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Ashcroft's letter published in today's NYT, in response to The Girls Next Door (Sex Slaves article)
The NYT Sunday Magazine ^ | Feb 15, 2004 | John D. Ashcroft, USA Attorney General

Posted on 02/15/2004 10:48:36 AM PST by summer



Letters

The Girls Next Door

Peter Landesman's article (Jan. 25) shines a spotlight on the very real practice of human trafficking. While portraying the cruel and dominating world from which so many young women find no escape, the article failed to mention this administration's aggressive three-year initiative that has made substantial progress in combating this scourge.

Stamping out this vile trade has ranked among the Bush administration's top priorities since its earliest days. In 2001, the Justice Department announced a new initiative to battle human trafficking, built on the pillars of prosecution, enhanced outreach and law-enforcement cooperation. Three years later, our prosecution statistics are the highest ever. From the fiscal years 2001 to 2003, the department charged 111 traffickers, a nearly threefold increase over 1998-2000. Of those, 79 were charged with sex trafficking. During that same period, we convicted 77 defendants — 59 of them on sex-trafficking charges — a 50 percent increase over the previous three-year period. Overall, since fiscal year 2001, we have opened a total of 229 investigations, double the number opened in the preceding three years.


Our work continues: at present, the department has open 142 investigations, double the number open in January 2001. On Jan. 29, a federal court in Texas handed down lengthy prison sentences to the leaders of a sex-trafficking ring. These criminals smuggled young girls from Central American nations into America, holding them in forced servitude and repeatedly raping them. In another case — the largest human-trafficking prosecution ever, the operators of a forced-labor factory in American Samoa, who had imprisoned over 200 Vietnamese and Chinese, face American justice in Hawaii. These traffickers employed bondage, starvation and beatings so brutal that they left one female worker without an eye. These are just two of our many prosecutions.

While prosecution efforts are central to defeating human trafficking, we are also reaching out to local and faith-based organizations who work with the non-English speaking communities most frequently victimized. By building close ties to those groups, we hope to root out the problem and help the victims.

Effective interagency and intergovernment cooperation is also a key part of our strategy to combat human trafficking, and we are training federal and local law enforcement. Last month, we held the largest, most comprehensive antitrafficking training session ever for federal prosecutors and investigative agents. We are developing interagency crisis teams for deployment to major trafficking hubs and are also working with other agencies to obtain visas and humanitarian assistance for trafficking victims. Since 2000, we have assisted more than 450 victims in accessing immigration and refugee benefits.

In order to address trafficking at its root, Justice Department officials have traveled to foreign "source'' nations, including Thailand, the Dominican Republic and Guatemala. Finally, the government is devoting substantial effort to a public awareness campaign, launching the Trafficking in Persons and Worker Exploitation Task Force Complaint Line, 888-428-7581.

At its core, human trafficking is pure and unadulterated evil. It is medieval in conception and brutal in execution, and unfortunately still touches far too many lives. The trafficking and compelled abject servitude of one human being by another is a practice that should long ago have been consigned to the ash heap of discarded inhumanity. It is a practice that this administration will not countenance, and one that we work daily to defeat.

John D. Ashcroft
Attorney General of the United States
Washington [, DC]

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TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aliens; ashcroft; doj; gw; hotline; humantrafficking; johnashcroft; letters; nyt; sexslavehotline; sexslaves; sextrafficking; traffickinghotline; us
I thought this was an excellent letter from our AG, and was very glad the NYT printed it.

I linked the subject NYT article above, as it was posted on FR by Travis McGee. It can also be found in this duplicate post by sarcasm, HERE.

--------------------

PS --

BTW, here are two other interesting letters I saw in today's NYT, in the NYT Book Review:

To the Editor:
Because I rely on The New York Times Book Review to keep me posted on what I don't have time to read, I would appreciate your publishing an equally thought-provoking article reviewing some of the ''ardent pro-Bush books'' that Serge Schmemann refers to . . . just in the interest of being fair and balanced, of course.

Anne King
Honolulu


To the Editor:

I was deeply disappointed by Serge Schmemann's survey of the literature critical of America and American foreign policy (Jan. 25). As if the books reviewed weren't sufficient in their contempt for our nation's direction, Schmemann makes sure to include his own caricatured understanding of President Bush and his foreign policy.

Ivo H. Daalder and James M. Lindsay's book, ''America Unbound,'' is informative and sober, even if critical, and the only one that deserves scrutiny. Far from adding to sensible debate, George Soros, Chalmers Johnson, Robert Jay Lifton, Emmanuel Todd and Tariq Ali seem locked in a competitive struggle to see who can most furiously malign the United States. Ali, for example, asserts that American generals didn't act to stop museum lootings in Baghdad because it would have meant admitting that the ''ragheads'' had a culture. Does such nonsense really merit reiteration?

Joey Tartakovsky
Isla Vista, Calif.

1 posted on 02/15/2004 10:48:37 AM PST by summer
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To: Travis McGee; sarcasm
FYI.
2 posted on 02/15/2004 10:49:13 AM PST by summer
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To: summer
good.
3 posted on 02/15/2004 11:08:36 AM PST by King Prout (I am coming to think that the tree of liberty is presently dying of thirst.)
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To: Triple Word Score; Cicero; mgist; Centurion2000; FITZ; Incorrigible; JOAT; Dark Wing; ...
FYI.
4 posted on 02/15/2004 11:28:37 AM PST by summer
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To: GeronL; TaxRelief; archy; joyce11111; Kay Soze; Nachum; JackelopeBreeder; Libertina; patton; ...

FYI.
5 posted on 02/15/2004 11:35:35 AM PST by summer
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To: Pro-Bush; Jeff Gordon; Rightwing Conspiratr1; Indie; MarkL; vikingchick; q_an_a; Lazamataz; ...
FYI.
6 posted on 02/15/2004 11:43:17 AM PST by summer
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To: All
I also meant to bold this phone number from Ashcroft's letter --

"In order to address trafficking at its root, Justice Department officials have traveled to foreign "source'' nations, including Thailand, the Dominican Republic and Guatemala. Finally, the government is devoting substantial effort to a public awareness campaign, launching the Trafficking in Persons and Worker Exploitation Task Force Complaint Line, 888-428-7581."
7 posted on 02/15/2004 11:45:03 AM PST by summer
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To: All
I also meant to bold this phone number from Ashcroft's letter --

"In order to address trafficking at its root, Justice Department officials have traveled to foreign 'source' nations, including Thailand, the Dominican Republic and Guatemala. Finally, the government is devoting substantial effort to a public awareness campaign, launching the Trafficking in Persons and Worker Exploitation Task Force Complaint Line, 888-428-7581."
8 posted on 02/15/2004 11:45:25 AM PST by summer
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To: summer
Let's not call it "trafficking". Slavery is what it is.
9 posted on 02/15/2004 11:50:04 AM PST by independentmind
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To: independentmind
From letter: These criminals smuggled young girls from Central American nations into America, holding them in forced servitude and repeatedly raping them.

I agree with you -- it's slavery, but I think he got it right when he said "forced servitude" above, as that IS slavery, as far as I know.
10 posted on 02/15/2004 11:52:56 AM PST by summer
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To: summer
This just goes to show you how utterly useless and inefficient the UN is.
11 posted on 02/15/2004 11:55:59 AM PST by ServesURight (FReecerely Yours,)
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To: summer
I agree with you -- it's slavery, but I think he got it right when he said "forced servitude" above, as that IS slavery, as far as I know.

Of course, you're correct, but somehow, to me, at least, the reappearance of slavery at the dawn of the 21st century is an ominous sign of what's to come. It's always the weakest first...

12 posted on 02/15/2004 12:01:34 PM PST by independentmind
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To: summer
It was forward thinking like this that allowed the Korean-Vietnamese venture sweatshop "DAEWOOSA" located here in Pago Pago to be shut down, since the local government could care less about the conditions imposed on the "workers".

I was proud to be associated with a case such as this, where we actually won a civil case prior to the Bureau hauling the bad guy away for human traffic. (He was convicted, by the way)

BIG BUMP TO THE TOP

13 posted on 02/15/2004 12:10:51 PM PST by Experiment 6-2-6 (Meega, Nala Kweesta!!!! Support Congressman Billybob! Go to www.Armorforcongress.com!!!)
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To: independentmind
...the reappearance of slavery

Slavery has been with us continuously, this is certainly not a reappearance.

My life as a modern day slave

She was just 12 when one night her village was targeted by Arab slave raiders, who snatched her away from her loving family to be a slave in far away Khartoum.

The story of her capture and life in servitude, published in her book Slave, reads like something from the Middle Ages but it happened in the early 1990s and she says this is still the lot of many young girls from southern Sudan. (excerpt)


Some quick examples of slavery still in existence:

WORLDWIDE: Teenage girls become prositutes and are controlled by brutal pimps.
BURMA: The UN has banned Burma from UN membership because of slavery practices.
CARRIBEAN ISLANDS: Boys are rented as sex toys to gay men.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Kidnapped Haitians are forced to harvest sugar cane.
GHANA: Families repent for sins by giving daughters as slaves to fetish priests INDIA: Children pay off parental debt by rolling beedi cigarettes or performing other factory work.
IVORY COAST: Children work on cocoa plantations.
MAURITANIA: Arab-Berbers buy and sell black Africans as inheritable property.
SUDAN: Arab militias from the North take Southern Sudanese women and children in slave raids.
THAILAND: Women and children are leased as sex slaves for tourists. (This has been going on forever.)

The list goes on.
14 posted on 02/15/2004 12:37:34 PM PST by TaxRelief (What are you doing Nov. 2nd? Take a vacation day and come watch the polls!)
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To: TaxRelief
Yes, I've been corrected about that before. Perhaps I should have added "in the West".
15 posted on 02/15/2004 12:40:39 PM PST by independentmind
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To: independentmind
What makes you think it ever went away?
16 posted on 02/15/2004 1:57:47 PM PST by A.J.Armitage (http://calvinist-libertarians.blogspot.com/)
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To: summer
Diplomats Hold Slaves - in U.S.
http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3b2c4f9b5a79.htm
17 posted on 02/15/2004 2:36:28 PM PST by quietolong
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To: summer
Hmmm...nothing in his letter about closing the border off to criminal invaders.
18 posted on 02/15/2004 3:11:45 PM PST by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: summer
Thank you for the ping. Very good article. I know so many people (including conservatives!) who irrationally demonize our Attorney General. It's almost as if they've all had personal visits from jackbooted thugs out to deny them the freedom to speak out, go to the library, eat donuts....
19 posted on 02/15/2004 3:26:14 PM PST by Triple Word Score
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To: A.J.Armitage
See #15.

I haven't seen you in awhile!

20 posted on 02/15/2004 3:52:57 PM PST by independentmind
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To: Triple Word Score
I agree. But when people like Ashcroft are making progress in such a problematic area as this, then credit should be given. I am very disappointed in the NYT for not mentioning the phone number provided by Ashcroft in his letter.
21 posted on 02/15/2004 4:08:37 PM PST by summer
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To: Triple Word Score
BTW, I meant to italize "Very good article" in my reply to you.
22 posted on 02/15/2004 4:09:30 PM PST by summer
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To: Travis McGee
I am sympathetic to your concerns about the border problems; I share those concerns. I just don't believe all those problems began the day GW took office (and I don't mean to imply you do). I would like to see more attention to that matter as well.
23 posted on 02/15/2004 4:10:33 PM PST by summer
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To: Experiment 6-2-6
Thanks for your post #13. BTW, you have an interesting profile page! :)
24 posted on 02/15/2004 4:11:53 PM PST by summer
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To: quietolong
Thanks for that link in your post #17.
25 posted on 02/15/2004 4:12:46 PM PST by summer
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To: summer
bttt...
26 posted on 02/15/2004 4:14:39 PM PST by proud American in Canada (Take back the First Amendment! Call today! U.S. Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121)
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To: summer
Leaving the border wide open is a conscious political decision by the executive branch. The border can be sealed air tight in one week with an executive order, using the current Border Patrol. If the order is not given, it's because the Whitehouse does not want the border closed. Platitudes about cracking down on the sex slave trade are worthless words while the border is purposefully left open.
27 posted on 02/15/2004 5:56:44 PM PST by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: Travis McGee
I don't think criminal prosecutions are "worthless words."
28 posted on 02/15/2004 6:36:40 PM PST by summer
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To: Travis McGee
But, I also don't understand why a border would be left open, especially in this day and age. This is an issue I hope does come up in the debates.
29 posted on 02/15/2004 6:40:08 PM PST by summer
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To: independentmind
I was actually thinking about the big deal they made of "white slavery" in the late nineteenth century. It was probably exaggerated then, and having just read the original article I sincerely hope this is very exaggerated now, but I don't think you can ever stop it completely any more than you can stop murder completely.

I haven't seen you in awhile!

Hmm... I seem to remember I had some extremely interesting conversations with you, but I can't quite think of what they were.

If I were double my age or so I'd blame that, but I don't have that excuse. :-)

30 posted on 02/15/2004 8:56:02 PM PST by A.J.Armitage (http://calvinist-libertarians.blogspot.com/)
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To: Travis McGee
Why does the executive branch choose to leave our borders wide open?
31 posted on 02/15/2004 9:12:44 PM PST by yankeedog (I wasn't born in the South, but I got here as soon as I could.)
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To: summer
Thanks Summer. John Ashcroft Bump!
32 posted on 02/15/2004 9:26:20 PM PST by Pro-Bush (Homeland Security + Tom Ridge = Open Borders --> Demand Change!)
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To: yankeedog
IMHO, it's because the GOP's largest contributors enjoy cheap compliant labor.
33 posted on 02/15/2004 10:41:39 PM PST by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: Travis McGee; yankeedog
Re your post #33 - You may well be correct on that, but, I notice the Dem leaders are also not rushing to the microphones to discuss this border issue. And, that silence leads me to believe there are some Dem donors who are likewise raking in the same benefits as the GOP donors you mention. Seems strange to me that during a presidential election year this issue does not get more attention, since it certainly gets the attention of the average voter on both sides of the aisle.
34 posted on 02/16/2004 4:12:40 AM PST by summer
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To: Travis McGee; yankeedog
Re your post #33 - You may well be correct on that, but, I notice the Dem leaders are also not rushing to the microphones to discuss this border issue. And, that silence leads me to believe there are some Dem donors who are likewise raking in the same benefits as the GOP donors you mention. Seems strange to me that during a presidential election year this issue does not get more attention, since it certainly gets the attention of the average voters on both sides of the aisle.
35 posted on 02/16/2004 4:12:58 AM PST by summer
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To: summer
Thanks summer.
Perhaps some people who think such a horrible practice could not possibly happen in the USA might open at least one eye now.
36 posted on 02/16/2004 3:43:48 PM PST by sarasmom (Hanoi Jane admires John F*ing Kerry's military service in Vietnam=things that make you go hmmmm)
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To: sarasmom
You're welcome. Thanks for your post here, sarasmom.
37 posted on 02/16/2004 9:11:57 PM PST by summer
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