Harvard's Elaine Scarry on resistance to the PATRIOT Act, with some library-related statistics that bear repeating:
Attorney General Ashcroft dismissed the idea that the Justice Department could conceivably care about librarians or library records, an act of jeering that echoed the earlier derision of FBI officers ...
The derision is puzzling since it seems to imply that librarians do not have any history of serving as political actors, an implication starkly at odds with national and international history. More to the point, and perhaps as a result of their lack of interest in libraries, the attorney general and his assistants appear not to have read the University of Illinois study that found that by February of 2002 (four months after the Patriot Act was passed) 4 percent of all U.S. libraries, and 11 percent of all libraries in communities of more than 50,000 people had already been visited by FBI agents requesting information about their patrons' reading habits.
Complete article from the Boston Review, via Metafilter.