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Ashcroft Joins Chorus of Bushies Attacking Obama

Ashcroft: Only difference between Bush and Obama is how they spell their names.

In a new article about how the Obama administration will confront the legal challenges of Bush's war on terror, former Attorney General John Ashcroft defends the continued detention of a terror suspect, Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, on a naval brig in South Carolina. Al-Marri has been held as an "enemy combatant" for more than seven years, though the government has yet to charge him with a crime. Ashcroft told the New Yorker's Jane Mayer that the only difference between Obama and Bush on detainee policy will likely be how they spell their names:

John Ashcroft, who was Attorney General when Marri was designated an enemy combatant, makes no...apologies. Interviewed just before the Inauguration, he defended what he described as a "sound decision" to "maximize the national interest," and predicted that, in the end, President Obama's approach to handling terror suspects would closely mirror his own: "How will he be different? The main difference is going to be that he spells his name 'O-b-a-m-a,' not 'B-u-s-h.'"

In December, Dick Cheney predicted that Obama would keep the Guantanamo detention facility open. When Rush Limbaugh asked whether Gitmo is something the Obama administration is " going to be appreciative of once they get there and see it," Cheney replied, "I think so."

Ali Frick is a Research Associate for The Progress Report and at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

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