Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Monday, July 21, 2003  

News this morning that an internal DOJ report found evidence of abuses as a result of the Patriot Act:

A report by internal investigators at the Justice Department has identified dozens of recent cases in which department employees have been accused of serious civil rights and civil liberties violations involving enforcement of the sweeping federal antiterrorism law known as the USA Patriot Act.

The inspector general's report, which was presented to Congress last week and is awaiting public release, is likely to raise new concern among lawmakers about whether the Justice Department can police itself when its employees are accused of violating the rights of Muslim and Arab immigrants and others swept up in terrorism investigations under the 2001 law.

The report said that in the six-month period that ended on June 15, the inspector general's office had received 34 complaints of civil rights and civil liberties violations by department employees that it considered credible, including accusations that Muslim and Arab immigrants in federal detention centers had been beaten.

Who knows what effect this will have. John Ashcroft seems singularly unaffected by the perceptions of others (eg: he was so brittle in message that he lost an election to a dead man). He's an ideologue of the most extreme order, functioning not within the context of administering law, but as a missionary for his political views. He'll ignore this report, and it will require congress to get involved. Will they? Hard to say. If Democrats think it will make them look un-American or soft on terror to criticize the AG, they'll stay away. But if they think they can exploit it, they might actually do something.

I, of course, am not holding my breath.

posted by Jeff | 7:31 AM |
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