Nat Henthoff is also worried about the “new” powers granted to John Ashcroft’s FBI. Those loosened restrictions really amount to a return to the bad old days when J. Edgar “Lissy” Hoover collected blackmail intelligence on such Soviet spies as Martin Luther King and the Kennedy clan.
It is very much worth noting that Ashcroft, acting unilaterally in bringing back COINTELRPO [counterintelligence operation], did not inform Congress of it. Whether many members of Congress will investigate this breach of the Bill of Rights is doubtful because, with elections coming up, most may be afraid of being labeled unpatriotic by their opponents. And George W. Bush, chronically tone deaf to civil liberties, enthusiastically approves going back to the climate established by J. Edgar Hoover.
The good news is, the press is much less likely to lie back and take it for Robert Mueller like they did for Hoover. The bad news is, well, you just read the bad news.