31 augustus 2008

Let the eagle soar...

Op vraag van Marc Huybrechts die meer achtergronden wou hebben over de betrokkenheid van gewezen justitieminister John Ashcroft in de folteraffaires zoals beschreven in het artikel “Torture and liberty” van libertarisch veelschrijver James Bovard, zal ik in deze post de min of meer normale formulering van Wikipedia overnemen, alsmede met een leuke noot en een muziekfilmpje afsluiten.

Wikipedia over John Ashcroft en "civil liberties":
Ashcroft's positions on privacy and some civil liberties issues made him an extremely disliked figure by rightist libertarian as well as left-wing and liberal groups. Groups opposed to the Bush administration often mentioned him as epitomizing all the reasons for their opposition. Some of his most prominent critics were organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union and pro-choice groups. Opponents claimed that Ashcroft used fear of terrorism to further political goals.

Examples cited include:
-- In July 2002, Ashcroft proposed the creation of Operation TIPS, a domestic program in which workers and government employees would inform law enforcement agencies about suspicious behavior they encounter while performing their duties. The program was criticized in the media as an encroachment upon the First and Fourth Amendments, and the United States Postal Service balked at the program, refusing outright to participate. Ashcroft defended the program as a necessary component of the ongoing War on Terrorism, but the proposal was eventually abandoned.
-- Ashcroft was responsible for draft legislation — the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003, which proposed to greatly expand the powers of the U.S. government to fight crime and terrorism, while simultaneously eliminating or curtailing judicial review of these powers for incidents involving domestic terrorism. The bill was leaked and posted to the Internet on February 7, 2003.
-- On May 26, 2004, Ashcroft held a news conference at which he said that intelligence from multiple sources indicated that al Qaeda intended to attack the United States in the coming months. Critics said this was an attempt to distract attention from a drop in the approval ratings of President Bush, who was campaigning for re-election.

However, groups supporting the civil liberties protected by the Second Amendment lauded Ashcroft's Justice Department support for the Second Amendment. He said specifically, "the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to keep and bear arms," thus embracing the position that the second amendment expresses an individual, not collective, right. At the time NRA president Sandra Froman said, "When these Bush Administration officials affirmed that the Second Amendment protects an individual right, the enemy's of freedom were outraged because they fear the Second Amendment for what it really is — a shield against oppression."
John Ashcroft was één van George W. Bush’s meest trouwe toeverlaten, en toen hij in 2000 niet herkozen geraakte als senator van Missouri, ook al was zijn tegenstander tijdens de campagne komen te overlijden, benoemde Bush hem dan maar als zijn minister van justitie. Ashcroft was een kleurrijke politicus die ook furore maakte met het patriottische zangerskwartet “The Singing Senators”, waartoe ook zijn collega’s James Jeffords, Trent Lott en Larry Craig behoorden. In onderstaand filmpje kunnen jullie hem het lied “Let The Eagle Soar” zien en horen zingen: een nationalistische “red state anthem” dat door John Ashcroft zelf geschreven is. Het lied werd bekend door de documentaire “Fahrenheit 9-11” van Michael Moore.

En in de slagzin “Only God, No Other Kings” meen ik zelfs een libertarische ondertoon te onderscheiden, los van de conservatieve overtuiging van de uitvoerder natuurlijk.


At 31/8/08 15:08, Anonymous Geert Van Nauwelaerts said...

Eigenlijk vind ik de omschrijving op Wikipedia nog minder neutraal dan die in Bovards artikel. Bovard maakte tenminste nog gewag van Ashfords persoonlijke afkeer voor de maatregelen van de Bush-administratie, Wikipedia gaat daar volledig aan voorbij. Ik begrijp dus niet waarop 'Marc Huybrechts' eerder doelde met zijn kritiek.

At 31/8/08 21:58, Anonymous Anoniem said...

Vincent, hoe kan "only god no other kings" ooit libertarisch klinken? Is god een libertarier misschien???


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