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Citing CIA's Dark History, Librarians Protest Agency's Recruiting at Their Conference

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/06/24/citing-cias-dark-history-librarians-protest-agencys-recruiting-their-conference

From banning books and spying on what we read the librarians across US America said NO. Thank you to the protesters!

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Thanks for taking the lead in this, Librarians. Every bit of non-collaboration, makes it harder for the CIA to conduct business as usual - i.e. surveillance, repression and undermining democracy. Wish I could get engineers and AI developers to do the same.

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CIA representative arrive early and are bored, and fascinated at being surrounded by all of those books on shelves. “Pardon me nice librarian, could you please direct me to the any reference books you have on torture techniques?”

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AI…talk about a trip down the rabbit hole, once I started investigating everything happening in that “movement” of movers and shakers.

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As a person who has valued libraries as an essential part of any community, I am very supportive of this effort to deny a forum to the CIA for the very same reasons outlined in the article.
Although librarians are caricatured as very staid, elderly spinsters, this image works to overcome the propagandized image that too many Americans have toward the CIA as a an agency for good when, in reality, it is used to destabilize nations which do not kowtow to the US. If librarians speak, we believe them. If hotheaded protesters say the same thing, they are likely to be disregarded. So, many thanks for speaking out!

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The argument that the CIA’s free-speech rights are not violated by excluding the CIA from the conference is stronger even than the activist makes out. It’s not just that the venue is private: it’s that the government and its agencies, as such, have no First Amendment rights. Viz. Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc. v. Democratic National Committee, 412 U.S. 94, 139 (1973) (Stewart, J., concurring): “The First Amendment protects the press from governmental interference; it confers no analogous protection on the government." The CIA, case in point, is not a person and does not have a “right” to say whatever it wants to whoever it wants: e.g., it has no right to lie to the US and global public (which it nevertheless does routinely).

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Indexing iniquity

I remember the librarians being the first and pretty much only people to stand up against the Patriot Act under Shrub. As far as they were able.