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 -
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."
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 -
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 -
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 -
"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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
"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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -