As Attorney General John Ashcroft began his national tour to promote the “Victory Act”—the Vital Interdiction of Criminal Terrorist Organizations Act of 2003, presidential candidate Howard Dean released the following statement:After September 11, the Ashcroft Justice Department took advantage of the climate of fear and adopted a series of anti-terror tactics that go far beyond protecting our country and erode the rights of average Americans. We should be rolling these back, but instead Ashcroft is trying to build on them with his “Victory Act” proposal. He must not be allowed to compromise our freedoms any further. I call on Attorney General Ashcroft to withdraw this dangerous piece of legislation.
Joel Bleifuss, a former director of the Peace Studies Program at the University of Missouri-Columbia, is the editor & publisher of In These Times, where he has worked since October 1986.