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Rich Lowry’s Despicable Smear Of Libraries. Are They The Next Target Of The FOX News Hate Machine?

Reported by Ellen - December 27, 2005

At the end of his USA Patriot Act lie-fest on last Thursday's (12/22/05) Hannity & Colmes, substitute co-host Rich Lowry smeared libraries as likely "safe harbors for terrorists" if stronger restraints are put into the Act.

"What's wrong with looking at library records?" Lowry asked Democratic Congressman Jerrold Nadler, noting that library records had helped apprehend the Unabomber.

Nadler answered there's nothing wrong with it so long as "specific and articulable facts" provide a reason for the search. He said that under the current provisions of the Act, the standard is looser, the records only need to be "relevant" to a search.

Lowry replied, "Something's very important to realize here. Five of the 9/11 terrorists used libraries to use the computer and internet there... So what sense does it make to make libraries safe harbors for terrorists?"

Comment: Lowry's cynical smearing of libraries to suit his political agenda is reprehensible not just on the face of it but also because he must know that safety and civil liberties are not an either/or proposition. Secondly, as this exhaustive report from the CBC indicates, the Bush Administration had plenty of intelligence and warnings about the 9/11 attacks that went unheeded. Before Lowry tries to implicate libraries in 9/11, he should ask why more information was needed when the information the Bush Administration already had was ignored.

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