"Where's Mr. Kent's outrage on this travesty where, if we're talking library-related, the prisoners' Korans have been routinely desecrated by soldiers and where they have NO freedom to read?"
Everyone now knows Korans have not been "routinely desecrated by soldiers." And there is doubt any have ever been desecrated at all, let alone "routinely." See Koran Controversy. What Mr. McDonald has said is or should be known to him to be false and misleading, yet that did not stop him from saying it and other calumnies regarding those ALA members trying to support jailed Cuban librarians. He even discusses why American prison policy is worse than Castro's, all in an effort to convince other ALA members not to support all Cuban librarians and their intellectual freedom. Will it work?
Mr. McDonald's email was written using his official Fresno State position, as displayed in his signature lines. His own library's "Code of Conduct" specifically excludes harassment. "[H]arassing other users or Library staff IS FORBIDDEN," emphasis in original. McDonald apparently gets to harass those trying to assist Cuban librarians. Read his letter--is it not harassment? Does not his own policy apply to him?
Here is his entire letter so you can see for yourselves:
From: Peter Mcdonald
Date: Wed, Jun 25, 2008 at 9:40 PM
Subject: [alacoun-ro] [alacoun] Re: Fwd: The same old Mis- Corrections
The facts of the matter regarding ALA and Cuba have been plainly spoken by ALA, its finest committees and caring librarians for well over a decade now. No amount of histrionics, evasions, outright lies, overblown hyperbole, bogus "facts" and name-calling, indeed this endless one-note nasal bleat perpetrated against our fine association by the writer below can change the simple fact that what we have here is the same tired old propaganda spewed forth by the "Friends" of Cuban Libraries as they were peddling by the bucket years ago.
These "Friends" are a shadowy "member supported" organization with no discernible structure, no dues, no list of members, no organizational officers and no explanation where their money actually does come from. My bet is Miami via U.S. government Helms-Burton slush funds (start by Googling Jorge Sanguinetty). Only Mr. Kent is listed on their website. Hmmmmm.
My sympathies go out to you my fellow Councilors. We have had to deal now 10 interminable years with Mr. Kent's endless vitriol and misinformation campaigns, indeed virtually since the day he was himself deported from Cuba for espionage when it was clear to Cuban authorities that he was in their country as nothing more than an agent provocateur. Some reports say he was in cahoots then (as now?) with Miami rightwing anti-Castro elements (among other fellow travelers, easily gleaned from net accessible sources, for example: http://www.counterpunch.org/barahona06182005.html but don't stop there, there's dozens of similar sites.)
As has been said a hundred times, there is not a shred of evidence that any of these Cubans were jailed because they were "librarians", still less that they were even 'librarians' at all. They were by the whole average citizens journalists, teachers, laborers, who were arrested, tried and convicted for knowingly subverting Cuban law repeatedly -- for one, distributing U.S. funded anti-government materials (among other crimes), not from 'libraries' but from their living rooms and store fronts.
I will grant the terms of imprisonment were harsh, but hey! America has the largest (corporate-run) prison population in the world not only in real numbers of the incarcerated (over a million+ citizens behind bars at last count), but in average terms of incarceration (10-15yrs), and as a percentage of general population in the top echelon. And we have hundreds (not a handful as in Cuba) of U.S.-held prisoners under solitary lock-up by our military who have never even been charged with a crime, let alone tried and convicted. Where's Mr. Kent's outrage on this travesty where, if we're talking library-related, the prisoners' Korans have been routinely desecrated by soldiers and where they have NO freedom to read?
Sender 'kidzread' might have at least extended Council the courtesy to both identify his/herself and to say (as is customary) why s/he was forwarding these discredited claims of Mr. Kent's to us all. I have emails from 10 years ago from Mr. Kent from which he obviously cut and pastes this one. Basta!
Dean of Library Services
Henry Madden Library