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Monday, June 20, 2005

Just Remember, there are No Documented Abuses of the (anti-)PATRIOT Act

Well, that's the party line, any way.

Of course, considering it's illegal to challenge the demand for records or even to tell anyone about it (can't even tell your lawyer), it would be pretty tough for there to be any "Documented Abuses," because anyone trying to document them would be violating the gag order, and of course, our cherished "American Freedoms" require compliance with government officials at all times, and government agents would never even think about violating anyone's rights.

Here's what my friends over at 2PoliticalJunkies had to say about it.

And here's an article from today's New York Times:

Libraries Say Yes, Officials Do Quiz Them About Users


WASHINGTON, June 19 - Law enforcement officials have made at least 200 formal and informal inquiries to libraries for information on reading material and other internal matters since October 2001, according to a new study that adds grist to the growing debate in Congress over the government's counterterrorism powers.

In some cases, agents used subpoenas or other formal demands to obtain information like lists of users checking out a book on Osama bin Laden. Other requests were informal - and were sometimes turned down by librarians who chafed at the notion of turning over such material, said the American Library Association, which commissioned the study.

The association, which is pushing to scale back the government's powers to gain information from libraries, said its $300,000 study was the first to examine a question that was central to a House vote last week on the USA Patriot Act: how frequently federal, state and local agents are demanding records from libraries.

We now bring you back to your regularly scheduled reality show. Remember, don't forget to watch the Runaway Bride interview and other important events that affect your life like I want to be a Hilton. We wouldn't want to actually open your eyes and see what's happening.