It was bad enough that, to prosecute the war on terrorism, Ashcroft sought excessive powers that threaten to undermine precious civil liberties. Even worse, the attorney general has shown an alarming lack of understanding of the importance of debate and dissent to the preservation of Americans' freedoms.
Recent steps by the administration to authorize secret tribunals without judicial review, to allow the government to eavesdrop on confidential attorney-client conversations, and to blanket detain and interrogate Arab-Americans and Muslims have put long-established rights at risk.
At the very least, such actions invite public debate about whether the dangers that they pose are worth the aid they bring to the war on the terrorism. Yet, incredibly, in congressional testimony earlier this month, Ashcroft equated legitimate dissent over the government's actions with something unpatriotic and unAmerican -- even treasonous…
"Militant Islam is the enemy and we have just begun the fight against it."
CBN.com - In this new year, the Middle East will continue to remain at the center of concern in the war on terrorism. For new insights, Pat Robertson spoke with Dr. Daniel Pipes, an expert on the Islamic world, and Chris Mitchell, CBN News' Middle East Bureau Chief.
ROBERTSON: You have written that the United States government, with taxpayer dollars, has actually helped to spread Islam. Could you expand on that a little bit?
PIPES: You are putting it a little more strongly than me. I wrote an article recently showing that, if one takes the last 10 years, if one takes President Clinton, and to a certain extent President Bush, and their aids,
one finds a constant pattern of promoting Islam, saying that this is a wonderful religion and has nothing to do with terrorism, and Americans need to know more about it, and it's great that there are more Muslims. And this is a striking contrast to the approach of the American government toward other religions - in particular Christianity.
One finds over and over again that Islam is given special privileges. You may have followed that in New York and in Philadelphia; the school systems at the end of last year permitted Muslim students to use the schools as a place of prayer. I don't need to point out to your audience that that is not something that Christians get to avail themselves of. So there is this contrast, this special treatment of Islam that I think needs to be noted. And, you know, the government needs to be much more cautious about this…
Skywriter Jerry Stevens soared over Palm Beach County on New Year's Day, filling the heavens with God's praise. But instead of lofty inspiration, his message drew dread for some on the ground.
"God is Great," Stevens penned in the clear blue yonder on Tuesday. His mile-high message prompted a flurry of worried calls to police and The Palm Beach Post.
It seems that since Sept. 11, even praising God can seem sinister. "I was just wondering if a terrorist group was paying for someone to write that," Boynton Beach resident Jon Rogers asked…
One family, visiting from Grosse Pointe, Mich., saw Stevens' message about 12:45 p.m. Instead of God, they thought about the anthrax-laden letter to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle that praised Allah -- and then
called the cops.
"We were out by the pool," one of them said, too afraid to give her name. "We were ready to take cover..."