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:
July 17, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Trump & The Big Bad Bugs
Robert Hunziker
Trump Kills Science – Nature Strikes Back
John Grant
The Politics of Cruelty
Kenneth Surin
Calculated Buffoonery: Trump in the UK
Jim Kavanagh
Fighting Fake Stories: The New Yorker, Israel and Obama
Daniel Falcone
Chomsky on the Trump NATO Ruse
W. T. Whitney
Oil Underground in Neuquén, Argentina – and a New US Military Base There
Doug Rawlings
Ken Burns’ “The Vietnam War” was Nominated for an Emmy, Does It Deserve It?
Rajan Menon
The United States of Inequality
Thomas Knapp
Have Mueller and Rosenstein Finally Gone Too Far?
Cesar Chelala
An Insatiable Salesman
Dean Baker
Truth, Trump and the Washington Post
Mel Gurtov
Human Rights Trumped
Binoy Kampmark
Putin’s Football Gambit: How the World Cup Paid Off
July 16, 2018
Sheldon Richman
Trump Turns to Gaza as Middle East Deal of the Century Collapses
Charles Pierson
Kirstjen Nielsen Just Wants to Protect You
Brett Wilkins
The Lydda Death March and the Israeli State of Denial
Patrick Cockburn
Trump Knows That the US Can Exercise More Power in a UK Weakened by Brexit
Robert Fisk
The Fisherman of Sarajevo Told Tales Past Wars and Wars to Come
Gary Leupp
When Did Russia Become an Adversary?
Uri Avnery
“Not Enough!”
Dave Lindorff
Undermining Trump-Putin Summit Means Promoting War
Manuel E. Yepe
World Trade War Has Begun
Binoy Kampmark
Trump Stomps Britain
Wim Laven
The Best Deals are the Deals that Develop Peace
Kary Love
Can We Learn from Heinrich Himmler’s Daughter? Should We?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Franklin Lamb, Requiescat in Pace
Weekend Edition
July 13, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Brian Cloughley
Lessons That Should Have Been Learned From NATO’s Destruction of Libya
Paul Street
Time to Stop Playing “Simon Says” with James Madison and Alexander Hamilton
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: In the Land of Formula and Honey
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s Intellectuals Bow to the Queen of Chaos 
Michael Collins
The Affirmative Action Silo
Andrew Levine
Tipping Points
Geoff Dutton
Fair and Balanced Opinion at the New York Times
Ajamu Baraka
Cultural and Ideological Struggle in the US: a Final Comment on Ocasio-Cortez
David Rosen
The New McCarthyism: Is the Electric Chair Next for the Left?
Ken Levy
The McConnell Rule: Nasty, Brutish, and Unconstitutional
George Wuerthner
The Awful Truth About the Hammonds
Robert Fisk
Will Those Killed by NATO 19 Years Ago in Serbia Ever Get Justice?
Robert Hunziker
Three Climatic Monsters with Asteroid Impact
Ramzy Baroud
Europe’s Iron Curtain: The Refugee Crisis is about to Worsen
Nick Pemberton
A Letter For Scarlett JoManDaughter
Marilyn Garson
Netanyahu’s War on Transcendence 
Patrick Cockburn
Is ISIS About to Lose Its Last Stronghold in Syria?
Joseph Grosso
The Invisible Class: Workers in America
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail