And in my end of week rant….. Arianna Huffington nails John Ashcroft, now lobbyist.
There’s no question that bible-thumping fascist John Ashcroft was my least favorite Republican of recent years. His Justice department converted the war on drugs into the war on patients and doctors. The former AG was determined that everyone using marijuana or opiates for their treatment be banned from doing so, and face incredible draconian penalties. Everyone that is apart from his nephew, who got probation despite running a sizable marijuana grow-op for profit (not for medical use) while he was Missouri governor. Funny that, eh.
He also was responsible for the FBI. You know the same FBI that was so good at tracking down the terrorists and managed to avert a catastrophic hijacking plot with some well-timed arrests in late August 2001. Then he signed off on the illegal wiretaps from his hospital bed.
In a just world where would he end up? In prison for constitutional crimes? On skid row due to a Bill Bennett like gambling problem? As a Rush Limbaugh-like pill popper unable to legally find the OxyContin he needs to control his pain from that surgery? Arrested at a raided cannabis club unable to deal with the nausea from his chemo?
No, of course he’s ended up on K street. He’s back in DC working for Israeli defense contractors and nebulous corporations like ChoicePoint (the goons behind the Florida “felons voter” list in 2000 that got Bush the election) to which his department awarded a huge contract while he was AG. And he’s becoming a very very rich man as a consequence.
Ashcroft is being handsomely rewarded for his helpful ways. “I’ve been stunned at how good people have been to me,” says Ashcroft, revealing a remarkably low stun threshold. “It’s been gratifying, and I’m earning significant multiples of what I’ve ever earned before.”
So what’s he doing for all that cash? Well apart from the after the fact bribes ChoicePoint is paying him direct now? Surprise, surprise greasing the wheels in the Dept of Homeland security as the booty capitalists swoop in to get the spoils of war on the home front. Well at least he understands well the corruption necessary to get around whatever we have left in the way of laws about that stuff. After all he didn’t care about the FISA law in the wiretapping cases, and he didn’t care about following a Missouri State law that mandated drug forfeiture seizures went to education when he preferred it to go to corrupt cops instead. It’s just now that the kick-backs are getting bigger and bigger. And of course Ashcroft is the AG who wanted all government departments to automatically not comply with freedom of information act requests, so we’ll never really find out what he gets up to in his new job any way.
Its a triumphant American success story. And his God is no doubt very pleased.