The American majority wanted a government that will protect them from the Arab fanatics who whooped and cheered as 3,000 of our own people had their civil liberties forever removed on 9-11. That included many partying pro-Arafat Palestinians, who threatened any Western reporter with death for putting out footage of their street celebrations of the Twin Towers collapsing and the Pentagon ablaze.
For his part, Ashcroft graciously resigned with a letter celebrating the American people, his fellow terror-fighters in government agencies and God: "the Author of our freedom has stood beside us." (You just know that drove secular liberal reporters crazy!) Ashcroft's record stands for itself. No attack on American soil since 9-11. The dismantling of terrorist cells from New York to California. Almost 200 terror convictions. Federal gun prosecutions are up 76 percent. Violent crime has dropped to a 30-year low, down 27 percent over the last three years. Think of the estimated 250,000 people saved from having their civil liberties violated. For all this and more, you cannot count on the liberal media to give Ashcroft one iota of credit. The media can't even be counted on to mention these numbers in passing.
Instead, the ACLU line on Ashcroft, the menace to liberty, has dominated. In a New York Times graphic on "Ashcroft's tenure," there was no balance. "To his critics, he was a symbol of the antiterror campaign's excesses." The six one-paragraph items summarizing his tenure were a tendentious listing of liberal talking points, beginning with his championing of the Patriot Act, which the Times did not mention passed Congress almost unanimously.
The same bias crept into a "news analysis" by the Times reporter put on Ashcroft's tail. In a piece headlined "Powerful and Polarizing: Antiterror Campaign Made Ashcroft a Lightning Rod for Bitter Criticism," Eric Lichtblau briefly noted the Bush praise, then underlined that "To his many critics, however, Mr. Ashcroft was a symbol of excesses of the antiterror campaign, a man engaged in overzealous prosecutions and insensitive to civil liberties." Just as they made Arafat's "aura," so have the bitter liberal media magnified and manufactured a lot of Ashcroft's "lightning."
We find proven American terrorist collaborators like John Walker Lindh on a battlefield in Afghanistan, we try him and imprison him. In the land of Arafat, people are shot at the slightest suspicion, true or untrue, of collaboration with the enemy. Why are the American news media so harshly judgmental of the first system, and such apologists for the second?