Freedom Rider: ‘Gangster Government’ | Black Agenda Report

Freedom Rider: ‘Gangster Government’

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

“Just as there is no honor among thieves, there is none in
the Bush White House.”

John Ashcroft was one of the worst Attorney Generals in the
history of the UnitedFRgangstersAshcroftGonzalez States.  He will
be remembered for the Patriot Act, phony terror arrests, phony terror alerts,
and the elimination of legal rights for so-called enemy combatants. Ashcroft is
one of the people most responsible for the sorry state of civil liberties in
the United States and yet he manages to look like a hero in comparison to the
White House that appointed him.

On March 10, 2004, Ashcroft was suffering from pancreatitis
and lying in an intensive care unit. He was so ill that he was in fact no
longer Attorney General. He had ceded the authority of his office to his
deputy, James Comey, who immediately became chief law enforcement officer in
the United States. Last week Comey told the world why current Attorney General
Alberto Gonzales has spent the past year preventing him from testifying under

Comey had convinced his boss Ashcroft that the NSA
warrantless wiretapping program was illegal, and that it should no longer be
certified by the Justice Department. In testimony before the Senate Judiciary
Committee, Comey told
a story that should have the nation, the press, and the Democratic party up
in arms and demanding the impeachments of Bush and Gonzales.

On the evening of March 10, 2004 Comey received word that
White House counsel Alberto Gonzales and Chief of Staff Andrew Card were on the
way to Ashcroft’s bedside. President Bush had personally called Mrs. Ashcroft,
who requested that no one call or visit her husband. In effect, Bush informed
her that he didn’t care what she wanted. Ashcroft was getting visitors whether
she liked it or not. Their goal was to convince Ashcroft to continue certifying
the warrantless surveillance program.

Comey was so worried that he headed to the hospital with
sirens wailing, advising FBI Director Robert Mueller of the impending showdown.
Comey literally ran up the hospital stairs, afraid that Gonzales and Card would
arrive before he did. Director Mueller ordered the agents who accompanied Comey
to prevent his removal from the hospital room.

“Their goal was to convince
Ashcroft to continue certifying the warrantless surveillance program.”

As expected, Card and Gonzales arrived and attempted to get
the seriously ill Ashcroft to overrule Comey and re-certify the wire tapping
program. Ashcroft refused to do so and pointed out that Comey was Attorney
General. Comey put
it succinctly, “I thought I just witnessed an effort to take advantage of a
very sick man, who did not have the powers of the attorney general because they
had been transferred to me.”

White House press spokesman Tony Snow later sneered
at Comey’s assertion. “Trying to take advantage of a sick man – because he had
an appendectomy, his brain didn’t work?” 
Just as there is no honor among thieves, there is none in the Bush White

The awful Ashcroft eventually resigned and was replaced as
Attorney General by the even worse Alberto Gonzales. Gonzales should be asked
to explain his actions in March of 2004 and his efforts to silence the people
who could put the nail in his coffin. Gonzales stonewalled Senate requests for
Comey and Ashcroft to testify about the NSA program and the suspicious hospital
visit. The lying
snake Gonzales justified himself thusly, “You have to wonder what
could Messrs. Comey and Ashcroft add to the discussion.”

Where is the outrage? It certainly isn’t coming from the
media. NBC is alone
among the big three networks in reporting this riveting tale. ABC and CBS
see no need to tell their viewers that the Bush White House acted out a scene
stranger than any fiction Hollywood could produce.

The media aren’t alone in shoulder shrugging. Neither
Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama, both lawyers, said a word about Comey’s
revelation of illegal activity in the oval office.

Impeachment is legally justified and is the only way for
this country to be saved from permanent war and continued lawless behavior.
Democratic leaders have stated publicly that impeachment is “off the table.”
They have squelched efforts in state legislatures around the country to begin
the impeachment process.

“The press is silent and the opposition party won’t

This episode shows once again that Americans have
no one acting or speaking on their behalf. The press is silent and the
opposition party won’t oppose. We must rely on Bush administration appointees
to do their jobs, a risky proposition if ever there was one.FRgangstersBetterImpeachBeach

We must also rely on the gutless Democrats to
undo the terrible damage wrought by the Bushies. If they won’t speak up and
demand that Gonzales be impeached, they are unlikely to seek a change in course
if they get to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

The White House changed the NSA program enough to satisfy
Justice Department concerns. We don’t know what was in it originally that gave
Ashcroft the creeps and in all probability a stress-induced hospital stay. In
any case, the program is classified and we still don’t know what rights have
been taken from us. We only know that we would be worse off if the ultra-right
wing Ashcroft hadn’t spoken up from his hospital bed. If Ashcroft can get kudos
for any reason, the nation has reached its nadir. Viva Ashcroft.

Margaret Kimberley’s
Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York
City, and can be reached via e-Mail at
Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgandaReport.Com. Ms. Kimberley’ maintains an
edifying and frequently updated blog at  More of her
work is also available at her Black Agenda Report

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button