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Government Abuse

Ashcroft's Nightmare

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They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759
US author, diplomat, inventor, physicist, politician, & printer (1706 - 1790)

Vanity Fair
February 2004

[The revolution inside John Ashcroft's Justice Department — an array of new crime-prevention powers embodied in the Patriot Act — has been fueled by the attorney general's ambition intelligence and unusually extreme beliefs about everything from the similarities between himself and Jesus to the post-9/11 role of law enforcement, to the purported demonic properties of calico cats. But as nervous sources share stories of his Missouri governorship, and former stagers and Senate allies speak out, JUDY BACHRACH discovers that Ashcroft has also sparked a growing backlash one with surprisingly bipartisan power.]

by Judy Bacharach

Unconstitutional 'Patriot Act'

Now government was permitted
to listen in on attorney-client conversations without a court order,
sanction secret searches in the name of national security,
impose a gag on those who were searched,
jail Americans indefinitely without counsel,
and detain immigrants on secret charges,
     while withholding their names and even
     their numbers from the public.
Government agents have been dispatched to houses of worship.
With minimal oversight,
they are now allowed to monitor e-mail traffic,
discover which Web sites are being visited,
track some online purchases,
and more easily access medical histories,
     credit files, and even library selections.
Hundreds of surveillance and bugging operations have been launched since 9/11;
113 emergency authorizations for secret warrants were issued in the first year alone — more than twice the number granted in the previous 23 years, the most extensive investigation in the history
of the United States, as the Justice Department has noted.

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."  B.Franklin