Ashcroft over-sasses PATRIOT Act opponents
If Attorney General John Ashcroft’s public ineptitude was ever in doubt, his verbal bludgeoning of the American Library Association, lawmakers and other detractors of the USA PATRIOT Act on Wednesday made it obvious.
In what came off as more of a botched Jeff Foxworthy routine than productive political speech, Ashcroft made sarcastic comments toward those who charge the PATRIOT Act erodes civil liberties. ‘If you enjoy swapping recipes for chemical weapons from your ‘Joy of Jihad’ cookbook, you might be a target of the PATRIOT Act,’ Ashcroft said in a condescending attempt to quell fears of the justice department’s potential abuse of power.
As Ashcroft insultingly pointed out, the provision of the PATRIOT Act that allows library, bookstore and business records to be collected without notifying a suspect has not yet been used. However, this does not preclude the possibility that it could be used in terrorism investigations in the future, which is the real argument of – as Ashcroft termed them – ‘the hysterics.’
Just as we would not trust a crazed gunman who assures us his bullets would only be used ‘when necessary,’ we should not trust Ashcroft and his disturbing and illogical attempt to discredit opponents of the PATRIOT Act.
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