April 17, 2004
GOP Hypocrite of the Week: John Ashcroft
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
Listen to the GOPHOTW HERE.
John Ashcroft, a man who wears his piety like a cheap raincoat, deeply appreciates that George W. Bush appointed him Attorney General.
It's ironic, ain't it? Bush made a Biblical story come to life. After all, Ashcroft rose from political death after losing his 2000 Senate Re-election bid to a real dead man, the late Mel Carnahan. Our Johnny Boy must surely relish his political parallel to Lazarus.
So it's no surprise that Ashcroft consistently repays Bush by deep-sixing any investigations of Bush administration wrong doing (with the exception of the Plame affair, which Bush dumped on him.) No, Ashcroft has no time to look into the daily improprieties of the Bush administration, what with all the work he's doing covering up the breasts of justice, prosecuting bong distributors, trampling on states rights, and helping the NRA obstruct investigations of gun crimes. He's a busy man.
That's why it came as no surprise that when it was Ashcroft's turn to testify before the milquetoast 9/11 Commission, the Attorney General did right by Bush. Ashcroft blamed Clinton.
The Chicago Tribune captured the moment well in its headline, "Ashcroft Ignored Terrorism, Panel Told: Attorney General Denies Charges, Blames Clinton."
You see, Ashcroft wasn't just trying to protect Bush's butt, Johnny boy had some explaining of his own to do. As the Tribune noted, "Former interim FBI chief Thomas Pickard testified Tuesday that Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft didn't want to hear about terrorism when Pickard tried to brief him during the summer of 2001, as intelligence reports about terrorist threats were reaching a historic level."
And then of course, there was this little bit of grim irony, as the Tribune noted, Ashcroft turned down an appeal from Pickard for more anti-terrorism funding -- an appeal that Ashcroft formally rejected on, get this, Sept. 10, 2001.
And there's even more, according to the Tribune: "Commission investigators said Dale Watson, the former head of counterterrorism at the FBI, told them 'that he almost fell out of his chair' when he saw a May 10, 2001, memo from Ashcroft on Justice Department budget priorities 'because it made no mention of counterterrorism.'"
But, Ol' Lazarus Ashcroft claimed he was on top of things -- if there were any problems, he said, it was because of Bill Clinton. The reality is that Ashcroft was under instructions to set up a masterful Karl Rovian diversion. Our Johnny Boy claimed that the Clinton Justice Department had set up a so-called "firewall" that prevented the intelligence community from sharing information. Of course, Jamie Gorelick, one of the relatively more outspoken members of the 9/11 Commission, just happened to be in the Justice Department at the time.
So you know what's coming. After Ashcroft's testimony, Rove had the Republican echo chamber start the clamor for Gorelick to step down from the 9/11 Commission because, the GOP hypocrisy machine claimed, she was part of the group responsible for the intelligence failures that led to 9/11.
My, oh, my, these Bushevicks are not just Machiavelian. They are downright evil.
John Ashcroft may think that he is carrying out the work of God, but how does he know that is not Satan, disguised as God, who is whispering into his ear? It sure looks that way to us.
Ashcroft pursued a war on pornography and bongs instead of a war on terrorism -- and he blames the Clinton administration for 9/11!
For this -- and much, much more -- Lazarus John, we honor you as our 27th GOP Hypocrite of the week.
Until next week, just remember our motto at BuzzFlash.com: So many Republican hypocrites, so little time.
Catch up with you soon.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
otherwise noted, all original