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:
- "Attorney General Nominee Indicates Continued Support for Warrantless Searches of Librarians," by Jim, Irregular Times, 16 January 2009.
- "Under Obama, Feds May Still Snoop Library Files," by Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, 17 January 2009, p.A6.
- "Section 215 Won't Die?" by StephenK, LISNews, 18 January 2009.