September 19, 2003
Baseless Hysteria, &c.
Government Says It Has Yet to Use New Power to Check Library Records - In the continuing saga regarding Sec. 215 of the Patriot Act, Ashcroft has released the data regarding the number of searches for records demanded of libraries and other institutions: Zero. Yes, that's zed, zip, nought. [NYT, Eric Lichtblau, 9/18/03]
Ashcroft: See, you silly librarians? You were duped, you made mountains out of molehills. Yes, we have this power accorded to us by statute, but we haven't used it, so there! Pffffffft!
Librarians: So? You just haven't used it yet. As long as this law is still on the books, your agents will still be able to demand records from libraries and librarians will still be under a statutory gag order, unable to say anything about it.