As the First Lady - herself a former librarian - cheers on the rebuilding of New Orleans' libraries, her husband's thugs continue to terrorize, threaten and bully the nation's patriotic book-lenders. Yesterday, they finally backed off a bit.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations finally gave up their attempt to inspect the records of a group of Connecticut libraries, but not before leveling a veiled threat against those who dare to defy them.
"In this case, because the threat ultimately was without merit, that delay came at no cost other than slowing the pace of the investigation," John Miller, the FBI's assistant director, said.
Naturally, as part of the administration's regular M.O., Miller also accused librarians of endangering Americans.
"In another case, where the threat may be real, the delays incurred in this investigation could have increased the danger of terrorists succeeding."
"We concluded that based on the passage of time as well as other information we've been able to develop that this [emailed] threat is probably not viable," added Connecticut U.S. Attorney Kevin O'Connor.
Last February, the FBI demanded that a consortium of 26 Connecticut libraries turn over their computer records, claiming they were following up on yet another alleged terror threat. Four board members of the Library Connection bravely resisted their efforts.
"I'm glad that we're vindicated in resisting the request for the records," said George Christian, one of the librarians who received a national security letter demanding the records. "We're just protecting our patrons to the extent we can."
"While the government's real motives in this case have been questionable from the beginning, their decision to back down is a victory not just for librarians, but for all Americans who value their privacy," said Ann Beeson, associate legal director of the ACLU.
Monday, while speaking before an audience of more than 1,000, Laura Bush reminded the country of "the importance of libraries and reading." She recognizes these revered institutions as being of vital importance to the nation's intellectual well-being.
Sadly, President Bush doesn't share his wife's views about libraries. Over the past year, DHS goons have interrogated a young man for reading Mao's "Little Red Book," tried to seize the computers at the Brandeis University library and randomly stormed a Maryland library to warn folks against the dangers of online porn.
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