Dinner was lovely and it did my heart good to see the real beginnings of a Conservative movement at a hostile Columbia University. Columbia Republicans host John Ashcroft. Yes, believe it. Of course Columbia did not make it easy for them. The leftist brown shirts at Columbia University did not want Ashcroft there so they did not advertise or sponsor the event as they had promised. Academic Freedom does not exist on thought-policed college campuses.
Their MEALAC department is especially notorious for it's intellectual dishonesty and anti-semitism as demonstrated so painfully in the documentary COLUMBIA UNBECOMING. Having attended the Symposium on Academic Integrity I am terribly aware of the gestapo tactics of faculty and administration. Even The New York Times has editorialized on the university's bad behavior.
John Ashcroft is a deliberate, thoughtful, rational plain spoken man - decent and fine. I am always amused at the gross disparity between the diabolical caricature the MSM will paint of a prominent Republican and the man.
The War on Terror was the main and most riveting subject but there were no surprises. His thinking aligns itself much with mine. Most of the inquiring minds wanted to know when the WOT (War on Terror) could be declared over. Ashcroft stated the obvious, there will never be a day where one can say, ok it's over, we beat terror. But it can be managed like a chronic illness (my analogy not his). I really wanted to understand the reluctance to call the war what it is, the War on Radical Islam. Ashcroft went on to say that there was all different forms of terror (IE narco terror) but I found that answer somewhat lacking considering narco terror is the means in which to fund Islamic terror. I am sure the reluctance is a PC move, - spineless bending to the left PC.
Ashcroft's manner is sober and serious, not humorless but his attempts at humor weren't exactly well funny............self deprecating humor.
Most interesting to me was his descriptions of narco terrorism and the lifeline it provides to funding Islamic terror. More delicious were his anecdotes on working in the White House. Bush was a tough boss and you had better be fully briefed and know your stuff. Bush would zero in a problem and rat tat tat questions and you had better know the answers. Ashcroft didn't seem at all nostalgic or even wistful for his old suit of armor. He came, he saw, he accomplished and he was proud of the important changes you made.
After dinner we moved to the Roone Arledge theater for the opportunity to hear Ashcroft speak to a large assembly of conservatives (down front) and hootin hollerin moonbats in the back. And it was in the Arledge theater that the atmosphere of civility and intellectual discourse ended.
Ashcroft took to the podium.
Victor the young conservative in charge of the evening directed the following to Ashcroft , "You once said to your critics that their tactics only aids the terrorists for they erode our national security. At what point does disagreement become treason?"
To which Ashcroft replied;
"Disagreements are not treason. What I did say was to make false statements about the conduct of what Americans were doing is helpful to the other side. And I believe they made false statements.
I think when we are at war and our survival is on the line we need to be encouraged to be careful about the accuracy of the statements we make. I have never silenced anyone."
"And I am grateful I have son that cares enough about liberty to put his life on the line." Someone chimed in that Michael Moore said none of the administration had children in the war effort. And Ashcroft said
"When I last looked, my boy was on the boat!
Maybe Michael Moore knows something I don't".
The moonbats then started in on the violation of the rights of detainees;
Ashcroft: "We did detain people that had violated immigration law. and to say to detain people and to charge them is a violation of due process is a contradiction in terms. If you charge people and put them in process, that's not a violation. These individuals were charged and were offered legal asistance on a pro bono basis. When individuals have violated the law it is appropriate to ask them to be accountable."
"Now why detain individuals that have violated the immigration law, why not just turn them loose, send them back? That's a legitimate question."
"Because an earlier report by the Inspector General criticized the Department of Justice for not detaining people. It cited the fact that 85% of all individuals who were not detained disappeared, never showed up for their due process hearings. But the 85% was not the most troublesome of statistics, the report that had criticized [the Justice Department] earlier for not detaining enough [individuals] pointed out that among those individuals that came from terrorist states, that their absconsion rate was about 93%.............now its impossible to satisfy the expected general [inaudible] and when the liberty and security of the American people hangs in the balance and there are legitimate charges against these individuals I decided we would best be served in detaining individuals who were violating the law and needed to be detained in order to make sure that they were present for the adjudication of charges." wild applause [from the front]
Victor [moderator] brings up the 9/11 hijackers and the moonbats start screaming shut up.
The real dichotomy between the Radical Islamic extremist terrorists and most of us is that they believe in imposing their religion. Their desire is to create a caliphate which imposes on people willy nilly a wide set of behavioral rules and other things and I think that's inappropriate. So that I believe religious matters are matters of inspiration and not matters for imposition and as a result, that governments should not impose religious things on us.
Virtually every religion that I know of says thou shall not kill, that should not render ineligible
for inclusion in our laws , provisions against killing. Sir, sir".
Ashcroft: "sir, do you really think we shouldn't have laws against killing. Nobody that dumb is going to Columbia, Yale maybe................" laughter .
"The key here is whether a public policy is served by having a law against killing not whether or not it's mentioned in how many religions. And it does not render it ineligible for inclusion in our statutes merely because it is included in the religious area."
"I like the wisdom of G-d in my life everyday. I think it's important. From my perspective to conduct myself in a way that's fair, and I want to do that for that reason, yes I do, on a daily basis and I want to and I don't do it as well as I ought to, but I want to invite the wisdom of G-d in my life" applause"
Another moonbat question about the role of religion in government..........sheesh
Ashcroft: "I don't believe imposing religion, Inspiration. As a matter of fact I hope alot of people believe in G-d"
But moonbat still doesn't get it "Is it appropriate for a government official to talk about......to discuss it, in inspiring ...........is that the role, the goal of government"
Ashcroft " "It is NOT the goal, but it is his prerogative".............said something else that I didn't hear but the audience went wild.
Moonbat #5 "You have opposed gay rights - do you believe Gay Americans deserve equal rights under the law "
Ashcroft: " I don't believe in discrimination against Gay Americans. I don't believe they should have special treatment, special categories. I think they should be like I am, I don't have any special laws protecting me............I don't think there is a necessity for enlarging our hate crimes any larger than they are" ........wild applause
"The beauty of America is we all don't HAVE TO HAVE THE SAME BELIEFS"
The rights of minorities
The most profound in America is the minority of the individual
The most profound minority that needs to be respected is the rights of single individuals. There is a concern in America is we should be more concerned about group rights vs individual rights. And there is a need to protect both.
"There has been not been one single case in America............Diane Feinstein testified before the Senate committee that she had received 20,000 letters complaining about everything fromsoup to nuts and Feinstein had her staff go through every one of those letters. And not one , not one even simple case of abuse. Not one. And Feinstien called the ACLU and asked them for a specific example and she said they couldn't name one."
"The Patriot Act was very helpful to us in the Lackawanna case. in the Cortland [*see note], it's helpful in lowering the barrier between law enforcement and intelligence and allows for the prosecution of individuals charged in the murder of American citizens in Israel in buses that were blown up in Israel...................."
More moonbat whining about gitmo prison abuses, at that I took my leave.
What I loved best was John Ashcroft came out for this. I respect and admire his attempt to set history and the record straight in the most crooked of places. Academia. Ashcroft has keep a decidedly low profile nixing ginormous speaking engagement fees (hellloooooooo Bill Clinton) and lobbying opportunies instead going home and staying home. But in an effort to right the wrongheadness of the troubled and twisted academic landscape, he came down from the mountain.
Like I said a damn fine man - Atlas
Note Cortland : From most excellent reader marcH: Here is a small correction to your excellent post. You quote Ashcroft as stating that the Patriot Act was helpful in the "Cortland case". I think he was referring to a 2003 trial charging subjects with material support to Al Queda in Portland, Oregon. This exceptional investigation by the FBI and other agencies is described on the FBI Portland Field office web site
UPDATE: And speaking of America' school system's under attack by the left;
Outrageous Ruling Gives Elementary Schools Permission to Administer Sex Surveys
In an outrageous ruling, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said parents in California's Palmdale school district do not have the "fundamental right...to be the exclusive provider of information regarding sexual matters to their children." Instead, Judge Stephen Reinhardt gave elementary schools the authority to administer sex surveys to first, third and fifth graders, asking them, among other sexual questions, if they "can't stop thinking about sex." Concerned parents have filed a law suit against the school and the courts will rehear the case and hopefully reverse its decision. Please visit 9thcircus.com for more information on how to support these concerned parents as they fight for the innocence of our children.
The Harvard-educated Paul Mirecki serves as the head of the Religious Studies Department at Kansas University – at least for the time being. By the time a KU administrator finishes reading this article – much of the information revealed here for the first time – Mirecki's job may be in jeopardy. (WND)
UPDATE: From David Horowitz
Open 2006 by getting students, professors, and administrators’
attention: we’re watching radicals on campuses and we’re going to expose them to
the public! We know from experience that running ads in 250 student newspapers
that nearly 500,000 people will see this ad and be exposed to our
And the first papers we hit will be the hotbed schools for anti-Americanism – schools like Cal-Berkeley, Harvard, Yale, and Columbia!
What we need is more Americans reading our detailed reports on Unholy Alliances, for example, to see how the left has integrated its anti-American, anti-West attacks onto our campuses and into our politics.
Discoverthenetworks' “Unholy Alliances” section shows the links between the so-called peace movement and Islamic radicals as well as the anti-Patriot Act coalition and Islamic radicals. It identifies pro-terrorist radicals -- like Churchill, of course, as well as Berkeley's Hatem Bazien, who called for a holy war in the United States -- and carefully details their radical positions.
What emerges is undeniable proof of the radical left’s anti-American agenda. They’re not anti-war. They just hate America. And they’re camped out in our classrooms spewing their hatred to our young, future leaders.