John Ashcroft on…uh…liberty, in today's Gazette .
Asked about his four years as attorney general, Ashcroft called it "the greatest privilege of my life."
"None of us could have imagined the kinds of things that would be in the offing within a few months after I was called," he said. "But I was grateful for the opportunity. It put me in a very strategic position in regard to the defense of this nation and the peace and tranquillity, safety and security, liberty and freedom of America domestically."
The time after the terrorist attacks required difficult decisions, Ashcroft said.
"But they were decisions driven by the public safety and security of our lives and liberties," he said. "And in that context, when you have an opportunity to make a decision that enhances liberty and security, you're going to make it. In that respect, it's not a hard decision to make."
Asked whether some people's liberty was sacrificed for others, he said the steps that were taken were done in an effort to enhance liberty and to give Americans the capacity to exercise it "in an environment and a context of security."