Jeff Cooper, Indiana University School of Law, Indianapolis:
"According to John Ashcroft, "[t]he objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved,". Well, I feel better.
Actually, I do feel better knowing that Ashcroft will shortly be leaving DOJ. There may not have been a terrorist attack in the US since July 2002, but Justice's record in fighting terrorism has been deeply flawed. There have been widely trumpeted announcements of arrests, suspiciously timed for maxiumum political advantage. But there have been no actual convictions in the cases Ashcroft has publicized, and the court's have rejected Justice's asserted power power to detain terrorism suspects without charges and without access to counsel for indefinite periods of time. Indeed, the assertions of power put forth by the Ashcroft DOJ–sometimes under cloak of statutory authority, sometimes simply through creative argumentation, have been truly alarming. Yet those assertions of power haven't produced results. Most notably, the department has yet to solve the case of the anthrax letters mailed to media and political figures in September and October 2001.
Add to these failings the downright weirdness–the covering of the Spirit of Liberty in the DOJ headquarters because the statue's partial nudity made Ashcroft uncomfortable, the aggressive singing of Ashcroft's cornball patriotic song, "Let the Eagle Soar"–and you have the makings of a truly awful attorney general." [November 10, 2004; Cooped Up has more]
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