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June 01, 2006

Gagging Librarians During the Patriot Act Re-Authorization Debates

Hot off the presses from the "Only in George Bush's America" file and rife with allusions to librarians being gagged, then leading to visuals of hot and kinky, bespectacled librarian sex, resulting in disturbing fantasies, we have this gem.

The NSL is a little known statute in the Patriot Act that permits
law enforcement to obtain records of people not suspected of any
wrongdoing and without a court order. As part of the NSL, those served
with the document are gagged and prohibited from disclosing that they
have even been served.

The foursome of Barbara Bailey, Peter Chase, George Christian,
and Jan Nocek were automatically gagged from disclosing that they had
received the letter, the contents of the letter, and even from
discussions surrounding the Patriot Act.


On September 9 of last year, a federal judge lifted the gag order
and rejected the government's argument that identifying the plaintiff
would pose a threat to national security.

Yet the government continued to appeal the case throughout the
reauthorization debate, passionately arguing that not a single incident
of civil liberties violations by the Patriot Act had occurred. By
continuing the appeal, the government effectively silenced any evidence
to counter their claims.

"This all happened during the reauthorization debate and the government
was saying no one's rights were being violated," said George Christian,
staff liaison for Library Connection and one of the plaintiffs in the case.

As the debate over the reauthorization of the Patriot Act heated up,
the librarians and others gagged by the NSL had to watch in silence,
intimately aware of dangers they believed were not being exposed.

All the while Barbara, Peter, George and Jan are gagged, unable to utter a peep, and doing lord-only-knows-what during the Patriot Act re-authorization debates, our Congressmen and women are voting on the extent they plan on taking away our civil liberties, without the benefit of knowing the true nature of these National Security Letters, because Barbara, Peter, George and Jan can't speak.