Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Time for an Ashcroft deathwatch?

The judges' point: Ashcroft and the FBI are not to be trusted with new power when they have abused the power they already had. Finally, the court concluded, the post-USA PATRIOT policies proposed by Bush "are not reasonably designed" to protect the privacy of law-abiding citizens.

There is ample evidence that Ashcroft has lost his White House support; recent news reports promoting the anti-terrorism labors of Solicitor General Ted Olsen suggest the stage is already being set for a successor. Religious conservatives, once Ashcroft's effective claque, now bridle at his plans to let the FBI spy on religious communities and follow their financial trails. Politically, Ashcroft is a man without a country -- a liability to the Bush administration, an irritation to Congress and an embarrassment to the conservative constituencies which sponsored him.

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