Man, 19, charged in torching of library

It seems they've made An Arrest in the Springfield, MO, fire case.
A 19-year-old Springfield man has confessed to setting the Jan. 19 fire that damaged computer equipment and thousands of books at the Library Center, police said Sunday.
Jared Pearce Rupp was released from the Greene County Jail on $10,000 bond on Sunday after Springfield police arrested and questioned him on Saturday.

Rupp faces charges of second-degree arson and second-degree burglary. Both are class C felonies punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $5,000 fine, said police spokesman Officer Matt Brown.

Investigators now have a few answers in what Police Chief Lynn Rowe called a "case that shocked the community."


If you read the story you will see that one piece of evidence against this person was library records. There was a log of who used computers. If this library had been trying to fight the Patriot act and had been destroying their records they would not have caught this arsonist.

The article is definitly worth a read. It looks like the fire was set to try and cover up evidence of computer use. The kid that did this was clueless. First, he burnt the wrong computers. Staff computers not public ones. If he had just known the computer he had used he could have stolen it and then the hard drive would be gone. Instead he spreads gas around the library and does $500,000 worth of damage.

>>And as for having information worth sharing, kindly identify the source you have for your proclamation that the FBI has never invoked section 215. They certainly are not going to admit it and I hardly think they are going to let you rummage around in their files, and if they had, then your statement would constitute a violation of federal laws.


Ask a question. Then follow with a rejection, before the answer. Ad Ostrichem?

This was hardly a quiet story. Many sources to use, so I offer the venerable Washington Post.

The Washington Post
September 18, 2003
"Ashcroft: Patriot Act Provision Unused"

The Justice Department, which has repeatedly been accused of encroaching on civil liberties in its war on terrorism, has never actually used a controversial provision of the USA Patriot Act that allows it to seek records from libraries, bookstores or other businesses, according to a confidential memo from Attorney General John D. Ashcroft.

Ashcroft said in the memo to FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III that he had decided to declassify that previously secret information because of his "concern that the public not be misled about the manner in which the U.S. Department of Justice, and the FBI in particular, have been utilizing the authorities provided in the USA Patriot Act.

"The number of times [the provision has been used to date is zero," Ashcroft said in the memo, which was obtained by The Washington Post....

Sounds like you have some information worth sharing?

As usual, you just don't get it; but nobody expected you to, anyway. Here's a clue: I was not offering answers, I was asking questions to get people to think for themselves.

And as for having information worth sharing, kindly identify the source you have for your proclamation that the FBI has never invoked section 215. They certainly are not going to admit it and I hardly think they are going to let you rummage around in their files, and if they had, then your statement would constitute a violation of federal laws.

"What if"? Without these two words, Patriot Act detractors have nothing to say.

The following piece doesn't ask "What if"? It just provides facts. Novel idea.

Charleston Gazette (West Virginia)

September 26, 2003

Patriot Act Privacy rights are not at stake

Kasey Warner

AS a federal prosecutor, one of the most aggravating and disturbing displays of ACLU misinformation - believed by those who accept what they hear without close examination - is the claim that "library habits [of our citizens] could become the target of government surveillance ... where the thought police can target us for what we chose to read or what Web sites we visit," as the ACLU claimed on July 22. Let's look at the facts.

We know terrorists and spies often use libraries to plan and carry out illegal activities. Law enforcement has long been able to obtain business records - including library business records - when those records are shown to be relevant to criminal inquiries. For example, in the 1997 Versace murder case, a Florida grand jury properly obtained records relevant to the murder from public libraries in Miami Beach. In the 1990 Zodiac gunman investigation, a New York grand jury received records from a Manhattan public library after investigators believed the gunman was influenced by a certain poet. These grand jury subpoenas do not even require a court order.

Contrary to the ACLU-inspired assumption, the Patriot Act does not allow law enforcement to unilaterally compel production of library records. In fact, the act adds the additional safeguard of requiring a court order before records are produced. Further, it allows such production of records only when judges are satisfied that law enforcement is attempting "to obtain foreign intelligence information not concerning a U.S. person" or "to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities."

As an even further safeguard, the act specifically prohibits investigations of "a U.S. person solely on the basis of activities protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution." Finally, close Congressional oversight is provided, with the attorney general required to "fully inform" Congress every six months of how these provisions have been implemented.

I should also note the House Judiciary Committee has stated it is satisfied with the department's use of the new provisions, having "not given rise to any concern that the authority is being misused or abused."

A recent article in The Washington Times may be instructive in dispelling the concern that police are randomly spying on good citizens in libraries to see what they are reading:

"One of the most unfairly maligned provisions of the Patriot Act is section 215, which permits the FBI to apply for a court order requiring production of library and business records in the course of a terrorism investigation ... As Manhattan Institute scholar Heather MacDonald notes in the current tissue of City Journal, time and secrecy are uniquely important in anti-terrorism investigations. 'The department wants to know if an al-Qaida suspect has consulted maps of the Croton reservoir and researched the toxic capacities of cyanide in the New York Public Library, not in order to win a conviction for poisoning New York's water supply but to pre-empt the plot before it happens,' she writes. 'The battleground is not the courtroom but the world beyond, where speed and secrecy can mean life or death."

Certainly, we must always maintain a healthy concern for the protection of our privacy and basic constitutional rights. However, government's first responsibility is the security of our people, and we cannot afford to lose the tools provided by the USA Patriot Act to prevent future terrorist attacks in this great country of ours, especially when no privacy or constitutional rights are even at stake.

Warner is U.S. attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia.

Your privacy is more endangered by ALA passing (and selling) your personal information to third parties than Ashcroft.

Sounds like you have some information worth sharing? Do tell.

Here's mine. How many American's library records have been reviewed under the Patriot Act. NADA.

How many terrorists did the arson investigation uncover? How does that compare to the number of terrorists that have been discovered and apprehended in other examinations of library records? What is the actual ratio of library-going terrorists in the general population, and in the population which patronizes libraries?

It is only circular when the records are used to catch criminals that are tryingto destroy the library records. It is not circular if they are used to catch someone that is planning a terrorist attack.

Well, wait a minute.The logs help capture him, but may also have caused him to torch the library.He was trying to cover up that he had sent a message. Since he had to log in with his library card, there was a computer record that he was there using the computer.He'd want to destroy the computer that has the logs on it, and that would be a STAFF COMPUTER.So, suggesting that it is a good thing the library keeps logs because it helped catch a criminal might be a bit circular.Even if library logs are a great crime-fighting tool, that alone doesn't make it ok to use them as such. No one denies that it is easier to catch criminals if you live in a police state. The question is whether the sacrifices are worth it.

I noticed that too... Or if it had been our library, we wouldn't have caught the guy that did it, either, because no one seems to like to put their real name down on our logs. We would have been looking for Ben Franklin or I.P. Freely.

I do hope that they're investigating what this kid was trying so dang hard to hide. What did he say in a chat room that was so incriminating that he's going to burn down a building and put life and property in harm's way to do it?

It may not be so much the Patriot Act that bothers me as it is some of the people who implement and administer the provisions...I've followed the careers of some of them and (trying to be charitable)some of them have an authoritarian streak that is very unattractive. You may want to research some of their views as to their vision of what America should be. No, I don't trust them...

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