March 5, 2008

Book Review - General Ashcroft

General Ashcroft: Attorney at War
Nancy V. Baker
KF 373 .A74 B35 2006

Baker offers this critical examination of the Attorney General's office and discusses the impact that Ashcroft had, particularly after the events of 9/11. She asserts that in his early months in office, Ashcroft was a man in search of a mission and that he found it in the War on Terror. She analyzes how the actions of Ashcroft personally and in his professional capability to strengthen counterterrorism efforts increased the power of the executive office in domestic affairs and eroded the checks and balances between the Executive and Judical branches of our government. She examines the rhetoric employed by Ashcroft as well as his actions. She also debates the success that Ashcroft had in protecting America by pointing out the failure in key Justice Department prosecutions. Finally, she closely examines the Patriot Act and other post 9/11 laws, highlighting the implications on government power and civil liberties. Taking an unquestionably critical position, Baker intends to point out the influence that an attorney general can play in shaping presidential power and to draw attention to how a national crisis can be used to shift the balance of power within government and between those in power and the people they represent.