One of the things he said was that the Patriot Act is protecting the civil rights of citizens.
That is such blatant bullshit, I almost choked.
The roundabout thinking is that the Patriot Act helps capture terrorists, and since the terrorists are captured, the terrorists do not get the chance to abuse the civil rights of citizens. Never mind that the powers granted specifically in the Patriot Act have been used on citizens not tied to terrorism. One specific case had a guy who had a meth lab get accused of terrorism on a Weapons of Mass Destruction clause, simply because the chemicals he was using were dangerous. By the broad definition of the law, you could be considered a terrorist because you have a large concentration of gasoline (a known explosive) in your car, or if you have acetone (nail polish remover) or paint thinner in your basement.
By Ashcroft's measurement, the methods used in the Patriot Act have already been granted to law enforcement to help convict organmized crime and drug kingpins, and it mereley extends those powers to help fight terrorists.
Blatant bullshit. A straight out-and-out lie.
Here's an analysis from the EFF.
Ashcroft also maintains that the Patriot Act is directly responsible for there not being any terrorist attack on U.S. soil in the last two years.
I'm certainly not pro-terrorist. But Ashcroft really pisses me off.