Move over Aerosmith, John Ashcroft’s summer roadshow has just begun. This week the Attorney General launched an eighteen city tour to drum up support for the Patriot Act.
The Act expands the power of government to search and detain terrorism suspects, and allows unprecedented sharing of information between law enforcement agencies. It was passed six weeks after September 11th with near unanimous support from Congress. Since then, Ashcroft says it has helped stop terrorists in their tracks. But in some quarters, the Act is under attack. Last month, members of Congress voted to withhold funds for one of its key measures, and more than 150 communities across the U.S. have passed ordinances condemning it.
Viet Dinh, former Assistant Attorney General for Legal Policy at the United States Department of Justice
Hope Marston, director of the Lane County (Oregon) Bill of Rights Defense Committee
Jean Langley, Director of the Northboro Free Library in Northboro, Massachusetts.