Wednesday, May 31, 2006

CT Librarians Silenced No More

Thanks to Gabe for sending me this. Genghis will be gone for most of the day, but I hope he'll weigh in at some point.

NEW YORK -- The four librarians at the heart of a legal battle over whether the FBI can simply demand access to patron records had to remain silent and invisible throughout the congressional debate leading to March's renewal of the controversial USA Patriot Act.

So when they spoke publicly for the first time Tuesday, the limelight was a mixed blessing.
********
Although the 2nd Circuit dismissed the case on procedural grounds, without reaching the merits of the First Amendment claims, Judge Richard J. Cardamone wrote separately to note such claims are significant. He also chided government lawyers for attempting to have the case vacated, which, he wrote, "is not surprising, but right in line with the pervasive climate of secrecy...The government attempts to purge from the public record the fact that it had tried and failed to silence the Connecticut plaintiffs."


It's disturbing how blatantly political the gag order was, but nothing surprises me anymore. In all honesty I don't think having these four appear before Congress would have made any difference. Until we get a Congress with some guts, regardless of their political affiliation, I think we're stuck with the poorly named Patriot Act as is.


Source
Touhy, Lynne. "Librarians Shushed No More." Hartford Courant. 5/31/06

15 comments:

Chris MC said...

I have been impressed with the genuine indignation and defiance expressed by the few librarians I asked about this when it first happened. Thank you to the librarians in this case for standing up for our fundamental rights as Americans.

And CGG is right, we need a change in this Congress. Electing Courtney, Farrell, and Murphy will be an excellent contribution from Connecticut's voters to that cause.

bluecoat said...

This goes more to how US Attorney Kevin J. O'Connor - a toady of John Ashcroft and John Rowland - abused his power than the specific provisions of the Act that need to be fixed.

BRubenstein said...

bluecoat..they amended the Patriot Act just months ago...not the way i would have wished though.

bluecoat said...

Yes, I know and agree they have a few more ponts to change - fortunately there is a sunset clause. Running up to the re-authorization vote Gonzalez had all his US Attorneys around the states out on a PR campaign and O'Connor was spinning it in CT - saying it hadn't been abused - and I know of two case in CT were O'Connor abused it and all I do is watch the news reports.

Derby Conservative said...

bluecoat said:
"...and O'Connor was spinning it in CT - saying it hadn't been abused - and I know of two case in CT were O'Connor abused it..."

Okay BC...name them...

bluecoat said...

one is posted up above DC and the other was all over the newspapers but I plead guilty to not knowing the name of the guy whose house was ransacked wrongly by the FBI - and that's just in CT.

bluecoat said...

O'Connor's ass is so tight it squeaks when he walks BTW. he is clueless about terrorism.

BRubenstein said...

I saw a national poll in the NYT in which a vast majority of americans don't mind the executive branch getting our phone records,spying on us and probably they agree with checking our library material as well, all in the name of fighting terrorism.

While i don't agree with that majority and would wish the Patriot Act was amended like Finegold wanted to do i understand the public's position on the poll given the 3 years of Bush lies,desceptions and whipping up the public's hysteria to a frenzy.

Derby Conservative said...

These are typical bluecoat comments...cast wide, baseless dispersions and then follow them up with a personal attack of some type. Really classless.

bluecoat said...

I answered your question DC!!!

bluecoat said...

BR: few people, myself included, have read the PATRIOT Act. And those who love it don't seem to understand the objections to it are extremely limited in scope. The Justice Dept. was a major reason that 911 happened and they are covering their ass - the 911 Commission never did its job that McCain and others gave them - hold someone accountable.

cgg said...

BRubenstein has a point. Most people don't mind, and the library thing is lost on those who many already shop at bookstores and pay with a credit card.

bluecoat said...

bookstores were included pretty much like libraries - and the credit card purchase provides more ways to track readings by subversives.

Chris MC said...

uh oh Bruce, you know what THAT means
;-)

BRubenstein said...

yes Chris?