Most Far-Reaching Gag Order In 1st Amendment History?: not only are bookstores and libraries subject to demands for patrons' book lists, they can't discuss it afterwards.
John Ashcroft's war on terrorism includes the most far-reaching gag order in First Amendment history -- preventing the press from reporting on the FBI's seizure of the lists of books bought or borrowed in bookstores and libraries by noncitizens and citizens suspected of terrorist activities. Under the omnibus USA Patriot Act, the FBI has the authority to get an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court -- a secret body composed of rotating federal judges -- to seek "any tangible things (including books, records, papers, documents, and other items) for an investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities."
The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) and the American Library Association (ALA) have particularly alerted their members to part of the law that prevents booksellers and librarians -- once the FBI has come calling -- to reveal that a search has been made. The law states: "No person shall disclose to any other person ... that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has sought or obtained" these records.
[via New World Disorder]
President Bush now admits that the one-size-fits-all "Bush doctrine" on terrorism in fact doesn't fit Yasser Arafat.
Bush said Monday that the Palestinian leader's past as a peace negotiator exempts Arafat from the post-Sept. 11 U.S. policy that a country or entity that harbors terrorists will be dealt with as terrorists.