Wednesday, August 14, 2002
"Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft's announced desire for camps
for U.S. citizens he deems to be "enemy combatants"
has moved him from merely being a political
embarrassment to being a constitutional menace.
"Ashcroft's plan, disclosed last week but little
publicized, would allow him to order the indefinite
incarceration of U.S. citizens and summarily strip
them of their constitutional rights and access to the
courts by declaring them enemy combatants.
"The proposed camp plan should trigger immediate
congressional hearings and reconsideration of
Ashcroft's fitness for this important office. Whereas
Al Qaeda is a threat to the lives of our citizens,
Ashcroft has become a clear and present threat to our
"The camp plan was forged at an optimistic time for
Ashcroft's small inner circle, which has been
carefully watching two test cases to see whether this
vision could become a reality. The cases of Jose
Padilla and Yaser Esam Hamdi will determine whether
U.S. citizens can be held without charges and subject
to the arbitrary and unchecked authority of the
government. [...] "
Camps for Citizens: Ashcroft's Hellish Vision
Attorney general shows himself as a menace to liberty. by Jonathan Turley
(originally published on Wednesday, August 14, 2002 in the Los Angeles Times)