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September 16, 2003

Smackdown: Ashcroft v. Librarians, et al.

Ashcroft Mocks Librarians and Others Who Oppose Parts of Counterterrorism Law [NYT, Eric Lichtblau, 9/16/03] - The Attorney General has gone on the attack, again, in response to criticism of the Patriot Act, and this time he's got librarians in the cross-hairs. He has "accused the country's biggest library association and other critics of fueling "baseless hysteria" about the government's ability to pry into the public's reading habits." The departmental spin on his speech, of course, is that he isn't directly blasting the librarian community. It's just that the
ALA "has been somewhat duped by those who are ideologically opposed to the Patriot Act," says a Justice department spokesman.

So we librarians are merely misguided, easily driven to hysteria? So we should just shut up and shelve our books, or whatever it is librarians do? Do we become the new terrorists, because we seem to care more about our patrons' civil liberties than the Attorney General?

Sorry, my poor librarian nerves are just overwrought. I should trust my government implicitly and believe that they are looking out for my interests, my safety, my intellectual freedom. *snort*

Links: The text of Ashcroft's speech; the ALA's response.

Yours, &c., LC | 09:51 AM | Legal , Librariana | TrackBack (0)

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