Apparently, on 22JUL04, the Department of Justice had ordered that five legal texts be removed from libraries. Didja read that right? The DOJ ordered that five legal publications be removed from libraries. Because they were for "internal" use. Internal use... in a democratic society. Now, probably, these publications were not that interesting and they just wanted to fix what had been an administrative error. (Although I hear the next things they want to take of the library are "The Constitution of The United States of America" and "The Bill of Rights", you know, due to them being all obsolete and shit.)
According to ResourceShelf, the DOJ rescinded the order, allowing the books to remain. Hearing about this after they rescinded the order is sort of like having a guy walk up to you and tell you he's decided not to mug you after all. Have a nice day.
Like I said, these books probably are not all that interesting, but now I am a bit curious about the two texts out of the five that were federal statutes, according to the ALA. It's just, well, this is a Democracy and all. Any rules by which we govern ourselves (whether it's laws, hows to enforce those laws, how to train people to enforce them, how to fill out form DOJ-F1138a-221hh which excuses a DOJ employee from goosestepping at all but the most formal functions due to bad knees) should be available to everyone. You know, I'm not asking that the Government publicly disclose military plans, intelligence, or information potentially damaging to ongoing investigations... I'm not naive. I guess I'm just hung up on that whole "by the people" and "for the people" tidbit and Ashcroft and his ilk have me sort of paranoid these days.
update: You know. After reading the rest of the ALA's statement (I hit the save button on the post while I was in the middle of it) I've determined that my paranoia is justified. "The documents that were to be removed and destroyed include: Civil and Criminal Forfeiture Procedure; Select Criminal Forfeiture Forms; Select Federal Asset Forfeiture Statutes; Asset forfeiture and money laundering resource directory; and Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000 (CAFRA)."