edgar Hoover, or worse. The government can already secretly spy on what books we're reading, thanks to the Patriot Act. Previous MeFi threads have covered the evils of Total Information Awareness and how it makes everyone a suspect. Now a "secret court" gives the government a green light to spy while the ACLU tried to figure out if there is any recourse.
posted by Dok Millennium on Nov 19, 2002 - 39 comments

The Patriot Act. Ashcrft's TIPS program. FBI surveying your Public Library consumption history. Freedom in America isn't what it used to be, and in most cases, the changes have been foisted on the public, sans referendum.
Have you heard the name Lt. General Michael V. Hayden before? Probably not. Probably cuz he's king spook. aka Director fo the National Security Agency.
Here's a transcript of his testimony before congress about pre and post 9/11 national security issues.
Its a really scary read. Why? Because his assessment comes across as more level headed, even handed and realistic on this prime topic than the President and everyone in congress put together. (YMMV)
Who'd a thunkit?
Briefly, he tells Congress "that they can best help him by going back to their constituents and finding out where the public wants to draw the line between liberty and safety.” More importantly, he talks to the people about security, not at them. Where's the line gotta be? [found on /.]
posted by BentPenguin on Nov 7, 2002 - 28 comments

The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court begins its term this coming Monday. There are lots of exciting cases on the calendar (99k PDF). For example, Ewing v. California, which will test California's 3 strikes rule. Scheidler v. NOW, which has to do with anti-abortion activists blocking access to clinics. And of course, Eldred v. Ashcroft, where the issue is whether or not the 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act (PDF) is Constitutional. The last has been mentioned in a couple threads and has gotten loads of web attention, including this new piece from WIRED. A lot to look forward to, whether you're interested in one of the specific issues or you're just an avid armchair justice.
posted by jewishbuddha on Oct 4, 2002 - 22 comments

Non-citizens put on notice to file change in addresses

Non-citizens put on notice to file change in addresses
The Ashcroft Gestapo strikes again!

If a permanent resident doesn't file this change-in-address form, they are talking about penalties up to and including deportion! Note we aren't talking about student visa holders or anything like that .. we are talking about people who have lived in this country for 10 .. 20 .. 30 years or more in many cases.

This country is really turning into a police state the way things are going.
posted by ssheth on Jul 23, 2002 - 44 comments

His name is Hussein al-Attas. He is 24 years old. Ten months ago, federal agents arrested him at the mosque where he worshipped and took him away.

His name is Hussein al-Attas. He is 24 years old. Ten months ago, federal agents arrested him at the mosque where he worshipped and took him away. He has been locked in solitary confinement ever since, his only companion a Spanish-speaking prisoner on the other side of the wall, to whom he speaks through the air-conditioning vent."

Deborah Hastings of the Associated Press tells us the story of The man who gave a ride to Zacarias Moussaoui, and his descent into indefinite federal detention.
posted by mr_crash_davis on Jul 13, 2002 - 16 comments

Nat Hentoff tells the story of the Northampton Bill of Rights Defense Committee, a grassroots group of citizens dedicated to defending the Bill of Rights "--not only against the USA Patriot Act but also against subsequent Presidential executive orders, and actions by John Ashcroft, that 'threaten key rights guaranteed to U.S. citizens and noncitizens by the Bill of Rights and the Massachusetts Constitution.'". Visit their Web site to find out what you can do to help, including signing the Petition to Repeal the Patriot Act.
posted by mr_crash_davis on Jul 4, 2002 - 3 comments

Threat of 'dirty bomb' softened

Threat of 'dirty bomb' softened Attorney General John Ashcroft on Monday overstated the potential threat posed by "dirty bomb" suspect Abdullah Al Muhajir, Bush administration and law enforcement officials said Tuesday. Ashcroft's remarks annoyed the White House and led the administration to soften the government's descriptions of the alleged plot. "I don't think there was actually a plot beyond some fairly loose talk and (Al Muhajir's) coming in here obviously to plan further deeds," Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told CBS on Tuesday. So, does this mean he'll actually get treated like an American citizen and get to see a lawyer?
posted by dejah420 on Jun 12, 2002 - 29 comments

A Boob in the Hall of Justice

A Boob in the Hall of Justice
Poet Claire Braz-Valentine's hilarious reading of her open letter to Attorney General John Ashcroft. (Text here for the QuickTime impaired.)
posted by quonsar on Jun 6, 2002 - 27 comments

Government Will Ease Limits on Domestic Spying by F.B.I.

Government Will Ease Limits on Domestic Spying by F.B.I. (NY Times link) As part of a sweeping effort to transform the F.B.I. into a domestic terrorism prevention agency, Attorney General John Ashcroft has decided to relax restrictions on the bureau's ability to conduct domestic spying in counterterrorism operations, senior government officials said today. Here's the Wash. Post's take on the story.
posted by Ty Webb on May 30, 2002 - 21 comments

John Ashcroft inflicts his "gift" upon DoJ staff

John Ashcroft inflicts his "gift" upon DoJ staff Determined not to stop at subjecting the public to his musical endeavors, our beloved Attorney General now sees fit to hand out the lyrics to his songs at staff meetings for sing-alongs. This, from the man whose job is to "represent the Government before the U.S. Supreme Court in cases of exceptional gravity or importance". Given the choice of attending one of his daily prayer meetings, having to sing along to his music, or having bamboo shoved under your fingernails, what would you choose?
posted by mkultra on Mar 4, 2002 - 53 comments

Ashcroft and his wacky antics. Internet Pornography - Medicinal Marijuana and Assisted Suicide
posted by Nauip on Feb 20, 2002 - 31 comments

Ashcroft's Jihad.

Ashcroft's Jihad. "Attorney General John D. Ashcroft yesterday cast the government's war on terrorism in religious terms, arguing that the campaign is rooted in faith in God and urging Christians, Jews and Muslims to unite in the effort." So as an agnostic, am I excused from the war?
posted by homunculus on Feb 20, 2002 - 66 comments

John Ashcroft is a-skeered of kitty-cats. Laughs like Nelson
posted by luser on Jan 30, 2002 - 50 comments

Ashcroft and the entire U.S. attorney's office in Houston recuse themselves from the Enron investigation.

Ashcroft and the entire U.S. attorney's office in Houston recuse themselves from the Enron investigation. Even more noteworthy is Arthur Andersen's admission that they destroyed documents related to Enron between September and November of last year. Was AA attempting to hide the fact that they looked the other way on their audits? What does this say for investor faith in the audit process? And, if there was impropriety should Andersen be held just as liable as Enron's execs?
posted by Vek on Jan 10, 2002 - 4 comments

It's About Freaking Time!

It's About Freaking Time! Finally, Someone is actually looking into whether or not Enron might maybe have violated the law. Until now, Ashcroft's little Department was just about the only organization in Washington DC not investigating these jokers. For those who haven't been paying attention, allegations include accounting irregularities, improper partnerships, price fixing, single handedly causing the California Energy Crisis, and failing to let thier employees get thier 401k money out of company stock before it dropped precipitously.
posted by ilsa on Jan 9, 2002 - 10 comments

8 former FBI agents "have offered the first substantive critique of the Ashcroft program."

8 former FBI agents "have offered the first substantive critique of the Ashcroft program." A senior Justice Department official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that none of the changes ordered by Ashcroft would have enabled the FBI to interrupt the Sept. 11 attacks. After the rebuke mentioned previously here, perhaps the worm is turning?
posted by aflakete on Nov 27, 2001 - 10 comments

Ashcroft

Ashcroft gets a double kick in the groin. It really heartens me to see this. I'm all for finding those responsible, but not at the cost of the Constitution and civil rights. How long before all of the state of Oregon is charged with terrorrism and brought before Bush's special tribunal?
posted by jammer on Nov 21, 2001 - 30 comments

Is John Ashcroft paying back the Christian right?

Is John Ashcroft paying back the Christian right? Or is he simply enforcing existing laws? But then what about pursuing Eric Rudolph?
posted by Rastafari on Nov 6, 2001 - 26 comments

John Ashcroft, I'm Only Dancing

John Ashcroft, I'm Only Dancing --- What goes on behind closed doors in the Oval Office, late at night? The Taliban may be holding out, but they have yet to experience the cringe-inducing trauma of the President's disco dancing. They should fear for their lives. (Number one in e-mail in France, Italy and Portugal, right now. Oh, the excitement!) N.B. A "no comments" link in the old stylee, for entertainment purposes only. Be sure to click on all the left-hand side options, specially No.2. Flash or something probably required; no idea actually. ;-)
posted by MiguelCardoso on Nov 5, 2001 - 5 comments

Do you believe what you're told by your government?

Do you believe what you're told by your government? I don't. I'm quite the conspiracy theorist. One thing I do believe is that during the Vietnam war, battlefield evidence obtained by journalists directly contradicted the official word from the Pentagon. Starting with Ashcroft basically overturning the FOIA, numerous government agencies are using the Current Situation to get a stranglehold on information. Furthermore, they are getting rid of anything remotely distasteful to their administrators and beaurocrats. Most telling is the FAA's decision to remove records of past security violations from their website, basically ending public oversight of their self-policing activities.
posted by taumeson on Oct 30, 2001 - 22 comments

Ashcroft launches C.H.I.P.

Ashcroft launches C.H.I.P. Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property units to make sure all your licensing is in order, don't have a copy of the DeCSS song, and keeping webpages de-facement free.
posted by skallas on Jul 22, 2001 - 14 comments

John Ashcroft on web porn:

John Ashcroft on web porn: "I am concerned about obscenity and I'm concerned about obscenity as it relates to our children". I'm curious what those of you who are more on the conservative/libertarian side of things think about this. Are there special exemptions to the concept of free speech when it comes to this type of content? [more]
posted by owillis on Jun 11, 2001 - 40 comments

Ashcroft and Bush make their move.

Ashcroft and Bush make their move. "Justice Department lawyers have warned that they may soon be forced to abandon the federal government's landmark lawsuit against the tobacco industry because the Bush administration has not proposed enough funding to keep the litigation alive, according to a confidential memo reviewed by The Washington Post."
posted by owillis on Apr 25, 2001 - 22 comments

Statement of Senator Feinstein

Statement of Senator Feinstein opposing John Ashcroft. I hope he doesn't get in. A friend of mine told me he saw some "Roe v. Wade is dead" demonstrators on TV outside the capitol building and the first thing he thought was Triumph of the Will had descended upon Washington.
posted by kliuless on Jan 25, 2001 - 5 comments

More on Ashcroft (via Salon)

More on Ashcroft (via Salon) Supported a law that makes it OK to kill abortion providers. This is not a "political difference of opinion." The man is dangerous.
posted by jpoulos on Jan 18, 2001 - 18 comments

William Safire in the NY Times: "...to attribute racism to Ashcroft, who appointed more black judges than any Missouri governor and whose wife is revered for her years of teaching at mostly black Howard University, is to admit the bankruptcy of his opposition."
posted by ericost on Jan 18, 2001 - 38 comments

Petition Against Ashcroft

Petition Against Ashcroft
Yet another anti-Ashcroft site. Complete with a petition and scary Ashcroft quotes.
posted by snakey on Jan 16, 2001 - 47 comments

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