the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

January 1, 2006

“When John Ashcroft Thinks You Have a Civil Liberties Problem…”


Gary Farber at Amygdala takes the early lead in the contest for best post title of 2006. Read.

You may remember John Ashcroft from such remarks as

To those who pit Americans against immigrants, and citizens against non-citizens; to those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty; my message is this: Your tactics only aid terrorists — for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve. They give ammunition to America’s enemies, and pause to America’s friends. They encourage people of good will to remain silent in the face of evil.

But in the good old days, when there was a Democrat in the White House, Ashcroft used to worry a lot about government intrusion into our communications:

There is a concern that the Internet could be used to commit crimes and that advanced encryption could disguise such activity. However, we do not provide the government with phone jacks outside our homes for unlimited wiretaps. Why, then, should we grant government the Orwellian capability to listen at will and in real time to our communications across the Web?

The protections of the Fourth Amendment are clear. The right to protection from unlawful searches is an indivisible American value. Two hundred years of court decisions have stood in defense of this fundamental right. The state’s interest in effective crime-fighting should never vitiate the citizens’ Bill of Rights.

Maybe there was still a little bit of the old Ashcroft left when Bush’s people came to him in the hospital to get his blessing on their illegal use of the NSA to spy on Americans.


  1. “Maybe there was still a little bit of the old Ashcroft left when Bush’s people came to him in the hospital to get his blessing on their illegal use of the NSA to spy on Americans.”

    See piping fresh Addendum at the bottom of said post. Sarcasm aside, thanks.

    Gary Farber9:27 am

  2. Just for you, Gary, I performed a sarcasmectomy on the first sentence. That’s what I’d've written in the first place if I’d thought of it with my half-functioning New Year’s Morning mind.

    Keith9:49 am

  3. Happy New! I have 2 resolutions that I thought I’d share– one having nothing much to do with this Ashcroft post: There is this female…oh, I suppose most people call her a “commentator,” (and I found out recently that this venom-dripping blonde has a LAW DEGREE???? From where?!) but it’s become evident that her only goal in life is to spout “outrageous” anti-Left idiocy for attention, and this year I STOP giving her ANY kind of attention at all. I will no longer repeat some crap she spouted and say, “Can you BELIEVE that shit?!!” If she appears on Maher’s program, I might not turn it off, but I will probably take the opportunity to make myself a snack, etc.. I will never again speak her name. No. 2– and much more importantly– I’m going to start emailing, mail-mailing, sticking up fliers– whatever it takes– to get the Impeachment ball rolling. The chimp has clearly broken the law (You’ve probably seen this:, and no one– no serious American– of any political orientation is okay with that. So what’s the hold-up?

    —Paul • 3:25 pm

  4. Hm. As far as #1 - “Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.” Samuel Clemens. ’nuff said.

    #2? I’m right with you.

    StealthBadger11:38 am, January 2

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