Tuesday, September 23, 2003

In his two and a half years in office, Attorney General John Ashcroft has earned himself a remarkable distinction as the Torquemada of American law. Tom?s de Torquemada, you might recall, was the 15th-century Dominican friar who became the grand inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition. He was largely responsible for its methods, including torture and the burning of heretics--Muslims in particular.

Now, of course, I am not accusing the attorney general of pulling out anyone's fingernails or burning people at the stake (at least I don't know of any such cases). But one does get the sense these days that the old Spaniard's spirit is comfortably at home in Ashcroft's Department of Justice.

Palsied old Leftist Walter Cronkite getting, as usual, everything wrong. First of all, Torquemada wasn't after adherents of other religions, like Muslims or Jews, he was after Christians who had been converted from those faiths but were secretly still practicing them. For the most part, these were the crypto-Jews known as marranos. It would have been difficult for Torquemada to persecute crypto-Muslims since, for the most part, there weren't any. Almost the entire Muslim population of Spain was expelled with the end of Muslim rule, long before Torquemada took control of the inquisition.

Honestly, I don't know why people can't just admit the fact that Cronkite is a fanatical Leftist and has been for years (he endorsed Ralph Nader, for God's sake). Maybe they're afraid it might impinge on his (thoroughly undeserved) reputation as the most trusted man in America. It does go a long way towards explaining his reporting on the Vietnam War though, doesn't it?


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