Thursday, June 01, 2006

Standing up for freedom

I have new heroes, or maybe they were heroes all along. At any rate, these four librarians challenged the provisions of the PATRIOT Act after receiving a gag order as part of a National Security Letter from the FBI and are now able to talk about it. I picked the story up from the Library Tavern blog here. She links to the ACLU's press release, which is here. Leslie Burger, of Burger's Blog, who attended the ACLU press conference, picks up on the story as well here and provides some brief commentary. She picks up on a quote by an NYT photographer, which I think sums it up nicely. Ms. Burger writes,

"The photographer from the NY Times said it best when he shared this observation with me -- 'these are just regular people like you and me. They probably pay their taxes on time, go to church each week, go to their kids soccer games, and enjoy a meal out now and then. If the government is worried about them it really makes you wonder about what's going on.'"

My gratitude goes out to them for standing up for our rights in a time when it seems some people want to restrict those rights in the name of tranquility. I don't know about "those folks," but I am not about to lie down and let them take my rights away if I can help it. I can only hope that I can live up to our professional values of upholding intellectual freedom and the rights of the First Amendment. It does really make you wonder what is going on when the government can't capture the terrorist they claimed they wanted dead or alive, but they worry over the average American citizen.

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