FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

VICTORY, Ashcroft’s Latest Stinkbomb

John Ashcroft is out of control. The August 6 New York Daily News scooped the story that answers the question, “What happened to Patriot II?” Remember that disgusting piece of legislation that Ashcroft said was merely a “draft” of revisions of the USA Patriot Act? Even the Congress, caught sleeping through Patriot I, woke up for that one. It featured absurd concepts like stripping Americans of their citizenship and sending them off to some island somewhere to rot.

Old Patriots never die, they just reinvent themselves, always victorious, naturally. The News says that Ashcroft will be traipsing across the country at taxpayer expense drumming up support for the VICTORY Act, scheduled to be introduced to the Senate in September by none other than roarin’ Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

VICTORY–Vital Interdiction of Criminal Terrorist Organizations Act–will enable Ashcroft and clan to:

Clamp down on Arab hawala transactions, where cash exchanged in an honor system has been funneled to terrorists, according to the government. Of course, this monetary system is what supports tens of thousands of family members of immigrants and legal aliens, who come to this country, do the work Americans won’t do, and send their hard-earned dollars home to families living in abject poverty.

Get business records without a court order in terrorism probes and delay notification. In past weeks Ashcroft has said over and over that business records require a warrant–when in fact they require only approval of the secret FISA court, an Ashcroft rubber stamp. Immediately on the heels of spreading this word, Ashcroft is asking for law that would remove all judicial oversight of government snooping.

Track wireless communications with a roving warrant. Roving wiretaps are now allowed for cell phones and laptops. This provision pulls in wireless communication devices so Big Brother can follow you all over the globe.

Increase sentences for drug kingpins to 40 years in prison and $4 million in fines. This provision suggests that Ashcroft has taken the leap that drug dealing equals terrorism. A point could be made for that argument, but then what crime isn’t terrorism of some sort–to somebody? Is Ashcroft setting the stage for further revision of the criminal code so that 20-year sentences can be meted out for reckless driving (there’s terrorism for you) or being drunk in public?

On another front, The Wall Street Journal reported on August 6 that Ashcroft had “ordered” federal prosecutors to “report” to His Highness federal judges who give less than federal mandatory minimum sentences. Hey, even Chief Justice William Rehnquist doesn’t like the sound of this. I am not sure there is a Constitutional basis for the Executive Branch (Ashcroft & Co.) prosecuting the Judicial Branch for not giving harsh enough sentences. But then, Ashcroft never let a little detail like the law or the Constitution stop him.

Who will win this showdown? Considering that King George has Chief Justice to thank for his crown and throne, might Chief Prosecutor be sacrificed for the sake of the realm? Bush has one goal and only one–to get reelected. John Pointdexter got his walking papaers for pushing policies that were beyond the pale of what even Bush lovers could tolerate. Now Ashcroft is fast becoming the King’s most reviled retainer and one whom many Republicans wish to distance themselves from. Public interest lawsuits are mounting against the man who has been on a mission to destroy the Constitution.

Bring it on, Big John. The more outrageous your proposals, the sooner we send you back to Missouri.

ELAINE CASSEL practices law in Virginia and the District of Columbia, teachers law and psychology, and follows the Bush regime’s dismantling of the Constitution at Civil Liberties Watch. She can be reached at: ecassel1@cox.net

More articles by:

February 20, 2019
Anthony DiMaggio
Withdrawal Pains and Syrian Civil War: An Analysis of U.S. Media Discourse
Charles Pierson
When Saudi Arabia Gets the Bomb
Doug Johnson Hatlem
“Electability” is Real (Unless Married with the Junk Science of Ideological Spectrum Analysis)
Kenneth Surin
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline: Another Boondoggle in Virginia
John Feffer
The Psychology of the Wall
Dean Baker
Modern Monetary Theory and Taxing the Rich
Russell Mokhiber
Citizens Arrested Calling Out Manchin on Rockwool
George Ochenski
Unconstitutional Power Grabs
Michael T. Klare
War With China? It’s Already Under Way
Thomas Knapp
The Real Emergency Isn’t About the Wall, It’s About the Separation of Powers
Manuel García, Jr.
Two Worlds
Daniel Warner
The Martin Ennals and Victorian Prize Winners Contrast with Australia’s Policies against Human Dignity
Norman Solomon
What the Bernie Sanders 2020 Campaign Means for Progressives
Dan Corjescu
2020 Vision: A Strategy of Courage
Matthew Johnson
Why Protest Trump When We Can Impeach Him?
William A. Cohn
Something New and Something Old: a Story Still Being Told
Bill Martin
The Fourth Hypothesis: the Present Juncture of the Trump Clarification and the Watershed Moment on the Washington Mall
February 19, 2019
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Troublesome Possibilities: The Left and Tulsi Gabbard
Patrick Cockburn
She Didn’t Start the Fire: Why Attack the ISIS Bride?
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Literature and Theater During War: Why Euripides Still Matters
Maximilian Werner
The Night of Terror: Wyoming Game and Fish’s Latest Attempt to Close the Book on the Mark Uptain Tragedy
Conn Hallinan
Erdogan is Destined for Another Rebuke in Turkey
Nyla Ali Khan
Politics of Jammu and Kashmir: The Only Viable Way is Forward
Mark Ashwill
On the Outside Looking In: an American in Vietnam
Joyce Nelson
Sir Richard Branson’s Venezuelan-Border PR Stunt
Ron Jacobs
Day of Remembrance and the Music of Anthony Brown        
Cesar Chelala
Women’s Critical Role in Saving the Environment
February 18, 2019
Paul Street
31 Actual National Emergencies
Robert Fisk
What Happened to the Remains of Khashoggi’s Predecessor?
David Mattson
When Grizzly Bears Go Bad: Constructions of Victimhood and Blame
Julian Vigo
USMCA’s Outsourcing of Free Speech to Big Tech
George Wuerthner
How the BLM Serves the West’s Welfare Ranchers
Christopher Fons
The Crimes of Elliot Abrams
Thomas Knapp
The First Rule of AIPAC Is: You Do Not Talk about AIPAC
Mitchel Cohen
A Tale of Two Citations: Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” and Michael Harrington’s “The Other America”
Jake Johnston
Haiti and the Collapse of a Political and Economic System
Dave Lindorff
It’s Not Just Trump and the Republicans
Laura Flanders
An End to Amazon’s Two-Bit Romance. No Low-Rent Rendezvous.
Patrick Walker
Venezuelan Coup Democrats Vomit on Green New Deal
Natalie Dowzicky
The Millennial Generation Will Tear Down Trump’s Wall
Nick Licata
Of Stress and Inequality
Joseph G. Ramsey
Waking Up on President’s Day During the Reign of Donald Trump
Elliot Sperber
Greater Than Food
Weekend Edition
February 15, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Matthew Hoh
Time for Peace in Afghanistan and an End to the Lies
Chris Floyd
Pence and the Benjamins: An Eternity of Anti-Semitism
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail