Monday, January 19, 2009

ALA Silent As Obama Nominee Expects to Adopt USA PATRIOT Act Bush Position

The American Library Association [ALA] is suddenly silent as the nascent Obama administration "expects" to adopt the Bush administration's position on the USA PATRIOT Act. Yet again, the ALA exposes just why it should not be considered authoritative.

The ALA is known to be one of the major opponents of the USA PATRIOT Act. The ALA frequently attacked the Bush administration for supporting Section 215 of the Act. For example, one prominent ALA member writing in the ALA's American Libraries called the Act "treason pure and simple."

The ALA sometimes goes further, actually supporting the interests of terrorists over those of Americans. For example, the de facto leader of the ALA was opposed to the violation of a library patron privacy law that involved a 9/11 terrorist's library activities immediately before 9/11.

If your library destroys book lending files, web site logs, and computer signup sheets, it is likely due to your library's adherence to ALA efforts to thwart the effectiveness of the USA PATRIOT Act. Further, that is likely in total defiance of your own community's wishes and interests since the ALA effectively squelches local control over local libraries nationwide. Consider regaining control over your local libraries, but I digress.

Along comes a new president with a new attorney general, people who are near total political opposites of their predecessors. The new attorney general has said he "expects" to uphold Section 215.

Uphold Section 215? The ALA attacked the Bush administration for years on this. Now that the Obama administration "expects" to follow the Bush administration's lead, is the ALA again leading the charge to decry Section 215 and the Obama administration?

No. Silence. No more "treason pure and simple." No more "rebuking both Inner and Outer Ashcrofts." Another ALA double standard. Another reason the ALA is no longer authoritative.

Please read the following for additional factual information and confirmation of the above:


  1. This blog post has been picked up by the Illinois Family Institute from the ALA's home state. See "ALA Silent As Obama Nominee Expects to Adopt USA PATRIOT Act," by Dan Kleinman,, 20 January 2009.

  2. The following article seems to imply, among other things, that the ALA has been acting in a politically partisan fashion in violation of its 501(c)(3) tax exempt status:

    "But [Eric Holder's] concession is further evidence that the liberal accusations about 'breaking the law' and 'illegal wiretaps' of the last several years were mostly about naked partisanship. Mr. Holder's objection turns out to be merely the tactical political one that the Bush Administration would have been better off negotiating with Congress for wiretap approval, not that it was breaking the law. Now he tells us."

    You see, Eric Holder used to think and talk just like the ALA:

    "'I never thought I would see that a President would act in direct defiance of federal law by authorizing warrantless NSA surveillance of American citizens,' referring to the National Security Agency program. 'This disrespect for the law is not only wrong. It is destructive in our struggle against terrorism.'"

    See, "Holder for Wiretaps; The AG Nominee Bows on Presidential Power," Opinion, Wall Street Journal, 20 January 2009, p.A16.

  3. I've arrived! The Annoyed Librarian has blogged about me and this blog post! See "Obama Wants Your Library Records, by Annoyed Librarian, Library Journal, 21 January 2009.

    Folks, if you don't already know, the Annoyed Librarian has the most interesting and most widely read blog in the entire library world. I recommend her highly.

  4. To this day, so far as I can tell, the ALA maintains its silence. It has now had enough time to comment, as it has in this matter, for example: "Disclosures Fought as Pres. Obama Undoes Secrecy Regulations."

    Further, notes by ALA Councilor James Casey from the recent Midwinter Meeting made no mention of the topic either.



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