America, land of the Ashcroft-haters

Michelle Malkin

3/10/2004 12:00:00 AM - Michelle Malkin

Those oh-so-compassionate liberals could hardly contain their glee upon hearing the news that Attorney General John Ashcroft is suffering from a severe case of gallstone pancreatitis.

"He has it coming. He is utterly sub-human and evil. Suffer, bastard," gloated an Internet user on the DemocraticUnderground.com Web site. "(T)he world would be better off without him," responded another writer on the forum. "I hope he is in the most severe pain a human being can suffer, and after that, I hope he remains in constant pain with no hope of relief," chimed in yet another bleeding-heart Democrat. Out in Hollywood, comedian Bill Maher echoed these unsparing sentiments during his HBO talk show monologue, speculating that Ashcroft contracted his unimaginably painful and potentially deadly illness from "wiping his (expletive) with the Bill of Rights." The audience roared with laughter.

It is not the incivility of the Ashcroft-haters that galls me. It is the unmitigated insipidity and apathy they display toward what this man and his department have done to protect their right to be free, safe and stupid.

On the day he was admitted to the hospital last week, for example, Ashcroft was scheduled to speak at a Justice Department news conference. He was set to announce the convictions of three jihadists who trained in Virginia on behalf of the Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET), a Pakistani terrorist group. The defendants spun their usual "woe-is-me/Islam is a Religion of Peace/I'm an innocent victim of racial profiling" tales for their tearful relatives and a sympathetic media. But the Justice Department didn't buy their stories. And neither did U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema, a Clinton appointee, who blasted the terror cell members' cover stories for traveling abroad to wage holy war as "incredible" and "simply implausible."

Masoud Ahmad Khan, 32, of Gaithersburg, Md., was convicted on eight counts: conspiracy; conspiracy to levy war against the United States; providing support to the Taliban; conspiracy to provide support to LET; firearms conspiracy; and three counts of use of firearms in connection with a crime of violence.

Former Marine Seifullah Chapman, 32, of Alexandria, Va., was convicted of conspiring to provide material support to LET; conspiracy; firearms conspiracy; possession of firearms in connection with a crime of violence; and use of a firearm in connection with a crime of violence.

And Hammad Abdur-Raheem, 35, of Falls Church, Va., was convicted of conspiring to provide material support to LET; conspiracy; and firearms conspiracy.

(By the way, where are all the gun controllers to praise the Justice Department for pursuing strict enforcement of their laws? Hmm? They must be out to lunch with all the moderate Muslim leaders getting ready to praise Ashcroft for going after fanatical extremists who give their religion a bad name. Right?)

The media elite belittled the Ashcroft prosecutions of these Islamists because they practiced on a paintball field. But brushing off these warriors as "paintball terrorists" would be as irresponsible as shrugging off the Sept. 11 hijackers as "video game terrorists" because they trained for their murderous missions on flight simulator software. "For the defendants and their co-conspirators," Judge Brinkema wrote, "these games were viewed as not just an opportunity for outdoor exercise, fellowship and an opportunity to improve self-defense skills, but also as preparation for real combat."

Every single time Ashcroft has brought charges against jihadists in America, he has been mocked and vilified. Every single time he has tightened the screws on Islamic terror recruitment and financing, he has been lambasted as a racist. Every single time they have been arrested, the defendants have proclaimed their absolute innocence. And each time Ashcroft has won convictions against them -- neutralizing terror cells in Lackawanna, N.Y., Portland, Detroit, and now northern Virginia -- he has been met with more condemnation and derision.

John Ashcroft has nobly taken on the grueling job of protecting a nation of ingrates who take joy in his illness while terrorists continue to plot to kill us all. God bless you, Attorney General, and get well soon. America, land of the free and home of the thankless, needs you back.