Get Off Your High Warhorse, Mr. Ashcroft
by Jeremiah Bourque
General John Ashcroft is working overtime on a personal crusade.
To give me more material for the Daily Whopper.
I think it's safe to say that the stories about the Reverend
General not reading the newspapers or watching things on TV
is pretty accurate. You can't make this stuff up. I'm a fiction
writer, so I've tried.
The Reverend General has been thumping the Bible and blending
it with the Constitution. He's been differentiating between
those who use religion to defend God-given freedom (didn't
the Founding Fathers have something to do with that freedom?...),
who apparently are all either Christians, Jews, or Moslems,
and those who use religion to cloak war. Use religion to cloak
war? What about "Crusade"? "Axis of Evil"? "Us vs. Them"?
The word Satan means "the Enemy", right?
I'm trying to laugh, but this guy's deadly serious, so it's
pretty hard to.
I mean, besides the Office of Big Brother being headed by
none other than the good ol' Mr. Poindexter, of Iran-Contra
infamy, and the Office of Strategic Influence, which is so
bluntly named that I can't make up a joke about it, where's
the room to laugh? These guys are telling us to our faces
that they're going to lie to friend and foe to boost the imperialistic
interests of the United States. No black op is too black for
them, but don't worry, because they're also going to do purer
than pure white ops too. That makes me feel so much better.
How about you?
Put another way, you have a man who boldly stated that he
made a personal decision not to inform the President of the
United States that bad stuff was going down between the US
and Iran, which was ruled by fanatics (and, if Bush II has
his way, apparently will again be) at the time, so that the
President could have deniability and not be touched by scandal
if things leaked out. In other words, he kept a matter of
national security secret from the President for his own good.
This is the man we want in charge of our home-grown version
of Big Brother?
Which should we be more scared of: Him passing up information,
or him not passing up information, and keeping it for
himself? I'm wondering just what this information entails.
They said for years how Hillary had all sorts of FBI files
at her fingertips (rightly or wrongly). Poindexter is going
to be in a position to collect the raw intelligence himself,
and have his own in-house people analyze it. Isn't there a
potential blackmail issue here?
So in this climate of moral repugnancy, the Reverend General
chooses to speak about our morality. What morality? If you
want a morality play, watch John Q. It's basically a Democratic
ad in dramatic film form, a sort of anti Tom & Louise. A lot
of people see themselves in John Q. How many of us see ourselves
in John Ashcroft?
How many of us would be able to live with ourselves if we
This isn't a matter of faith, mind you. I've no problem with
Ashcroft being faithful. I've a big problem with him speaking
of the "guise of religion" as the Attorney General of the
United States. This man is in a position to decide what religions
are legitimate and which will land someone in detention.
I mean, here's a quote.
"They hope that by calling America `the aggressor,' they
can conceal their own lust for power and control. They hope
that by denying America's tolerance and humanity, they can
convince the world that they -- not we -- are intolerant."
Tolerance and humanity?
This is why we've had the Ashcroft Raids? This is why we
put out pictures of Camp X-Ray to show the public that we're
trying to humiliate our captives, since somehow it's too risky
to parade them through Times Square like the kings of Gaul?
A quote from someone hearing this speech, a minister.
"We're not fighting a religious war. We're fighting a freedom
war," he said. "As an American, I'm called to guard freedom
all around the world."
I heard something fascinating today.
I heard that when the Saracens in old flicks and stories
and stuff yelled, "Infidel!", they did not mean that the person
was not being fidelious to Allah.
Rather, it was that they were hypocrites, "People of the
Book" who say one thing and do another, who don't believe
in their own religion.
Ashcroft is calling these people infidels.
And we're not fighting a religious war?
"Civilized people -- Muslims, Christians and Jews -- all
understand that the source of freedom and human dignity is
the Creator," Ashcroft said in prepared remarks released by
the Justice Department. "Civilized people of all religious
faiths are called to the defense of His creation. We are a
nation called to defend freedom -- a freedom that is not the
grant of any government or document, but is our endowment
So: If you're not a Muslim, Christian, or Jew, you are not
civilized. That's the clear thrust of this, isn't it? Civilized
people understand that God is the source of human dignity.
(Incidentally, it was Charley Reese's writing this that so
offended me that I finally quit religion altogether. I've
witnessed human dignity independent of God's grace, consequently,
I find the implication that those who are not religious, have
no human worth, as so repugnant, silly, and wrong, that I
had the last mental barrier stripped away from me that prevented
me from joining their ranks.) Furthermore, civilized people
of all religious faiths - which again, means only Muslims,
Christians, or Jews - are called to the defense of His creation:
Freedom that was not the grant of any government or document.
Isn't that a funny way to put it?
Freedom that was not the grant of any government or document?
So, Ashcroft is saying that we're only free if we're civilized,
which means part of one of the Big Three religions. Furthermore,
all civilized people are compelled to defend the faith, the
faith being the broader religion of God-given freedom, something
that regards the Constitution and the Government of the United
States of America as completely irrelevant to the maintenance
I guess that's why he doesn't blink when he starts shredding
And this isn't a religious war, for either side?
If the Reverend General's crusade is to give me more nonsensical
statements to write about, then he is certainly succeeding.
I fail to see how this helps him in his day job.
P.S. Though it's too late to fit it in as a whopper on its
own yet, I've just read that the US has decided to declare
that the Geneva Conventions are out of date and must be re-written
for a new era.