Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Opposing FISA is the American Library Association's Latest Directive, on September 11, No Less

The American Library Association's [ALA] latest directive is to oppose FISA and its means to help prevent further terror attacks in the USA.  The ALA directive was made on September 11th, the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.  It uses paranoid scare tactics to motivate people to act, such as: "Watch what you say and do on your phones, emails and other communications":
Oppose H.R. 5949, the FISA Amendments Act (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2012 
Posted on September 11, 2012 by Lynne Bradley  
URGENT:  September 13th vote pending in the House on FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act)

ACTIVISTS:  Use our legislative action center to send messages to House members opposing H.R. 5949, the FISA Amendments Act (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2012 or call your congressional representative now!

The message to all House members:  Oppose H.R. 5949 the FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act of 2012, H.R. 5949.  Protect Americans’ privacy and constitutional rights.  Do not extend the FAA sunset until December 31, 2017.

ALA asks library supporters to ask the House to oppose this latest attempt to reauthorize the FAA.  Unexpectedly, a quick vote on H.R. 5949, is scheduled for this Thursday, September 13th.

BACKGROUND:  It’s déjà vu all over again: Watch what you say and do on your phones, emails and other communications because, once again, the House of Representatives appears ready to reauthorize the 2008 FAA law that legalized the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program and more.  The American public, including our library patrons, will continue to be exposed to needless surveillance under this reauthorization.

The FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act of 2012, H.R. 5949, (yes, this is the correct name of the bill and the law) would extend the provisions of the 2008 FAA to December 31, 2017, rather than letting the FISA sunset on December 31, 2012.  The government is allowed to get 12-month orders from the secret FISA court to conduct “dragnet surveillance of Americans’ international communications—including phone calls, emails, and internet records—for the purpose of collecting foreign intelligence.” *

As we did in 2008, the American Library Association (ALA) continues to argue against the FISA Amendments Act because of the FAA’s lack of transparency and the potential for abuse of the system that has been created.


* From the ACLU Washington Legislative Office web site where additional details are available: ACLU’s Washington Markup.

Furthermore, the ALA literally joined as co-signer with the Council on American-Islamic Relations [CAIR] to oppose FISA in the past:

By contrast with ALA, the Obama Administration supports FAA:
  • "President Pushes to Extend Surveillance Law," by Siobhan Gorman, Wall Street Journal, 11 September 2012:
    The Obama administration is lobbying for renewal of a controversial 2008 surveillance law, warning that the U.S. would lose a critical intelligence-collection tool if Congress allows the measure to expire at year's end.

    As President Barack Obama emphasizes his national-security record in his re-election campaign, he's facing strong resistance from some lawmakers who say the law lacks sufficient privacy protections.

    The Republican-dominated House is expected as soon as Wednesday to pass the bill, which would extend the law for five years.  But its fate is less clear in the Senate, where Sen. Ron Wyden (D, Ore.) is blocking Senate consideration, ...
  • "FISA Fight; Congressional Vote to Reauthorize Surveillance Program Highlights Administration Reversals on Spying, Transparency," by CJ Ciaramella, Washington Free Beacon, 12 September 2012.

See also:

Do people realize George Soros is funding the ALA to shill for his own interests in support of terrorists?  Do people realize as self-arrogated "censorship" police, the ALA joined with CAIR to use pro-terrorist censorship to censor Robert Spencer, but parents keeping inappropriate material from children being "censorship" is the message of ALA's "Banned Books Week"?  Do people realize the ALA joined CAIR to oppose radicalization hearings?  And wasn't ALA uncharacteristically silent as terrorists destroyed a famous library in Timbuktu, Mali?

What does any of this have to do with librarianship, the proclaimed mission of the ALA?  Is the ALA in your community library having any influence at all?  Is it okay that a terrorist-friendly organization has influence over your local community library and local school library?

Has ALA political capital just been further attenuated by once again lining up on the losing side of yet another non-library matter?

While it is legitimate to oppose FISA, the ALA that supports terrorists remains true to form.  On September 11, no less.  On the day the U.S. Ambassador to Libya is killed.  On the day the U.S. Embassy in Egypt is attacked and destroyed.  Will ALA members do nothing about this?

The Third Jihad: Radical Islam's Vision for America was used by the NYPD for counterterrorism training.  The ALA is part of the problem described therein when it works with CAIR to censor perceived/presumed opposition such as Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch, uses Soros funding to support Soros/CAIR's interests, or directly joins with CAIR to oppose national security interests having nothing to do with librarianship.

Oh, for the people shocked to hear the ALA supports terrorists, here's one more example, showing the ALA wished library patron privacy laws had protected a 9/11 terrorist from being reported to the police:
  • "A Nation Challenged: Questions of Confidentiality; Competing Principles Leave Some Professionals Debating Responsibility to Government," by David E. Rosenbaum, The New York Times, 23 November 2001:  
    When the names and photographs were first released, Kathleen Hensman, a public librarian in Delray Beach, Fla., recognized some of the suspected hijackers in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon as men who had used the computers in her small library.

    She immediately called the police.

    That broke a Florida law that guarantees confidentiality to library patrons.  It also violated a cardinal principle of librarians never to tell the police, in absence of a court order, about who uses their rooms and what books they check out.

    But almost no one thinks Ms. Hensman did the wrong thing.  Of course, she will not be prosecuted.


    Judith Krug, director of the American Library Association's office of intellectual freedom, said, "I would have felt better if she had followed the Florida law."

ALA has a lot of positive influence in our communities.  However, let's get the negative influence of the ALA's "Office for Intellectual Freedom" out of our public libraries, out of our school libraries, and out of our minds.  Its actions do not warrant our blind acquiescence.

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