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U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft Resigns 1275

Posted by timothy
from the cautious-phrasing dept.
andyring writes "In a move that will undoubtedly make many /. readers jump for joy (although perhaps not myself), Attorney General John Ashcroft announced he will resign, according to multiple news sources. While many here dislike him, others have more favorable opinions of him. He became the point man on the USA Patriot Act, which typically ignites harsh opinions on both sides of the aisle." Reader cnsc1rtr , referring to the AP's version of the story, writes "He gave Bush a five-page, handwritten letter in which he stated, 'The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved.'"
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U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft Resigns

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  • SAFE! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Elwood P Dowd (16933) <judgmentalist@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @07:41PM (#10771269) Journal
    'The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved.'

    That is the BEST NEWS EVER! How come he didn't tell us about this before?
    • What a day! (Score:5, Funny)

      by The Hobo (783784) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @07:53PM (#10771462)
      1) Firefox 1.0 Released
      2) Halo 2 Released
      3) John Ashcroft Resigns
      4).... Profit!!!

      What a day it's been!
    • Re:SAFE! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Auckerman (223266) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @07:59PM (#10771546)
      'The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved.'

      This is and example of one thing the Bush administration understands, how to kill discussions. The trick is to say something so outlandish and WRONG that everyone who pays attention will know as wrong and the discussion dies there, while at the the same time, the less observant get the desired impression. The fun part is, if you have a valid argument that is even remotely related (rational or emotional level) against the individual, a lot of people will dismiss you without hearing you thinking 1. you are on the same level as them (that's just how politicians are) or 2. you're a conspiracy nut. (he's just reading too much into this political nonsense).

      Really impressive use of the media if you ask me. If you say enough factually wrong soundbites, people will dismis you AND the people who are after you. Those who don't dismis you will think you are amazing.
      • Re:SAFE! (Score:5, Informative)

        by NaDrew (561847) <nadrew@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @08:46PM (#10772120) Journal
        If you say enough factually wrong soundbites, people will dismis you AND the people who are after you. Those who don't dismis you will think you are amazing.
        It's called The Big Lie [wikipedia.org] and it's a technique with quite a lot of history.
      • Re:SAFE! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by dameron (307970) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @09:48PM (#10772672) Homepage
        It's the same thing as with "intelligent design." This administration will say -anything-, even the most blatant lie (like Ashcroft's victory lap quoted above), and use that as a position to -start- the "debate". Suddenly the "truth" has quotations around it and the lie get's equal play.

        It's not even a strawman, it's literally the fucking Chewbacca defense.

        That the press and most (maybe) of the electorate falls for this is the main reason why so many on the left are willing to believe the election was rigged.

        -dameron
    • Re:SAFE! (Score:4, Funny)

      by Rei (128717) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @08:07PM (#10771678) Homepage
      Without Ashcroft around, who will there be to dilligently protect a woman's right to give birth? Or to protect a terminally-ill patient's right to keep living? Or an atheist student's right to participate in school-sponsored prayer? Or a muslim's right to be given a surprise trip to a tropical carribean island? Or even a pipe maker's right to have a long-term vacation to Huntsville?

      I fear for this country without Ashcroft around. Let the eagle soar, John. Let it soar.

      P.S.: If you need someone to annoint you with cooking oil for your next job, just give me a call. I've got a bottle of Wesson in the cabinet.
    • Re:SAFE! (Score:5, Funny)

      by g3head (771421) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @08:10PM (#10771719) Homepage
      'The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved.'

      That is the BEST NEWS EVER! How come he didn't tell us about this before?

      well, he's just now resigning....

    • Re:SAFE! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Caiwyn (120510) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @08:13PM (#10771755)
      AWESOME.

      So, can I have my rights back, now?
    • Re:SAFE! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by The_Rook (136658) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @08:16PM (#10771791)
      not to be a killjoy, but has it occurred to anyone that ashcroft is resigning as attorney general so as to prepare himself for a nomination to the supreme court?
  • by rbochan (827946) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @07:41PM (#10771273) Homepage
    Tomorrow Cheney!

    oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please
    • by Dante333 (25148) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @07:53PM (#10771455)
      Your thinking short term. Now that he isn't a AG, he can be a SCJ.
      • Stalking horse (Score:5, Insightful)

        by daveo0331 (469843) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @08:26PM (#10771894) Homepage Journal
        It's unlikely that Ashcroft would make it onto the Supreme Court, but Bush might use him as a stalking horse. Nominate him, watch the country go crazy, watch the Democrats use up all their time and political capital fighting off Ashcroft... then when everyone is worn out from blocking the Ashcroft nomination, Bush appoints a relative unknown who turns out to be as bad or worse.

        The Democrats need to watch out for this, and keep up the resistance against anyone on the right wing that Bush tries to put on the Court. We still have 45 seats in the Senate, that's enough for a filibuster. The ability to filibuster is there for a reason -- to stop a President and 51 Senators (or in this case 55) from the same party from putting an extremist on the Supreme Court. The Democrats need to make sure Bush comes up with nominees that are at lease somewhat moderate.
    • Re:Today Ashcroft (Score:5, Insightful)

      by superpulpsicle (533373) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @07:57PM (#10771527)
      Not to be mean.... On one hand I want Bush to leave.

      On the other hand, I want to see Bush-voters who cheered "4 more years" to suffer financial & economical devastation. Nothing against you, but if you wanted a president who has more involvement in Iraq than your own country, you mind as well turn in your U.S. citizenship. Before you mod me down to -100, I am just fighting for the U.S middle class.

      • Re:Today Ashcroft (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jemenake (595948) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @10:13PM (#10772852)
        On the other hand, I want to see Bush-voters who cheered "4 more years" to suffer financial & economical devastation...
        I feel you, man.

        In Clinton's last year in office, the national debt actually went *down* (when adjusted for inflation) for the first time in ages... probably my lifetime or even longer. Then, during Bush's first term, it has skyrocketed. It has increased by almost 50% (*not* adjusted for inflation... but inflation isn't anywhere *near* 50% per 4 yrs.)!

        Every election season, there's a call to reduce the deficit, and it always seems to fall on deaf ears. I think that most Americans have no idea what it really is, but (because they keep hearing politicians mention it so much), tacitly agree that we need to keep it down. However, I think that their level of conviction to that belief ranks right up there with trying to not consume quite so much saturated fat and salt: "Yeah, yeah... I know... I need to cut down one of these days.".

        With this latest election, I think I'm finally giving up. So, this is where I agree with you. I think I'm now going to support any legislation or budget that swells the deficit even further. Up until now, I've been telling people that, if the deficit is left unchecked then, someday, the interest on the debt will be more than our total tax revenue... at which point, there will be no way to stop the meltdown. However, they all seem to look at me as though I'm talking about an asteroid hitting the earth. They've never experienced it happening, so they don't really believe that it *can* happen.

        Well.... okay. If it can't happen, then I have no qualms about bringing it about as soon as possible. I'll start moving my assets to a country with a sensible fiscal policy, and then we can start doing what we can to make sure that the national debt swells into a runaway freight train as soon as possible.

        And.... to be quite honest, I'm sincerely curious to see what *does* happen. Will the gov't default on all of its loans and have the dollar become worthless overseas, or will our own economy (and gov't, too) implode as well? - Joe
    • Sadly (Score:5, Interesting)

      by fluxrad (125130) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @08:04PM (#10771638) Homepage
      Tomorrow it's almost certainly Colin Powell. There is general agreement that he will leave, having been forced into an outsider's viewpoint by the ranks of the neoconservative faction of the Bush administration, i.e. Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Wolfowitz to name just a few.

      While I am absolutely elated that Ashcroft has resigned, I have no doubt that we will most certainly see four more years of the same foreign policy that has dogged the US since Bush's first inauguration. That, combined with the fact that Ashcroft has already done significant domestic damage viz. the PATRIOT act paints a rather bleak picture for the US in the coming years - even if the inside players are different.

      The stage has already been set.
  • by ZiakII (829432) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @07:41PM (#10771275)
    does that mean i can take off my tinfoil hat?
  • by Steve B (42864) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @07:41PM (#10771278)
    He gave Bush a five-page, handwritten letter in which he stated, 'The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved.

    I thought that it was the overthrow of Saddam Hussein that did that....

  • by readpunk (683053) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @07:42PM (#10771281) Journal
    I'm going to commit crimes just to spite him.
  • We Won! (Score:5, Funny)

    by dasheiff (261577) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @07:42PM (#10771291) Homepage
    'The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved.'

    Yey we won! Now we can pull out of Iraq. No more airport security lines. I just hope W. can read script.
  • Huh? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Blue Neon Head (45388) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @07:42PM (#10771300)
    "The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved."

    Phew! Finally. Guess we don't need a DoJ anymore.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @07:42PM (#10771301)
    > 'The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved.'

    At what cost?

  • Ashcroft (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ZX81 (105194) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @07:43PM (#10771306) Homepage
    In all honesty I can only say good riddance.

    It's almost unbelievable that the USA would allow him to work on bills such as the Patriot act.

    What I don't understand is why are you guys not protesting?

    Have you given up?
    • Re:Ashcroft (Score:5, Interesting)

      by danheskett (178529) <danheskett@CURIE ... minus physicist> on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @07:58PM (#10771544)
      It's not trendy to dissent on the Patriot Act around here, but probably a solid 90% of the bill accomplished SORELY needed reforms.

      There were literally hundreds of pathetic attempts to seperate government agencies for a no good reason.

      The rest of the bill that you hear so much about is what really burns most civil libertarians.

      Everyone should be asked to read the whole act at least once in their lives. Most people would be surprised how much stuff the government *couldn't* do that just made sense before hand.
      • Re:Ashcroft (Score:5, Informative)

        by imuffin (196159) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @08:59PM (#10772270)
        Everyone should be asked to read the whole act at least once in their lives. Most people would be surprised how much stuff the government *couldn't* do that just made sense before hand.

        Well, according to Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, the members of congress weren't even allowed to read the PATRIOT act before voting on it. [insightmag.com]

        From the article:

        Paul confirms rumors circulating in Washington that this sweeping new law, with serious implications for each and every American, was not made available to members of Congress for review before the vote. "It's my understanding the bill wasn't printed before the vote -- at least I couldn't get it. They played all kinds of games, kept the House in session all night, and it was a very complicated bill. Maybe a handful of staffers actually read it, but the bill definitely was not available to members before the vote."
      • Re:Ashcroft (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Bob9113 (14996) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @09:05PM (#10772337) Homepage
        but probably a solid 90% of the bill accomplished SORELY needed reforms.

        If I were offered a drink that was 90% fruit juice and vitamins, and 10% stricnine, I would choose not to drink it.
      • On the contrary... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Onan (25162) * on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @10:14PM (#10772860)
        The compartmentalization of agencies was most certainly not for no good reason. It was to make law enforcement less effective, which was a good and important goal of our governmental design.

        The thing that Mr. Ashcroft and the rest of the executive branch have forgotten is that we need to be at least as suspicious and limiting of our government as of the people from whom our government is supposedly protecting us. Instead, the executive branch has taken the absurd view that their enemies are "Evil", and thus that their own actions are--definitionally--Good.

        This is a dangerous premise. History has taught us that governments very reliably stray from Good. Every single act undertaken by a government must be carefully evaluated with questions like, "Does this make us the bad guys? Is this worse than what we're trying to solve?" And even after such questions have been asked, we need to still assume that they've been answered incorrectly, and place harsh limitations on the fundamental things a government can do.

        This is the origin of bans on interdepartmental cooperation, statutes of limitation, limitations on search and siezure, the specificity of of search warrants, and so on. After all, if your government were always the good guys, you wouldn't need any such protections, right?
  • by mind21_98 (18647) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @07:43PM (#10771307) Homepage Journal
    Is it possible that Bush will appoint a more conservative replacement for Ashcroft? That's been the danger, especially since up to four Supreme Court positions may open up this term. How would a more conservative Attorney General affect the US?
  • by Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) * <seebert42@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @07:44PM (#10771322) Homepage Journal
    For the Supreme Court...
  • by SmilingMonk (583609) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @07:44PM (#10771324) Homepage
    Set them free. Freedom is a good thing, right? :-)
  • by Disperz (818430) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @07:46PM (#10771357)
    I for one can't wait for his music career to jump off!
    "LET THE EAGLE SOAR, LIKE SHE'S NEVER SOARN BEFORE!"
    http://www.cnn.com/video/us/2002/02/25/a shcroft.si ngs.wbtv.med.html
  • by agent dero (680753) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @07:47PM (#10771367) Homepage
    "He gave Bush a five-page, handwritten letter in which he stated"

    I have a new found respect for John Ashcroft, it's pretty respectable that he thinks Bush will read five-pages of his letter.

    At least he "still believes"

    ;)
  • by jinxidoru (743428) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @07:47PM (#10771368) Homepage
    'The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved.'

    Am I correct in assuming that his resignation is what is bringing this achievement to pass?
  • by isolation (15058) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @07:48PM (#10771378) Homepage
    Thank God. I wish Ashcroft could read this.

    I am a Christain and a Conservative and I am glad to see him gone. His record on states rights vs federal law proves that the current administration cares nothing about the will of the people and only about the power of Federal law. I dont want the state coming in and telling me what I can and can't put in to my body or who I can have sex with. I could just see this guy dragging homosexuals in if the amendment had passed. I dont want the state to come in to my marrage or a gay marrage anymore than I want the state to come in to my relationship with God.

    This guy got his rocks off dragging people in to court over matters that should never have been law in the first place.

    See you around John.....
  • by way2trivial (601132) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @07:48PM (#10771385) Homepage Journal
    the humor, 1- "He gave Bush a five-page, handwritten letter in which he stated, 'The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved.'" the fact that it was addressed to the receipient it was- makes this an oxymoron...

    the serious 2- I recall a quote attributed to the then director of the patent office, requesting the patent office be closed, as all concieveable inventions had been made.. both the quote and the historical snip I give seem to have a spooky similarity

  • by ravenspear (756059) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @07:50PM (#10771409)
    The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved.

    Does that mean the Patriot Act can be repealed now?
  • We're saved! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mcmonkey (96054) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @07:50PM (#10771420) Homepage
    'The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved.'

    So they figured out how anthrax from US Army labs was mailed to various members of congress and media outlets, and captured those responsible?

    Oh...they haven't done that, eh?

    Well, at least gays can't marry.

  • great (Score:5, Funny)

    by nizo (81281) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @07:51PM (#10771431) Homepage Journal
    I knew I should have hurried up with my idea for a four horsemen of the apocolypse t-shirt, now one of the horsemen has resigned....
  • by eclectro (227083) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @07:53PM (#10771468)

    Is Mr. DMCA himself, Orrin Hatch.

    You will long for the days of Ashcroft.
  • by TiggertheMad (556308) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @07:55PM (#10771493) Homepage Journal
    ...That I get to see lady Justice's boobie again?

    That may be worth a trip to D.C. for that alone!
  • Successor? (Score:5, Informative)

    by cnsc1rtr (799636) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @08:01PM (#10771580) Journal
    from The Yahoo News/AP story [yahoo.com]:
    Speculation about a successor to Ashcroft has centered on his former deputy,
    Larry Thompson, who recently took a job as general counsel at PepsiCo. If appointed, Thompson would be the nation's first black attorney general. Others prominently mentioned include Bush's 2004 campaign chairman, former Montana Gov. Marc Racicot, and White House general counsel Alberto Gonzales.
    [...]
    Washington continued to buzz with speculation about the futures of Secretary of State Colin Powell and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.
    [...]
    Condoleezza Rice, the president's national security adviser, is considered a possible successor for either Rumsfeld or Powell. She has let it be known that she does not want to remain in her current role in the second term, and officials say her path is up or out. Rice said a year ago she wasn't interested in getting enmeshed in the bureaucracy at the State Department, but aides don't rule that out now, particularly with prospects for change in the Middle East.

  • by danielacroft (167383) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @08:03PM (#10771611) Homepage
    "He gave Bush a five-page, handwritten letter in which he stated, 'The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved.'"

    I hope he attached an audio book version to the letter.
  • by the_mushroom_king (708305) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @08:25PM (#10771887)
    Halle-FUCKING-lujah!!
  • Five Words for You (Score:5, Insightful)

    by onosendai (79294) <oliyoung@gmGIRAF ... minus herbivore> on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @08:32PM (#10771955)
    Better the devil you know ..
  • by jotaeleemeese (303437) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @08:38PM (#10772032) Homepage Journal
    After arresting scores of innocent people at the instigation of this and other war criminals and convicting the big amount of 0, zero, zilch, nada of activities related to terrorism.

    In one case the damning evidence was a video of the alleged terrorists spending time in Disneyland.

    And the only ones the neo-ayatollahs have any hope of "convicting" of any terrorism related activities they have safely guarded them in Guantanamo or Abu Gharib, were confessions can be conviniently extracted at the pleasure of the torturers and kangoroo courts will sentence in accordance to the public, on record wishes of the reelected Orwellian master overlord.

    And the poster of the article still has the indecency to find something good to say about this individual.

  • by kbahey (102895) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @09:05PM (#10772327) Homepage

    This is too late in the discussion, but I just saw it a little while ago and Ashcroft strikes a nerve. So here goes.

    Ashcroft reminds me of Ministers of Interiors in Third World dictatorships. He is a tool for the dictator and the regime, and not there for his main job, that is protect the people.

    His argument that he did achieve his objectives in protecting America from crime and terror is much like the guy who sprayed pepper on his front lawn, to ward off elephants. When his neighbor told him there are no elephants here, he says : "See! It works!"

    Not a single case in the past 3 years was prosecuted successfully as a terrorism case, with conviction. All of the high profile arrests where Aschroft made press conferences with huge pomp, touting them as major victories in the war on terrorism, are just for show. For example, the Lakawanna Six (Buffalo, NY) Yemeni-Americans all pleaded to lesser charges and were convicted. The case of the African American bunch in Oregon is similar. The same goes for the Holy Land Foundation in Texas, and other Muslim charity cases. Most cases that Ashcroft said to be terrorism end up getting convictions for immigration irregularities or ID fraud (SSN, Driver License, Food Stamps, ...etc.). No terrorism at all, except the constant drumming up of fear in the masses, and no one remembers what happened to the poor souls who got caught and made examples of.

    Of course, the Patriot Act, Secret Evidence, and the eroding civil liberties that goes with it, is exactly what is wrong, since terrorists have achieved an objective with these things.

    There are other incidents that show his short comings as well, such as making a big deal of a statue with the bare breast, his fundamentalist view, him attacking Islam while in office, and more.

    Someone should really make up a web site about Ashcroft Watch or something, lest people forget all this.

    Well, his letter of resignation says "I believe that my energies and talents should be directed toward other challenging horizons." What does that mean? Is a Supreme Court Justice position waiting for him (despite the poster above who said that it has to be someone with judge qualifications)?

  • by hawkestein (41151) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @09:05PM (#10772328)
    Remember the Clipper chip? Ashcroft sided with the ACLU in opposing it [reason.com]. Even more ironically, Kerry supported it [reason.com].
  • by victor_the_cleaner (723411) on Tuesday November 09, 2004 @10:03PM (#10772773)
    Does anybody else think a five page handwritten letter sounds a bit psychotic?

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