John Ashcroft doesn’t really care about the free exchange of ideas. This is evident by his behavior where he either ridiculed the people asking the legitimate questions, or nit picked the wording of the question as if this were a court of law, or outright avoided the question through diversion and personal attack. If John Ashcroft did believe in the free exchange of ideas he would have answered the legitimate questions in a sincere manner aware of the fact that he was in a learning environment composed of mainly young adults of differing life experiences and critical thinking skills.
John Ashcroft doesn’t really care about discourse. If he did he would have offered us more than just the same old patriot pandering sloganeering of words like freedom and liberty, and concepts like ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’. He spoke about these things, as well as his belief that the constitution is a universal right reserved for all humanity, all the while, never recognizing the fact that America is currently depriving individuals of a crucial aspect of liberty, due process of law. Without due process, this idea of liberty is little more than a word of no substance. Without due process, liberty can be taken away at a whim indefinitely like it has at places like Guantanamo Bay Cuba.
As this administration continues to do, John Ashcroft delivers in kind this idea that it’s ok to deprive the ‘bad guys’ of due process, but never mentioning that America has released hundreds of prisoners from gitmo, all who have been psychologically and physically tortured since its inception in January of 2002. The idea follows then that either we’ve failed to get any useful information through these types of interrogation techniques, or that we’ve released a bunch of ‘bad guys’ that we’ve tortured back into the world where they can potentially harm us, or that we’ve released hundreds of innocent human beings all of whom we’ve tortured for a number of years.
From the outset, when he singled out the protestors at the start of his speech, John Ascroft chose the low road, and in many ways this was reciprocated in kind, but any complaint that the protestors weren’t listening is laughable. This man, and this administration, has done nothing but close their ears and eyes to any dissenting opinion for the past eight years. And yes, two wrongs don’t make a right, but I for one am fed up with hearing the same old faulty reasoning for the existence of gitmo, so if happen to inadvertently giggle when I hear John Ashcroft being introduced as a defender of the constitution, or scream out “answer the question” because he’s done nothing but avoid the question, or verbally question his comparison between voluntarily going to a senior prom and being subjected to psychological torture, forgive me, please, but people are dieing daily because of these people, and I’m fend up with trying to appease the sensibilities of people who rationalize the torture and murder of innocent people as part of a war on terror.