The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Brazos County officials are distributing free backpacks, school supplies and gift cards for K-12 students on July 12 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Bryan High Silver Campus Cafeteria.
Brazos County to distribute free school supplies
‘Back to School Bash’ invites K-12 families on July 12
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • July 11, 2024
Texas A&M catcher Jackson Appel (20) makes contact with a ball for a double during Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Jones, Appel selected in sixth round of 2024 MLB Draft by Royals, White Sox
Luke White, Sports Editor • July 15, 2024

Junior RHP Tanner Jones and senior C Jackson Appel are heading to the big leagues after both were taken in the sixth round of the 2024 MLB Draft...

Bob Rogers, holding a special edition of The Battalion.
Lyle Lovett, other past students remember Bob Rogers
Shalina SabihJuly 15, 2024

In his various positions, Professor Emeritus Bob Rogers laid down the stepping stones that student journalists at Texas A&M walk today, carving...

Chancellor John Sharp during a Board of Regents meeting discussing the appointmet of interim dean Mark Welsh and discussion of a McElroy settlement on Sunday, July 30, 2023 in the Memorial Student Center.
Analysis: Chancellor Sharp’s retirement comes with new dilemmas
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • July 2, 2024

Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp announced Monday he will be retiring on June 30, 2025.  A figure notorious in state politics,...

Arrivederci, Ashcroft



Recently re-elected President Bush was able to answer one of his opponents’ many prayers when he nominated someone new to be the attorney general.
Even though John Ashcroft stepped down for health reasons, his legacy of extreme conservatism and incredible naivete will no longer stain Bush’s administration. If Bush really wants to unite in his second term, nominating more moderate Alberto Gonzales from Houston to replace Ashcroft was a good start. Even though Gonzales has a few flawed ideas of his own, at least he approaches the position with a much-needed open mind.
One of the most serious deficiencies in Ashcroft’s tenure was his intense focus on improving the federal police agencies (such as the FBI and the CIA) while leaving local police forces (who do most of the work) out in the cold. The International Association of Chiefs of Police said, “Cuts by the administration in federal aid to local police agencies have left the nation more vulnerable than ever to public safety threats.” Local police have to get by on less while also focusing on a new and increased amount of responsibility. According to the 20,000 members of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the scarcity of local resources “has pushed police agencies to the breaking point.”
Indeed, some think Ashcroft is so uptight that he even freaks out other conservatives. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that conservative “activist Phyllis Schlafly was taken aback when (Ashcroft) balked at buying a raffle ticket for a Rush Limbaugh book at a right-wing fund-raiser because that would be gambling.” Ashcroft’s ignorance about wrongdoing was reflected in his record against crime.
For example, in 2003 Ashcroft discovered that headshops – or places that sell paraphernalia that can be used to abuse drugs – existed and immediately began “Operation Pipe Dreams,” a program that arrested headshop owners in Des Moines, Pittsburgh and on the Internet. Even though Ashcroft believes this waste of police resources makes America safer, research would have told him that just selling these products is not illegal and thousands of headshops exist all over the country, including more than a dozen in Texas alone. If a man has no idea how a cop actually makes our streets safer and therefore can’t be counted on to support them adequately, then he is not the best person for the job.
Even though Gonzales is already better than the last two attorney generals, he is not perfect. For example, according to USA Today, Gonzales “touted Bush anti-terrorism strategies” such as the USA Patriot Act, which many believe is unconstitutional. Gonzales has also professed extremist beliefs much like Ashcroft’s, but at least he has been reprimanded for his worst mistake: A memo he made in 2002 suggested that prisoners captured on the battlefields of Afghanistan could be dealt with in ways not allowed by the Geneva Convention.
He was wrong about this, and many Congress Democrats are threatening to make him pay for it when the time comes to approve his nomination. This man is far better than his predecessor, as Newsweek reports that “privately, even (Democrats) acknowledge his confirmation is all but assured.”
Many Americans wish Gonzales the best of luck and sincerely hope he unites America. As long as he abandons the narrow-minded approach of his predecessor and remembers that international law is important, there is reason to hope that he will be the best attorney general America has had in a long time.

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