Another Attorney General, Another Insult


misseli writes "An excerpt from the Today Show, with a segment about the USA PATRIOT Act. Nadine Strossen from the ACLU vs. former U.S. Attorney General (and pornography commission chair) Ed Meese:
KATIE COURIC: What about the whole concept of--of the government having access to medical records, library records, and student records without any probable cause, and the government doesn't even have to inform the individual that these records were retrieved by--by federal officials. I know the American Library Association was very, very upset about giving access to library books, or anything that was done at a library. They issued this statement. "The American Library Association opposes any use of governmental power to suppress the free and open exchange of knowledge and information, or to intimidate individuals exercising free inquiry. ALA considers that sections of the USA Patriot Act are a present danger to the constitutional rights and privacy rights of library users." What's your response to that? And obviously the American Library Association has a huge issue with this.
Mr. MEESE: Well, first of all, there's never--it's never even been used against--in the case of a library, as was indicated the other day by the attorney general. Furthermore, I think librarians, unfortunately, some of them at least, are more interested in allowing pornography to go to children than they are fighting terrorism.
ALA put out a press release in reaction later in the day."

Update by J: SpinsterLibrarian adds: &quotTell Ed what you think about this statement at [email protected]. Better yet, send him a Librarian Action Figure! His mailing address is: The Heritage Foundation | 214 Massachusetts Ave NE | Washington DC 20002-4999 | ph 202.546.4400 | fax 202.546.8328."


Ms. Hayden's question--"Should the government have the power to obtain Americans’ reading and other personal records without showing probable cause?"--is inaccurate in its breadth. ALA would do everyone a favor by framing the issues more clearly: "Should the U.S. government have a novel, broad power to obtain library records on the mere claim that they are relevant to an investigation of terrorist activity, instead of being required, as it used to be, to provide objective evidence (probable cause) that the records are necessary to such an investigation?"

Here I go being unpopular again! I have worked in the Childrens Room of a public library and have surfed the internet enough to know what is out there. Putting the two together makes me want to vomit. ALA in its quest for freedom of speech is rapidly becoming a bottom feeder. No quality, no morality, no beacon of education. How sad that I must side with the Attorney General. (A speech titled "Defending Pornography" by an ALA speaker will given soon.) WOW.

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