Fighting the Bush Doctrine of Disinformation is a Librarian’s Mandate
I urge everybody to read Kathleen de la Peña McCook’s post on her main blog, Fighting the Bush Doctrine of Disinformation is a Librarian’s Mandate. She hits the nail on the head: the key to the our urgent political problems right now are in the Bush Administration’s governance by manipulation of information. She puts a number of things in this context: the White House purge of US Attorneys, the corrupting of the scientific process in agency-funded research, the lies that led to the war, the politically repression of intellectuals at universities, the planting of fake news stories on television, direct payments to media pundits to promote White House views, and more. She relates this to a statement of an important library principle from ALA that isn’t as well known as the Library Bill of Rights: the Government Documents Round Table’s Key Principles on Government Information. This statement of principles has not yet been adopted by ALA Council, but it should be, and its adoption should be publicized in relation the Bush Administration’s manipulation of information.
During the Bush Administration, these issues have been my main focus in my blogging and library activism, as I wrote about in my statement on “library and non-library issues” recently and have written about for years. Kathleen has been talking about them consistently as well. I now read on a couple of right wing blogs that Kathleen’s post was in response to a recent New York Times editorial – to me it seemed like the kind of thing she and I have been saying for a while. These right wing bloggers are even insinuating that Kathleen is reacting to the editorial as though the ideas in it are new to her. Clearly, these are not new issues; a new item on the web is an item to link to and an opportunity to return to a theme. The argument does not rest on a recent editorial, but on our own extensive past discussions and on a society-wide discussion of the Bush Administration’s use of disinformation and secrecy. It seems clear to me that these right wing bloggers are well aware of this, and are being predictably dishonest in focusing on this recent editorial as though Kathleen were relying on it in some way.
For the text of SRRT’s 2005 “Resolution on Disinformation, Media Manipulation & the Destruction of Public Information,” as well as a bibliography on government disinformation, see the December 2005 SRRT Newsletter.