Saturday, January 12, 2008

Sticks and stones may break my bones...

...but words scare us to death.

Do you think censorship is a thing of the past? Think again. Today's American Library Association guest speaker, Bassem Youssef , once the FBI’s top Arab-American Middle East expert, has been warned by his bosses not to discuss the bureau's failures in counteracting terrorism. The erosion of our civil liberties was not to be discussed.

Mr. Youseff has had to scrap his talk to ALA in favor of fielding questions from his Librarian audience.

The FBI finds our freedom of speech a threat. Who are they protecting us from? Why is the baby as expendable as the bathwater?

1 comment: said...

How do you feel when the ALA itself censors people or when its members censor people?

For just one example, in Adamson v. Minneapolis Public Library, the library director (a somewhat big wig in the ALA at the time) ordered librarians not to talk to the media. Worse, snail mail sent by the librarians to the library trustees was intercepted secretly by the library director and held for a long time. Is that a federal crime?

And what about when the ALA ignores censorship? Is the ALA helping out jailed Cuban librarians like Dr. José Luis García Paneque? No? Why not? Why is the ALA consistently critical of the American government while being consistently closed mouth about the Cuban "government"?

The ALA needs to clean its own house before complaining about what others are doing, especially the US government.