TIME FOR A NEW AG?….Attorney General John Ashcroft is 0 for 5,000: that is, 0 anti-terror convictions for 5,000 anti-terror detentions. TalkLeft has the details.

On the other hand, we prevented Cat Stevens from entering the country. Onward!

UPDATE: OK, let’s clear up what’s really going on here. This is what David Cole says in The Nation about Ashcroft’s conviction record now that a federal judge has tossed out his terrorism case in Detroit:

Until that reversal, the Detroit case had marked the only terrorist conviction obtained from the Justice Department’s detention of more than 5,000 foreign nationals in anti-terrorism sweeps since 9/11. So Ashcroft’s record is 0 for 5,000. When the Attorney General was locking these men up in the immediate wake of the attacks, he held almost daily press conferences to announce how many “suspected terrorists” had been detained. No press conference has been forthcoming to announce that exactly none of them have turned out to be actual terrorists.

Defining whether a “terror” conviction is really a terror conviction is surprisingly hard, and Ashcroft, of course, takes an expansive view of this, routinely counting even minor visa violations as “terror” convictions. But that’s not what Cole is talking about. What he’s talking about is the number of convictions resulting from anti-terrorism sweeps and preventive detentions following 9/11. Among the 5,000 who were detained, so far none have been convicted of terror-related offenses.

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