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Ashcroft's farewell praises Justice effort
The Washington Times ^ | 12-11-04 | Jerry Seper

Posted on 12/11/2004 7:46:09 AM PST by Seattle Conservative

Attorney General John Ashcroft, in a farewell speech yesterday to Justice Department employees, praised their efforts in deterring terrorism since the September 11 attacks on America,......


"Al Qaeda has not lost its thirst for American blood. ... We know that terrorists will strike when and if they can. For three years, terrorists have not struck at America because you and people who work with you in this law-enforcement community have not let them," he said.

Mr. Ashcroft's tenure as the nation's chief law-enforcement officer has been under constant attack from civil rights groups, other liberal organizations and political opponents since his 2001 appointment — a fact alluded to by Deputy Attorney General James Comey, who introduced the attorney general during ceremonies in the department's Great Hall.


In a speech broadcast to department employees across the country, Mr. Ashcroft said they had dismantled terrorist operations from New York to Florida to California, and brought criminal charges against 375 persons — 195 of whom have been convicted or pleaded guilty.


Mr. Ashcroft, 62, said that in the past three years, 440 persons were charged on criminal civil rights violations — 100 more than in the preceding three years.

Equally important, he said, was the establishment of newfound cooperation among the department, the FBI and other federal, state and local law-enforcement agencies.


He said such cooperation drove violent crime to its lowest rate in 30 years, and resulted in a 31 percent reduction in rape and sexual assault, a 30 percent drop in robberies and a 26 percent decline in aggravated assaults. He also credited it with the dismantling of 14 major drug cartels and the crippling of 11 others.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: alqaeda; ashcroft; cleanairact; corporatefraud; crime; doj; drugtrafficking; farewell; guncrimprosecution; homelandsecurity; jerryseper; justicedept; praise
I've often felt sorry for John Ashcroft - I think he's tried to (and done) a good job for us, but has been attacked since day 1 (his nomination by Pres Bush). I give him credit for holding strong (in a humble, quiet sort of way) against all the personal attacks on him. I think history (if it's not revised)will show him to be one of our best AG (and when you compare him to his predecessor - it's definitely no contest).

This was at the bottom of the article. Since it's sourced as The Department of Justice, I think it's ok to repost here. Very impressive record IMHO

The Ashcroft years:

•There have been no major terrorist attacks on American soil since September 11. The Justice Department dismantled terrorist operations and cells from New York to California, brought criminal charges against 375 persons and secured convictions or guilty pleas from 195, and seized more than $141 million from organizations suspected of supporting terrorism.

•Violent crime dropped to a 30-year low. Over the past three years, rapes and sexual assaults are down 31 percent, robberies have dropped 31 percent and assaults are down 26 percent. Since 2001, more than 1.7 million fewer Americans were the victims of violent crimes as the overall rate of violent crime declined by 27 percent.

•Federal gun crime prosecutions are up 76 percent over the past four years, and 250,000 fewer gun crimes have been committed, an 18 percent reduction in the incidence of gun crime compared to the three prior years.

•Major drug trafficking organizations are being targeted and dismantled, and drug use among youth is declining. The heads of 17 high-priority drug cartels have been arrested, nearly 30 percent of the total high-priority targets. Cocaine production is down 30 percent and drug use among America's youth is declining at record levels, including an 11 percent drop in drug use among 8th, 10th and 12th graders — the first drop across all three grades in a decade.

•A corporate fraud task force, formed 28 months ago, charged more than 900 violators in nearly 400 cases, winning convictions or guilty pleas in more than 500 cases, including top executives at Enron, Worldcom, ImClone, Adelphia and Health South.

•Over the past three years, more than 439 persons have been charged with criminal civil rights violations — exceeding the 413 charged during the preceding three years. Last year, 150 defendants were charged and 111 were convicted. Also last year, the department charged 47 human trafficking defendants in 26 cases.

•Civil fraud recoveries have more than doubled over the past three years to $5.7 billion, and health care fraud recoveries nearly tripled to $4.1 billion in the same period — both records high. The department obtained the largest civil penalty in history against a single company for violations of an environmental statute.

•Enforcement of the Clean Air Act achieved a reduction in air pollution of over 465,000 tons per year, while polluters across the nation last year agreed to spend in excess of $4 billion to take corrective measures to protect the nation's health, welfare and environment. More than $179 million in civil penalties for violations in environmental cases were imposed by the courts, second only to fiscal year 2003's record-setting recovery of $203 million.

Source: The Department of Justice

1 posted on 12/11/2004 7:46:10 AM PST by Seattle Conservative
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To: Seattle Conservative
"John Ashcroft ... has been attacked since day one ..."

S.C., I agree with you. I have always admired John Ashcroft as he is solid American patriot, traditional, God-fearing American, and basically a good man and decent human being.

That said, I can tell you why he has been under attack since day 1. It is because he is a Christian conservative who has aspirations to be a Supreme Court justice. The left, including the media, knows this and they have been trying to ruin his career in advance so they can thwart a nomination. Ashcroft made his SCOTUS aspirations clear about 6-7 years ago when he was still in Missouri politics. Along with his unequivocal pro-life position, this made him a target for leftists.

THATS why the media has destroyed him mercilessly, even before he took office, and in spite of his excellent track record as AG.

Sometimes, in politics, Occam's Razor applies. When something seems inexplicable, think of the simplest explanaton and it's probably true.

2 posted on 12/11/2004 8:35:42 AM PST by tom h
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To: Seattle Conservative

From another thread ...

" ... Ashcroft has "strong moral standards ..."

MY FOOT!!!!!!

Where was Ashcroft's "strong moral standards" when he announced on Christmas eve that there would be no legal action taken against Gary Winnick, CEO of Global Crossing? Meanwhile, 600 million dollars of the company's assets were missing, jobs and company pensions down the drain.

Why are Ken Lay (Enron) and his minions still walking around?

And, most recently, why wasn't (and still hasn't) Sandy Berger immediately arrested and prosecuted for his obviously illegal actions at the National Archives?

3 posted on 12/11/2004 8:58:25 AM PST by JohnG45
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To: everyone

Ashcroft is a good man who can wear the Establishment's hatred as a badge of honor.

His replacement by Alberto Gonzales is a serious loss for conservatives, and one of W's biggest mistakes.

4 posted on 12/11/2004 12:44:07 PM PST by California Patriot
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To: Seattle Conservative
•Federal gun crime prosecutions are up 76 percent over the past four years

Why in the hell would you consider this a good thing?!?

5 posted on 12/11/2004 4:08:11 PM PST by jmc813 (J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS)
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To: jmc813

Doesn't this mean "enhanced" prosecutions for people who used a gun to commit a crime?

6 posted on 12/11/2004 7:43:54 PM PST by California Patriot
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