OK...Ashcroft has finally gone completely off the deep end...

Any civil libertarians out there?

How about just folks who like the constitution the way it is?

From today’s Washington Post:

US Will Monitor Calls To Lawyers

Included are these juicy tidbits:


Look, if you know me at all you know I’m no knee-jerk Bush hater. Bush wasn’t my first choice and neither was Gore. The United States has placed combatting terrorism on the front burner (justifiably so, IMHO) but really…this is too much.

How long do we permit this?

How long until we’re forced to cry, “TO YOUR TENTS, O ISRAEL!”

Or…if I’m permitted to use a Schoolhouse Rock quote:

“If your government won’t give you your basic rights you better get another government.”

This one shakes me, folks. This one shakes me.

Is anybody really surprised that Ashcroft would pull a stunt like this? The man clearly despises civil liberties and is willing to trample over the Constitution to attain his ends. His boss signed the USA Patriot Act which, according to the same article “gives the government a freer hand to conduct searches, detain or deport suspects, eavesdrop on Internet communications, monitor financial transactions and obtain electronic records on individuals.”

The Feds are holding more than 1,200 people in custody, many of whom have not been charged with any crime, have not been allowed to see a lawyer, and are being held incommunicado. Whatever happened to writ of habeas corpus in this country?

Let me guess… Ashcroft?

An answer I keep hearing various people making on CNN is that a lot of these people are in the US illegally and so don’t have the rights of Americans. I don’t like that answer, since there is no way to be sure that they are only holding illegal aliens, and even if they are, they shouldn’t be holding them indefinitely like that.

I’m pretty certain that habeas corpus applies even to those in the US illegally. Give them a speedy trial and zing them over the side.

That sounds a lot more like Fox News than CNN. I can’t believe any intelligent person would make that argument. IM not so HO, the protections of the Constitution apply to every person accused of a crime in the USA, not just citizens.

I started a GD thread about this this morning. Get thee up there!

I’ve heard this comment, too, but I’m not sure it’s accurate. First of all, note the verbal slight-of-hand. On a quick reading it seems to say that those incommunicado and without lawyers number around 1200. Actually, the statement gives no estimates for these cases, just “many.”

I heard this comment debated pro and con on The O’Reilly Factor. Both sides agreed that over 1000 people had been picked up. The civil libertarian was unable to back up the allegations regarding lack of representation. All she said was, “They may not have had access to lawyers.”

The other guest said that a large number of these people had already been released. She also said that almost all of these people were not US citizens, and it was legal to hold foreign visitors for some specified period of time, without the habeus corpus rights that apply to Americans.

December if you’ll read this story from The Washington Post, you’ll see that men are being held indefinitely with no charges filed against them.

Ashcroft was quoted as saying they are being held as possible material witnesses, but the statue is so vague that it amounts to being a US version of lettres de cachet.

I am sure if Ashcroft suspended elections and Bush were declared President-for-Life, December would find some rationalization to approve it.

Gobear, your earlier post said that 1200 people were being held, many incommunicado and without access to lawyers. I politely questioned the accuracy of the report. I purposely mentioned that I had heard a similar report in order to make it clear that you were not being personally attacked.

In reply, your cite described people who have had access to lawyers, which means that they * weren’t incommunicado.* Your post also alludes to a “vague statute.” I take that to mean that there i]is* a statute, i.e., the government is operating legally, even though you disapprove of that particular law. Your cite said the number of people held was “unknown,” rather than 1200.

So, I was right to question the accuracy of your earlier post. That’s no big deal. Most posters occasionally make exaggerated or unsubstantiated claims, even me.

But, where do you come off taking a shot at me? I get enough grief when I’m wrong. How about an apology?

S1510. :mad:

Normally I’m a Centrist, but when the Gov’t starts shifting this far, I become, by default, a Liberal. when the Gov’t finally gets it’s ass kicked on this, I’ll be a centrist again. Hopefully.

You’re right, that was completely unjustified. I apologize.

Well, everyone knows I am. And with each passing day, my jerking knee points directly at very disturbing truths that make hating him (and worse, ** fearing ** him) an increasingly justifiable response.

Sometimes being proven right is the last thing one wants to be.


I think Bush should’ve have maybe considered the fact that Ashcroft lost to a DEAD GUY for crissakes!!!

“An answer I keep hearing various people making on CNN is that a lot of these people are in the US illegally and so don’t have the rights of Americans.”

Um, wrong. U.S. Supremes established in the 80s that Bill of Rights apply to non-citizens.
The 1880s. Back when they were establishing separate but equal, they still were liberal enough to know that it was totally bogus to say if you didn’t have a passport, government didn’t have to give you any rights.
Ashcroft’s a Nazi. Just look what he’s doing trying to circumvent the twice voted-in, and affirmed by Supremes, Oregon assisted suicide law. Since it offends his personal religious convictions, he thinks he can use his political position to block it.

I am not at all in favor of this latest initiative.

As I mentioned somewhere, in a response that seems to have vanished, or possibly is in another thread, when an attorney is the subject of a search warrant, the courts will appoint a special master to ensure that the items relating to client representation seized are not all seen by law enforcement - the master reviews the material first, and passes on only what’s relevant and responsive.

I don’t see a way to do this with phone monitoring, since even the team that’s “in the middle” will be law enforcement, not a judically appointed master. I don’t like this one.

That said: schplebordnik, you contempible moron, this is a far cry from the crimes of the Nazi regime. Don’t you dare compare the murder of millions to the wiretapping of phones. I promise you, you ignorant fool, that every one of the Jews, gypsys, Catholics, homosexuals, and others that died at the hands of the Nazis would have happily chosen to live if all they had to do was put up with their phone calls from prison being monitored! How DARE you compare these things?


I don’t want my dislike for this particular anti-terrorism initiative to get lost in my greater dislike for the use of the word ‘Nazi’ as applied to anything other than a Nazi. Ashcroft’s latest is bad, no doubt there at all.

  • Rick

And where exactly did I say that Ashcroft was perpetuating the Holocaust?

So, if I call you a “Democrat,” that means you support Jim Crow and oppose anti-lynching, since those were at one time fundamental planks in that party’s platforms?

You, my friend, are the moron…

*Originally posted by Jonathan Chance *

If the attorney is helping to facilitate an ongoing criminal enterprise, then there is no attorney/client priviledge IIRC.

However, I am chilled by the fact that it is the attorney general who would decide what reasonable suspicion is. If they have reasonble suspicion, they should do some investigatin’ and come up with probable cause and get a warrant.

Maybe one of you lawyers could answer this hypothetical for me. Suspect X is talking with his lawyer and describes a crime involving 3rd party Y. Their conversation is being recorded by the AG. Now, the government cannot use the recording against X because of attorney/client priviledge. But can they use the recording against 3rd party Y?