Attorney General's Actions Undermine Constitutional Rights, Validate Concerns Raised During Confirmation Hearings
An analysis of recent actions taken by Attorney General John Ashcroft in response to the September 11 attacks makes it clear that he is waging a relentless assault on civil liberties, said People For the American Way Foundation President Ralph G. Neas.
"Terrorism isn’t the only threat to our way of life," said Neas. "We need an attorney general who will stand up to terrorists, but we also need an attorney general who will stand up for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Unfortunately, we have an attorney general whose record increasingly makes clear that he is the most dangerous threat to civil liberties in the federal government."
Neas released an analysis of recent actions taken by Ashcroft or the Justice Department under his leadership in response to the September 11 attacks, including an emergency order to allow government eavesdropping on attorney-client conversations, refusal to release information about individuals being detained, and a "wartime reorganization" that is likely to reduce staff and resources committed to other crucial Justice Department obligations, such as enforcement of civil rights laws.
Neas called for emergency congressional oversight hearings on actions taken by Attorney General Ashcroft and the Justice Department.
Read the analysis