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U.S. News
Mary Beth Buchanan: U.S. Attorney

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan knows some Americans are wary of John Ashcroft's Justice Department these days, but she's ready to put up a defense.

"I've had people criticize this office for some of the prosecutions we have done," she says. But she believes every one of the immigration and other cases her office has filed since Sept. 11 "has been proper and warranted."

The top prosecutor's office has changed in the last year. A team of assistants is now assigned to act on cases investigated by a new anti-terrorism task force. She is also advised of all airport incidents and all immigration violations.

Buchanan can't comment on investigations, but she said there are cases here that could have terror connections and it's the government's obligation to pursue them.

No one's civil rights have been violated, she asserted, even though some privileges have been curtailed in such areas as carrying items aboard airplanes. "I think it's important to point out that there is a difference between a right and a privilege," she said.

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