Libraries should be a key target of the Patriot Act


Deroy Murdock has a Column Over At NRO in which he says the Patriot Act should add libraries to the locations where federal investigators may hunt terrorists. He cites evidence of the 9/11 hijackers' fondness for libraries and calls those who oppose PATRIOT "dangerously naïve or clandestinely seditious beyond and foolish"

"No square inch of this country should be a safe harbor where terrorists calmly can schedule the slaughter of defenseless civilians. Whether fueled by sincere civil libertarianism or malignant Bushophobia, those who thwart probes of Islamo-fascist library patrons have the same impact: They make it easier — not harder — for terrorists to kill you."


You have to admit, Mr. Deroy Murdock makes a good argument for his claim. Personally, I'd have to say that, yes, there are times when counter-terrorist forces should have access to library records. However, it needs to be regulated just as vigilantly as any other search warrant. There must be a specific item that they can look for, no more no less, than what is on the warrant for a search. I think just looking up so and so just to see what all they got into is a little too much like fishing.
On a not entirely tangent note, I would also urge those in our government to not react to terrorist if they're as dangerous as they're cracked up to be. I'm not saying they aren't dangerous, but the government needs to realize that there are a lot of them out there under specific banners. In other words, they can't all be unreasoning lunatics with no concept of history and consequences. Some of them have legitimate grievances against us as Americans. They're background is different in how they view accountability than we how we view it.
This to say that if the US government really wants to prevent terrorist attacks, then why not at least make an honest effort to understand where these violent people are coming from. Just because they act foolishly with the information they have does not mean that the information itself is foolish. If you wanna kill a dandelion, you pull the root out. Or else the stubborn [email protected] is just gonna keep on coming.

I think it's fundamentally naive to think that the US Government can thwart the efforts of terrorists by searching library records to see what 'suspected terrorists' are reading or have checked out. Most libraries blow away patron records once a book is returned so it's hardly easy to get the records in the first place. And what if a suspected terrorist checked out The Making of The Atomic Bomb, if they REALLY wanted information on nuclear proliferation, they can get it off the Internet undetected.

~rant over

Here I thought that the patrons were just being rude, but it turns out they're Islamo-fascists!

Clandestinely Seditious is a great name for a band.

Of course it would need some umlauts to make it truly awesome.

Clandestinelÿ Sëditiöus

Whether you agree or not with Mr. Murdock's premise, which I don't (and based on your suggestion of vigilant regulation, I suspect you don't really either), I think the argument he makes is specious at best. Terrorists frequent libraries, therefore we better actively investigate libraries. Well, according to Murdock's "evidence," terrorists frequent day spas as well, so look out Canyon Ranch!

I've written about this at slightly greater length here.

Looks like you've read the Heavy metal umlaut article at Wikipedia.

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