In response to Joe Marshall's Nov. 11 column, "Ashcroft's resignation good for freedom" in the Collegian, I am rather surprised at his inability to provide proof for certain statements. I have grown accustomed to reading many columnists from this paper spouting off rhetoric with no substantial factual backing. However, I have not grown acceptant of it.
In Thursday's paper Joe claimed, "America continues to imprison almost as many people as every other nation on earth combined." Now while it is true that we have the highest incarceration rate internationally (730 per 100,000 people, Russia is second with 690 per 100,000), to make such an absurd exaggeration is simply irresponsible journalism. I realize that Joe isn't a real journalist, he's a history major, but this does not exempt him from his responsibility to provide accurate information.
I also feel it necessary to point out that a member of a president's Cabinet resigning is actually quite a common occurrence. Half of former President Clinton's Cabinet (seven of 14 members) resigned within one week of his reelection, including Defense Secretary William Perry and Secretary of State Warren Christopher. Undocumented sources "close to the White House" saying his resignation was given "strong signals it would be accepted," is no indication of President Bush's administration being unsatisfied with his performance. Bush was quoted saying Ashcroft "served our nation with honor, distinction and integrity."
So next time you feel it necessary to personally attack a leader of our country, which is your constitutional right, perhaps you should do a bit more research instead of simply fabricating statistics.
Sophomore Political Science