Ashcroft Hails ‘Victory’ Over Constitution

What is the sound of one-half a brain clapping? Attorney General John Ashcroft called a press conference yesterday to celebrate what he called a “major victory” in the War on Terra: the decision, by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, to grant the FBI broad powers to wiretap phones and search homes and computers, setting aside all that pesky Fourth Amendment stuff, as long as the FBI alleges some sort of vague, unspecified connection between the target and international terror. The ACLU is upset, but due to the special rules surrounding the terrorism court, it appears that its decision can’t even be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Wow. With victories like this, who needs defeats?

4 Responses to “Ashcroft Hails ‘Victory’ Over Constitution”

  1. a_stupid_box Says:

    Didn’t people who had their rights trampled by government break off from that government and start their own country? And didn’t they protect it with force when an attempt to reclaim it was made?

    My history may be foggy, but the U.S. is starting to look like a mix of latter quarter Roman Empire and 1700’s England/Britain.

    Those who don’t learn history are bound to repeat it, and from the looks of it the current powers have no concept of history — hell, anything or anyone before their own existence even. And now, some Rage Against the Machine lyrics:

    With this mic I speak nonfiction

    Who got the power, this be my question

    The mass of the few in this torn nation?

    The priest, the book, or the congregation?

    Politrics, who rob and hold down your zone?

    Or those who give the thieves the key to their home?

    The pig, who free to murder one

    Or the survivors who make a move and murder one back?

  2. onan Says:

    I’ve wondered, in fact, if this is simply an unavoidable problem. If every society is doomed to go through a cycle of increasing oppression and eventual revolution? Surely there must be societies which avoid this trap in the first place, but they don’t get so much documentation in history. Are there societies which have started down this path and then recovered? Ever?

    Part of the problem is that, in a narrow context, legislation like this makes perfect sense. It seems silly that we’ve created this huge entity to accomplish a goal, and then we’ve specifically designed it to be bad at it. The clear solution to this, if it’s a goal we still wish accomplished, is just to fix the entity.

    Remember, it’s not just that we’ve limited the specifically antisocial ways that a government can behave; we’ve also put in some arbitrary restrictions just to reduce its effectiveness. Interagency communication and statutes of limitation are great examples of this.

    It takes a larger context to realize that these designed-in flaws are necessary to prevent a larger harm. And people afraid of terrorism aren’t so great with the larger context.

  3. Jay "Bird" Smith Says:

    Lets just piss on the 4th Amendment shall we?

    It won’t take long for the Supreme Court to throw this out. If not during this administration, with the next.

  4. John Ashcroft Sucks Says:

    I fear that it will take decades to undo the damage that John Ashcroft has done to our civil liberties.

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