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Thursday, August 07, 2003
Lord Protector Ashcroft update

This man really scares me. He manages to not be publicly stupid nearly as often as the likes of Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld, but he just keeps trying to accumulate power. To wit:

Attorney General John Ashcroft is hitting the road to rally support for the Victory Act, which would further expand his powers to go after Al Qaeda and narcoterrorists, the Daily News has learned.
Pardon me for asking, but what the hell is a "narcoterrorist"? Can't we get laws written in English, please? And where does that stupid name come from? The full title of the bill is the "Vital Interdiction of Criminal Terrorist Organizations Act". That's V..I..C..T..O..where's the R-Y? The bill will apparently be introduced next month by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Late Jurassic). It would allow the federal government to Now just how do they expect to "crack down" on hawala transactions, since they're done on the honor system? It's not like they have special ATMs or something. And could somebody explain to me in 25 words or less exactly what a "drug kingpin", and what the connection between them and al Qaeda is?

But that's not all. Oh, no. Lord Protector Ashcroft has also decided that each and every federal prosecutr should be a snoop on judges. He's asked that all instances of "downward departures" from sentencing guidelines be reported to the DoJ. Decisions to appeal in such cases will be made in Solicitor General Theodore Olson's office, taking significant decision making out of the hands of the prosecutors in the field. Ashcroft's minions are saying that it's just about making sure the sentencing guidelines get followed, and that it's about making sure that we deliver the same justice in Massachusetts as in California, but the fact that they didn't ask about judges who might deviate above the sentencing guidelines puts the lie to that.

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