Radical Militant Librarians


NPR and the NY Times both have reports today on the top secret FISA courts, FBI, and radical, militant librarians. The FBI is whining about "radical, militant librarians." Lets all wear that label proudly! Be sure to contact your senators and representatives in Congress to vote against the compromise bill for renewal of the Patriot Act. It is time to keep our eyes and ears open and let the world know that librarians are a strong group and are radical in our support of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

Radical, Militant Librarians: from NY Times--

One internal F.B.I. message, sent in October 2003, criticized the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review at the Justice Department, which reviews and approves terrorist warrants, as regularly blocking requests from the F.B.I. to use a section of the antiterrorism law that gave the bureau broader authority to demand records from institutions like banks, Internet providers and libraries.

"While radical militant librarians kick us around, true terrorists benefit from OIPR's failure to let us use the tools given to us," read the e-mail message, which was sent by an unidentified F.B.I. official. "This should be an OIPR priority!!!"


Someone please put this on a t-shirt.

I read an interesting analysis article in the Buffalo News (from LA Times) about how critics of the Patriot Act are suddenly concluding that everyone made a mistake in focusing on the library portion of the act because it has been rarely used while the National Security Letters have been used thousands of times in ways that are much more invasive of one's privacy. The article in essence argues that by focusing on libraries, the justice dept. was able to hide more insidious portions of the act.

A couple thoughts...

This may be true, but first, how are radical militant librarians to know how National Security Letters are being used. Indeed, Congress only learned of their prevelent use recently. Are we now in an age where we not only have to fight for our turf, but also surrounding issues? How would the public react to growing activism?

Addressing the BuffNews/LATimes article though, I believe politicians focused on libraries as that is a nearly universal concept. National Security Letters are not. Politics always seems to play to narrow concepts people "understand" -- or at least what politicians think/hope people will understand.

I'm working on it - look for Radical Militant Librarian T-shirts - coming soon on cafepress.com

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