Wednesday, October 01, 2003

From The Washington Post's "Patriot Monitoring Claims Dismissed":

"The fact is, with just 11,000 FBI agents and over a billion visitors to America's libraries each year, the Department of Justice has neither the staffing, the time nor the inclination to monitor the reading habits of Americans," [Attorney General Ashcroft] said. "No offense to the American Library Association, but we just don't care. . . .

"The charges of the hysterics," Ashcroft added, "are revealed for what they are: castles in the air built on misrepresentation; supported by unfounded fear; held aloft by hysteria."

Ashcroft's comments came after the release yesterday of a memo he wrote disclosing that the Justice Department has never used a controversial section of the Patriot Act that allows authorities in terrorism investigations to obtain records from libraries, bookstores and other businesses without notifying the subject of the probe.

I don't know about you, but I feel so much better now that I know that in addition to being invasive, that particular Patriot Act provision was also completely useless in actually identifying or locating any terrorists. Why exactly was it "necessary", then?

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