An Analysis of the Sources of Disagreements between David Cole & Attorney General John Ashcroft

Essay by mademan0902University, Bachelor'sA+, April 2004

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An Analysis of the Sources of Disagreements between David Cole & Attorney General John Ashcroft


These two articles, one, an address by Attorney General John Ashcroft to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, and the other, an article written by David Cole that appeared on the Amnesty International web site, deal with the ethics and Constitutionality of the United Stated Patriot Act. David Cole, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center, argues that the Patriot Act violates citizen's civil rights and unfairly imprisons innocent individuals. Attorney General John Ashcroft counters that the Patriot Act is justified as a preventive measure to aid in the war on terrorism.

Differences in Facts/Interpretation of Facts

Both authors try to put an exact number on the number of individuals that have been detained sine the inception of the Patriot Act to suit their respective arguments. David Cole states that the Justice Department had the number at 1,147 less than two months into the Justice Department's investigation.

The Justice Department, according to Cole, reportedly "responded by simply stopping its practice of announcing the running tally" (p3) due to "mounting criticism over the scope of the roundup". (p3) Attorney General John Ashcroft gives a substantially lower number of individuals. In three month's time, he states that 60 individuals had been placed into federal custody, and that 563 have been detained due to immigration violations. (p17) Attorney General John Ashcroft states that the Patriot Act is Constitutionally sound, and that he and the Justice Department work closely with Congress and brief them with any developments that come as a result of the Patriot Act. David Cole counters that the detainees are denied their Constitutional right to due process, are held with no contact with legal counsel, and that their hearing are held in secret with no...