Washington, D.C. - House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following
statement today on the testimony yesterday before the House Judiciary Committe
of Attorney General John Ashcroft, in which he requested greater authority to
As we protect and defend the American people against terrorism, we must protect and defend the Constitution and the civil liberties that define our democracy.
The Departments inspector general released a report earlier this week that found significant problems with the arrest and treatment of hundreds of illegal immigrants held in the September 11 investigation. The report does not inspire confidence that sufficient safeguards exist to make certain that the government does not undermine our cherished civil liberties as it protects Americans from terrorism.
Rather than seek additional power to hold people indefinitely on the chance that they might have some connection to terrorism, the Attorney General should ensure that the Justice Department does not abuse the considerable power already available to law enforcement officials."
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