Friday, November 19, 2004

Less free, less safe. That is David Coles's assessment as to what Americans are today as a result of John Ashcroft's term as Attorney General. The list of crimes Ashcroft has committed against the Bill of Rights is depressingly lengthy.

  • Arresting 5,000 foreign nationals in an atmosphere of secrecy, frequently with no charges, no evidence made public or presented to the detainees, and no opportunity for the detainees to confront their accusers.
  • Registering, fingerprinting, and interviewing 80,000 legal immigrants for no reason other than their countries of origin, all Arab and/or Muslim.
  • Allowing the government to compel businesses, schools, or libraries to provide records on employees, students, and patrons without any need for demonstrating probable cause that a crime has been or is being committed.
  • Allowing the government to search the homes and tap the phones of Americans without establishing probable cause.
  • Encouraging local police authorities to restrict freedom of assembly and freedom of speech by setting up so-called "free speech zones."
  • Suggesting to these same authorities that they monitor and investigate antiwar demonstrators for connections to terrorist organizations.
  • Spying on the political and religious activities of private citizens.
  • Announcing that opposition to these policies was un-American and supportive of terrorism.

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