August 07, 2003
ASHCROFT IS PUSHING THE "VICTORY ACT" NOW. Some of it sounds uncontroversial, or at least mostly so:
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is expected to introduce the Victory Act next month. If passed, the feds would be allowed to:
Clamp down on Arab hawala transactions, where cash exchanged in an honor system has been funneled to terrorists.
Get business records without a court order in terrorism probes and delay notification.
Track wireless communications with a roving warrant.
Okay, the "business records" thing is something I'd like to know more about, but I can at least imagine that it's okay. But then there's this howler:
Increase sentences for drug kingpins to 40 years in prison and $4 million in fines.
Excuse me? What does this have to do with terrorism? (And isn't "drug kingpin" just so very 1994?)
To be trusted with wartime powers, an Administration -- and an Attorney General -- needs to demonstrate trustworthiness and self-discipline. This effort to sneak in a pet DoJ issue that has nothing to do with terrorism fails the test.