Hysterical librarians

The charm offensive gets offensive:

“The fact is, with just 11,000 FBI agents and over a billion visitors to America’s libraries each year, the Department of Justice has neither the staffing, the time nor the inclination to monitor the reading habits of Americans. No offense to the American Library Association, but we just don’t care. . . . The charges of the hysterics are revealed for what they are: castles in the air built on misrepresentation, supported by unfounded fear, held aloft by hysteria.”

– John Ashcroft

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4 Comments

  1. Posted 10/5/2003 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    Well if they don’t care and they are not using those powers then why do they need it? Damn fascist bastard.

  2. Posted 10/6/2003 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    According to the ALA website orders for records have increased since the act was passed.

    And, staff who receive orders for records are required to maintain silence regarding the request.

    Americans need to decide how much freedom they are willing to give up for the sake of order. Too often I have heard- if it means I’ll be safe from the terrorists, then so be it. I say there are no guarantees regarding safety.

  3. Posted 10/6/2003 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    I think the problem is that this is a false equation. I think there is this feeling that by giving up privacy and liberty, we somehow *automatically* gain security. I say “show me.” Show me how many *real* terrorists (not just people who may have thought bad things about the US) secretly looking at people’s library records has gotten you. Show me how seizing tens of thousands of pocket-knives has made me any safer today than I was in 1999 when everyone was carrying these aboard.

    My real concern is that these are merely there to give people a false sense of security, or even more likely, to keep the population perpetually scared, so the government can act like a surrogate parent and make sure “everything’s OK.”

    Given that “those people” are “evil” and “uncivilized,” doesn’t it make sense we would want to *encourage* potential terrorists to read widely? Oh wait. I forgot. Root of all evil, “tree of knowledge,” creationism is an alternative science and all that.

  4. Posted 10/9/2003 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    It’s like I’ve always said: We were never in danger, aren’t in danger and are never unsafe. It’s all just a big PR ploy by Bush and his corporate buddies to impose their fascist laws and make tons more money.

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