Item description for Never Again: Securing America and Restoring Justice by John Ashcroft...
John Ashcroft's service as attorney general began with turmoil: a loss to a deceased challenger in his senate reelection campaign and a tumultuous confirmation battle. Then, on September 11, 2001, his job was transformed into the greatest leadership challenge an attorney general has ever faced. Highly classified intelligence briefings, secret surveillance of terror cells, and war councils with President Bush gave Ashcroft a uniquely comprehensive--and uniquely chilling--view of the threats to American security.In NEVER AGAIN, Ashcroft breaks his silence about historic events that transpired during his term of office--including the largest terrorist attack in U.S. history, the enactment and defense of the Patriot Act, the Robert Hanssen spy scandal, the execution of Timothy McVeigh, and the recently discovered domestic surveillance program authorized by President Bush. In this provocative book, readers will meet the man behind the title and hear his take on the dangers to and within America from outside forces, and what he did to repair the serious breaches in our country's security. NEVER AGAIN is a fascinating and probing look at what Ashcroft believes will ultimately make America safe.
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Format: Abridged, Audiobook
Studio: Hachette Audio
Record Label Hachette Audio
Format Abridged / Audiobook
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 5.7" Width: 5.2" Height: 0.8" Weight: 0.25 lbs.
Release Date Oct 3, 2006
Publisher HACHETTE BOOK GROUP
ISBN 1594836175 ISBN13 9781594836176 UPC 9781594836176
Availability 0 units.
More About John Ashcroft
John Ashcroft lives in Washington, D.C.
John Ashcroft has an academic affiliation as follows - Relationships Foundation Cambridge Dept of Health Relationships Founda.
Reviews - What do customers think about Never Again: Securing America and Restoring Justice?
You Should Not Fully Believe What You Read (From Anywhere) Until You Check it Out Sep 24, 2008
I really enjoyed John Ashcroft's account of what he did, and why. It is an easy, informative, and enjoyable read. In my mind I had rated the book very highly, and told my wife that the mainstream news media had not done him or the Patriot Act justice. But then I decided to look into the Patriot Act for myself -- because Ashcroft's accounting of what the Act does is so different than what the news media has claimed. My conclusion is that the news media was as shallow as usual, worthy of little attention as a source of real information; and John Ashcroft was a bit strong in some of his own assertions. I rated the book down a bit because of this overassertion, but it is still a book well worth reading.
Here is what I found on two key points:
1.) Ashcroft spends considerable time describing the problem of the "wall" between criminal and subversive surveillance operations, which he fought to tear down. However, that this wall even existed was found by the Federal Surveillance Court of Review to have actually been a long-held misinterpretation by government agencies. I don't see this new insight as either pro-Ashcroft or anti-Ashcroft. I was in Government long enough to know that such misinterpretations indeed happen.
It is a bit humorous (or not so humorous from another perspective) that the Attorney General of the United States can't get clear interpretations of the law from his scores of government attorneys!
2.) Ashcroft claimed that the Patriot Act still does not allow any undisclosed surveillance without FISA judicial consent. This claim is so counter to the news media's claims, I paid it special attention. It turns out that Ashcroft's claim is too strong in two particular areas:
a.) The Patriot Act expanded use of National Security Letters, which allows the FBI to search telephone, email and financial records without any court order, and places a national-security gag on the companies holding those records -- so that they may not inform those whose records have been accessed by the FBI. In fairness, Wikipedia provides an example of a National Security Letter demanded email header information from an Internet Service Provider, and the information they demanded specifically excluded the subject line and the text of the email; that is, they were seeking only the routing information -- that is, where the emails were originating and going. You can draw your own conclusions as to whether this is unreasonable governmental data mining; for the record, I personally don't object to this level of surveillance without court oversight.
b.) There seems to be a loophole clause built into the Patriot Act that I've heard nothing about before. The Patriot Act specifies that those who operate or own a "protected computer" can give permission for authorities to intercept communications carried out on their machine. This permission bypasses the requirements of the Wiretap statute. The definition of a "protected computer" broadly encompasses those computers used in interstate or foreign commerce or communication. In my way of thinking, any email or web server connected to the Internet meets this definition. The Internet allows worldwide communication, so any PC connected to the Internet is used in interstate and foreign communication -- if any packets routed through it are to/from another state or oountry. So, all the government needs to do is find several server owners who will (for free or for a fee?) give them permission to intercept traffic through their servers, and the requirements of the Wiretap statute are bypassed. Some lawyer may prove me wrong on this, but it seems pretty clear to me.
Ashcroft may have been a bit over the top with his zealotry for his particular brand of religion, but he has earned the respect of several liberals for doing what he thought was right, instead of politically expedient. Marty Peretz, in The New Republic (a liberal magazine), says: "I know it's difficult for some people to understand that Ashcroft tried to stand between public liberties and the president's minions. But he did." The truth about Ashcroft's legacy is far more complex than "I hate him because he flaunts his religion" or "I love him because he is a strong Christian."
To me he seems to be a man of high personal integrity -- according to the standards he ascribes to, which are high, if perhaps misguided. He sees the world too much in black and white, without sufficient shades of gray. The world needs protection from terrorism, but the world also needs protection from overzealous governments. You can choose one or the other (black or white), but you are choosing between Charybdis and Scylla. We need to steer a narrow course between these two monsters. Time will tell if his policies get tweaked to set us on that narrow course, or if the legal loopholes have headed us towards Scylla. But never forget that he did nothing in the Patriot Act that Congress has not okayed. We seem to forget that they are the ones we should hold responsible.
Read the book. It will give you Ashcroft's side of his story. Then, read the Patriot Act for yourself. You'll come away understanding more about the man and the issues, and you won't be able to paint him "all bad" or "all good." As for me, I think he was of about the same caliber as the rest of Bush's staff; well below the best and brightest the Republican Party has offered the country in my lifetime. But he is still a man who believes that personal integrity is a valuable attribute and that there is such a thing as personal honor. He measures up well above Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz in my mind.
He lost senate race to a dead man, but his love of soaring eagles shines through Aug 23, 2008
In this highly informative and fact-filled chronicle, Ashcroft details how his deeply held faith in Christ, his involvement in crafting the historic Patriot Act and his extraordinary talent for writing inspirational songs about freedom and eagles led to the restoration of justice and prevented further terrorist acts on the U.S..
Although Ashcroft is the only man ever to have been defeated by a dead man in a U.S. Senate race, his faith in soaring eagles and his deep commitment to the Patriot Act make him one of the greatest Americans in history.
Ashcroft is often criticized by many for evading military service (he applied for and received six student draft deferments during the VietNam war). But one must not forget that Ashcroft is the author of one of the most inspiring songs ever written about America, "Let The Eagle Soar." This majestic anthem is no doubt one of America's greatest weapons against the terrorists who hate our freedoms. Ashcroft's glorious love song to our great nation makes it clear that his blessed gift of patriotic tune-smithing more than makes up for his draft dodging. His participation in the senate barbershop quartet with that other great proponent of American family values and Christian morality Larry Craig is also a testament to his patriotism. Even though the people of Missouri decided it would be better to elect a dead man as their senator than Ashcroft, it must be noted that he is the most patriotic of Americans.
His work as Bush's Attorney General will be remembered by historians as restoring a sense of security to the country by providing comfort to Americans by singing "Let the Eagles Soar" at every public gathering he attended.
fascinating glimpse inside the Bush administration Jun 10, 2008
Please don't wear your political hat when you judge this book. Whether or not you agree with Mr Ashcroft, you must agree this book provides insider details that are intriguing. Ashcroft spends much of the book vigorously defending the PATRIOT act, with numerous success stories of its use in the war on terror. I think many of these stories have escaped the proper attention that the press should have given them. Mr Ashcroft also provides interesting accounts of his interactions with political enemies in the senate. I found it amusing that some senators would be so vicious in front of the TV cameras, yet cordial with Ashcroft off camera. One thing missing in this book is Ashcroft's views on the war in Iraq, although I would be surprised if he isn't 100% behind the President.
One final thought... Mr Ashcroft comes across as an old fashioned gentleman with good character. I suppose he would value that more than any political accomplishment over his lifetime.
A True American Hero / Only Apr 3, 2008
My first impression on reading the book is that John Ashcroft is a true American hero. A man of insight, good judgment and integrity.
My second impression is that the book is unusually well written and edited. In just 294 pages (hardbook edition), he tells the story of his time as Attorney General, and makes very powerful points about steps that he took (that were not previously taken) to improve our internal security. Especially impressive (and clear) is his description of the problem of the "wall" between criminal and subversive surveillance operations, which he fought to tear down.
I recommend you read the other reviews here to get a fuller flavor of the book and Mr. Ashcroft (which include less favorable views of both), then I recommend that you buy the book, read it, and decide for yourself.
bad writing, bad book Feb 26, 2008
Never Again is very badly written, meaning that Ashcroft probably wrote it himself, as ghost writers are more experienced. The bad writing does its best to support nonsensical ideas. Worst of all, much of the book consists of Ashcroft whining and crying about how anything that doesn't go 100% his way is the fault of various other people such as the media, democrats, "liberal" groups, etc., while avoiding all personal responsibility. This is a terrible book, thats probably why i found it at a 99cent store.