Why Is the USA PATRIOT Act Unconstitutional and Controversial? Salman Rushdie (2004)

good morning and thank you all very much

for coming to this very important event

to discuss to section 215 of the USA

PATRIOT Act and I along with my

colleagues Barbra Lee of California and

Ralph Grijalva of Arizona are extremely

pleased to be joined today by Salman

Rushdie the president of the Penn

American Center former US Congress woman

Patricia Schroeder who is now the

president of the Association of American

publishers Orin Teicher who is with the

American Booksellers Association and

kala Hayden who is the past president of

the American Library Association we're

very pleased that these groups are with

us today these four organizations have

been leaders in drawing attention to

section 215 of the Patriot Act and it's

dangerous implications for civil

liberties in our country and I want to

thank each and every one of them for all

of the very hard work that they have

done on this issue now let me be very

clear and I think I speak for everybody

up here and everybody in this room

international terrorism is serious

business and in my view the US

government and governments throughout

the world must do everything that we can

to protect our people from terrorist

attacks and to effectively fight

terrorism but we can and must fight

terrorism without undermining the basic

principles and constitutional rights

which make us a free country we do not

need legislation such as section 215 of

the Patriot Act which allows government

agents access the files of American

libraries and booksellers without

probable cause we do not need

legislation which makes Americans

nervous as to whether the US government

will be looking over their shoulders in

terms of the books that they are reading

or internet site

they are visiting in a library we do not

need legislation which makes librarians

and books or owners complicit with the

government in spying on their neighbors

in the United States of America with our

history with our Constitution with our

Bill of Rights

with our respect for freedom we can and

must do better than that one of the

exhilarating aspects of this whole

struggle against section 215 of the

Patriot Act has been the massive amounts

of grassroots activity that is taking

place from California to Vermont and

everyplace else in between and I should

add here that this opposition is not

just coming from progressives like

Barbara and myself or Al it is coming

from conservatives as well and people in

the political middle hundreds of

thousands of Americans have written

their representatives in Congress to

express opposition to the Patriot Act

and section 215 and encourage them to

co-sponsor HR 1157 the freedom to read

Protection Act which now has a hundred

and fifty two bipartisan co-sponsors

some of you may recall that when we

offered an amendment on this issue on

July 8th as part of the Commerce justice

and state appropriations bill we had 218

votes after the normal 17 minutes

unfortunately that number went down to

210 and we lost on a 210 tie after the

speaker kept the rolls open and

additional 20 minutes in order to twist

arms to get Republicans to vote against

us but the support for this legislation

is very strong and very wide today I'm

very pleased to announce that over a

hundred and eighty thousand Americans

have signed a campaign for read a

privacy petition expressing strong

opposition to section 215 and support

for restoring privacy protections to the

American people the petitions have been

collected by thousands of libraries and

books laws throughout our country today

is the culmination of months and

months of work by numerous organizations

to draw attention to the civil liberties

violations inherent in section 215 of

the Patriot Act not only do we have

180,000 Americans on record stating

their opposition to section 215 but we

have four state legislators including

four months Barbara we're waiting for

California they're going on that 352

municipalities all across the country

conservative and progressive going on

record in passing resolutions expressing

their concerns regarding the Patriot Act

as many people know on Capitol Hill just

this very week both the House and Senate

are mocking up 9/11 commission

legislation that has been introduced in

each chamber my strong hope is that in

the process Congress does not repeat the

mistakes of the Patriot Act and I would

like to emphasize the great need to pass

only carefully worded legislation with

respect to civil liberties so let me

again thank all of our guests who are

here today and let me introduce Barbara

Lee congresswoman from California who

has been a stalwart fighter for civil

liberties in in our country Barbara

thanks for being with us thank you very

much I'll be very brief and I just want

to thank you for your leadership

congressman Sanders thank all of our

organizations and individuals who are

here for really protecting democracy

that's what it's about congressman

Sanders came out to my district last

year and we talked about this in in

librarians again bipartisan as he said

earlier are furious and understand the

chilling effect of what section 215 does

I many of you may remember I remember

COINTELPRO you know some may remember

the McCarthy era we know what this means

we know what it means and so let me just

say that this Patriot Act you know was

passed in a blind rush it's like so many

bills here on the in the house and

during this last few years section 215

does nothing to

would protect us from terrorism nothing

at all like congressman Sanders I

support a strong response to

international terrorism where it marking

up actually today some of these bills

that have been presented but when it

comes to protecting civil liberties when

it comes to justice when it comes to

protecting democracy I want to say today

that this country these individuals

these hundreds of thousands of

individuals understand what that means

they understand that democracy right now

is at a turning point and this is a

defining moment and we're going to move

forward and continue to work to to

protect democracy to make sure that we

repealed section 215 and really to make

sure that in the age of Ashcroft we do

everything we can do to protect our

constitutional freedoms many

jurisdictions are just saying no to this

many cities and local governments many

libraries libraries across the country

are just saying we're not going to

comply with section 215 and they run

risks of again the John Ashcroft

approach to clamping down on individuals

and to to violating the civil liveries

but they're very brave and they're very

courageous and I just want to salute

them today and tell them that we're

going to move forward here in Congress

to make sure that we support their

efforts to protect individual freedoms

on the freedom to read the freedom to

research the freedom to go on the

internet the freedom to to to think

thoughts to come up with analyses and

positions and views is is central to our

democracy and when you denied access to

materials and books and documents and

papers that that create a diversity of

thinking what do you what have we come

to in this country

I really worry about where we are so I

just want to thank all of you today for

staying strong and being courageous and

and taking this on in the face of

adversity and in the face of all of the

the unamerican activities that are going

on in our country against the

individuals of the United States of

America thank you Thank You Barbra Lee

oh let me now introduce Orin tiger who

is here representing the American

Booksellers Association or just done a

fantastic job in terms of bringing us so

many names on these petitions Horne

thank you thank you very much

congressman my name is Oren Teicher I am

the chief operating officer of the

American Booksellers Association the

national trade association representing

independent bookstores operating in all

50 states across the country I'm here

this morning standing in for our

president Mitchell Kaplan who is

literally enroute from Miami as we speak

he may arrive it's a moment but he had a

our business he had a signing in his

store last night and couldn't get here

till this morning

this past February 500 bookstores across

the United States started to circulate

petitions to be presented to congressman

Sanders and his colleagues urging that

the protections and the privacy of

bookstore and library of Records that

were eliminated by the USA PATRIOT Act

be repealed with our partners in the

campaign for reader privacy we have

collected today congressman close to two

hundred thousand signatures we've

brought over today the ones that were

collected from the state of Vermont

close to 10,000 the rest are over in

congressman Sanders office and we are

pleased to present them to congressman

Sanders and the other congressional

leaders of this fight for reader privacy

we chose this particular day September

29th because it falls during banned

books week the National celebration of

the freedom to read bookstores have long

been committed to the cause of free

expression we are primarily though

businesspeople and cautious usually

about weighing into political debates

and I can tell you from the experience

and hundreds of stores there was

trepidation amongst book stores when we

first started to ask them to collect

signatures on these petitions but

because bookstores feel so strongly

about the importance of protecting

reader privacy we put the petitions out

for our customers to sign the freedom to

read privately was under attack even

before the USA PATRIOT Act Carla Hayden

will speak in a moment about the

challenges to library privacy that date

back to the 1970s for us in the

bookstore community the fight began in

1998 when Ken Starr subpoenaed the

records of Monica Lewinsky from to

Washington DC bookstores since then

subpoenas our search warrant seeking the

titles of books purchased by individuals

have an under in who have been under

investigation have an issue to the

Tattered Cover bookstore in Denver


Olsen's books in music here in

Washington Arundel books in Los Angeles Barnes & Noble and borders

all of these bookstores have fought the

effort to invade their records and to

protect their customers privacy in some

cases the police have dropped their

demands and others the courts have

quashed the subpoenas and search

warrants are narrowed them to prevent

the chilling effect on First Amendment

rights our president Mitchell Kaplan can

personally testify to the importance of

this issue three years ago his store

books and books in Miami Florida

received an FBI subpoena seeking the

book purchase records of then-senator

Robert Torricelli of New Jersey who was

investigated who was being investigated

for alleged violations of campaign

finance laws the subpoena demanded all

records related to the purchases of

books by Senator Torricelli and seven

other individuals going back to 1995 mr.

Kaplan was in touch with us at ABA and

in the American Booksellers foundation

for free expression for help something

he could not do under the provisions of

the Patriot Act

we told the FBI that we would go to

court to

watch the subpoena it decided then not

to pursue it the Patriot Act blocks any

appeal however two courts by booksellers

and librarians to be clear we do not

claim any absolute right to privacy

we recognize that there may be unusual

circumstances when appropriate law

enforcement authorities may be able to

convince a court of law in an open

hearing to issue a search warrant to a

bookstore and/or library but section 215

mandates that a bookstore or librarian

turn over the information about specific

titles that an individual may have

bought from a store or borrowed from a

library without the benefit of any due

process whatsoever concerned about these

limitations and mindful about the

various attempts to seek bookstore

records book stores overcame their

reluctance and put out the reader

privacy petitions that you see here

today we were astonished frankly by the

response of our customers people rushed

to sign the petition and thanked us for

giving them the opportunity to express

themselves booksellers displayed the

petitions in their front windows and

found that people were coming in simply

to sign their names 500 stores in all 50

states as we have said have now

collected close to 200 thousand

signatures urging at section 215 of the

Patriot Act be repealed we promised our

customers when we collected those

signatures that we would present them to

Congress and we are proud to be able to

fulfill that promise today it is not

just the bookstores and the libraries

and publishers and writers who are

urging Congress to restore the

protections for reader privacy the

readers of America are demanding the

right to read freely thank you very much

Thank You Warren let me now introduce

Carla Hayden who is the immediate past

president of the American Library

Association and like the booksellers

they've done a fantastic job in arousing

grassroots opposition to section 215

color libraries are one of the building

blocks of a free and open society and

when members of the public in Turin I

breath to pursue their own intellectual

interests to look up something that they

just have a curiosity about or just find

out about subjects that they've heard

about no one should be examined or

scrutinized by anyone especially by the

government and the American Library

Association supports the protection of

confidentiality and the freedom that

accompanies it and we find that parts of

the US a patriot act threatens all of

these freedoms in fact we remember Orin

the 1970s and the FBI library awareness

program and as librarians we are

interested in and we're committed to

ensuring the safety of our fellow

Americans but it's time for the

government to stop wasting its time on

supposed security risk posed by any

American that goes into a public library

for research for learning or just for

fun the new and expanded authorities

under the Patriot Act allow the federal

government to investigate and to engage

in surveillance of citizens and others

without having to demonstrate any

specific reason to believe that they're

engaged in illegal activities and to

threaten the civil liberties guaranteed

on the United States Constitution and

the Bill of Rights the Patriot Act

allows the government easy very easy

access to activities of library users

throughout the country including their

use of computers just to browse the web

or even to check their own email we

think that the worst part though of the

Patriot Act comes from the veil of

secrecy that hides its purpose and the


secuence is from the public a secret

FISA Court approves the orders that FBI

agents now need to compel libraries to

turn over their records librarians are

bound by a gag order that prevents them

from telling anyone even their own

governmental structures their own boards

when patrons in their communities are

being investigated the USA PATRIOT Act

seriously undermines not only our civil

rights and liberties but all of the

things that we've worked so hard for for

so many years now over the past three

years the American Library Association

has worked hard to limit the impact of

this act on the Civil Liberties of our

library users and our efforts have

coincided with an increased partnership

with all people who are involved in this

effort but still the Justice

Department's secrecy over the use of the

powers granted under the Patriot Act has

blocked our investigations into this

time and time again last September

shortly after he called librarians

concerns over section 215 of the Patriot

Act baseless hysteria I received a phone

call from United States Attorney General

John Ashcroft and during our

conversation mr. Ashcroft assured me

that the Justice Department had not used

the powers granted under the Patriot Act

to investigate people in libraries but

months after my conversation with mr.

Ashcroft we learned that the Justice

Department had used his power to snoop

on library users just weeks after that

wonderful conversation that we had the

Justice Department has continually

refused to tell the public how many

library patrons it's investigated since

the Act was passed and when librarians

filed the Freedom of Information Act

request seeking information on the use

of section 215 powers our requests were

ignored and they continue to be ignored

besides a Selective releases of

information about the use of the Patriot

Act in cases related to terrorism

investigations for which Congress

intended it the Justice Department has

been successful in its efforts to keep

the American people in the dark about

its use of the Patriot

librarians have joined with concerned

citizens across the country it's

speaking aloud our conviction that the

USA PATRIOT Act has gone just a little

bit too far for us states have passed

resolutions to crime the most onerous

really provisions of the Patriot Act 356

localities across the country have

passed similar resolutions and

librarians across the country have

applauded these efforts the amendments

to the u.s. Patriot Act proposed in the

SAFE Act will give government all the

authority it needs to investigate

specific individuals when it has a

reason to believe that they're a

terrorist threat we want to join with

others and we have to spread the word

that it is patriotic to challenge the

USA PATRIOT Act Thank You caller and now

let me introduce a woman who really

doesn't need much introduction here in

the halls of Congress Pat Schroeder

represented a district in Colorado for

many many years and she is now the

president of the Association of American

publishers Pat Schroeder thank you very

much Bernie and I must say I'm very

proud today to be standing here

representing America's book publishers

and standing alongside of

representatives of the entire American

book community the American authors the

American Booksellers and the american

librarians this book community is saying

our forefathers and foremothers got it

right they really understood when they

drafted these wonderful documents how

tempting it was for people in power to

abuse their power very often against

their own citizens yes they should use

that power to protect their citizens but

now we shouldn't be using that power to

protect those in power against their

citizens so it's a very fine line here

and we feel that section 215 is once

again one of those things where they

have stepped over the line and it's

incumbent upon America's citizens to

push back and say no that is not in the

American tradition the book

the community here is not new to this

issue you've heard some of the

statements already I have this gray hair

so I remember in the 70s and 80s when

the FBI went on it's library awareness

thing where they were out looking at the

records of Sylvia black citizens and

questionable American citizens I must

say as an emissive American

congresswoman I was surprised when under

the Freedom of Information Act I got my

file from the FBI and found out that I

was a questionable citizen at one time

in their viewpoint because they didn't

like my positions on Central America

interesting so we have to constantly

monitor and constantly push during that

a library awareness area over 37 states

passed bills saying no that just tells

you how angry people get when you do

this kind of thing and then we remember

as book publishers the fits that the the

FBI was having when hunt for red october

was coming out it just never stops

there's always something going on

and I could go on and on you've heard

all of that basically I want to thank

this wonderful congressman from Vermont

Bernie Sanders he said something that I

can't emphasize enough and I'm gonna say

it again our hearts were broken this

summer when his amendment went to the

floor and it passed and we were so

excited we were screaming so loud in our

office I'm sure they could hear it over

here and then what they did is kept the

voting machines open for another 20

minutes which is longer than the normal

voting time until they could twist

enough arms to make sure he didn't win

and then just as we were starting to get

discouraged we suddenly said this should

be very encouraging but because it

really said that both sides of the aisle

have gotten the message from the

American public that they are tired of

this they'd understand this goes way too

far the book community is stood together

and helped booksellers when they've come

in after that or entire but mentioned

very about the

from times that bookstores have been

subpoenaed the tattered cover in my

district of Denver the book community is

stood with those booksellers and we have

been able in every case to get the court

either to narrow the subpoena squash the

petit subpoena our back off under this

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court

that they've set up no we can't do that

so you just have to totally accept their

valuation that somebody is suspicious

they want to subpoena their records and

they want to find out what's going on so

we think section 215 crosses the line

and we think that it is time that all

Americans stood up and said of course

we're not embracing terrorism but if we

don't have the freedom to express ideas

in this free marketplace of ideas we're

so proud of in this country how can we

tell the rest of the world that they

should be having a free market place and

from the publishers perspective we are

terribly concerned about how booksellers

and librarians are treated because if

suddenly their patrons decide oh my

goodness you know I shouldn't be

checking those books out or I shouldn't

be buying those books then what would be

the point of publishing those books you

chill the entire marketplace you freeze

the marketplace and you really skew oh

what kind of ideas are going to be

exposed that is not the American Way

we're gonna tell the world were a free

marketplace of ideas that's what we're

supposed to be Jefferson would be proud

that we're here and I'm sure he's

cheering us from down the street

thank you Thank You Pat it gives me a

great great honor to introduce our next

speaker who was arguably one of the

best-known literary figures in the

entire world Salman Rushdie is here

today as the president of the Penn

American Center but in his own life and

in in in his work he demonstrates his

existence demonstrates the importance of

civil liberties the importance

freedom of dissent the importance of

people being able to communicate ideas

without having to worry about the

consequences of those ideas so Salomon

thank you so much for for joining us


salman rushdie you know just occurs to

me that one of the little examined

consequences of section 215 is that

presumably there must exist not only a

group of suspicious Americans but

actually also a group of suspicious

books because otherwise how could you

judge what people were borrowing unless

you had a hold of books or the kind of

band lists you know so what are those

books I mean do we have I can't quite

get my head around the idea of you know

al Qaeda members sculpting skulking

round Barnes and Noble borrowing how-to

manuals about how to you know assemble

bombs or hijack planes is that what we

worried about or is it you know is it

bad to read I don't know

slaughterhouse-five is it what are the

books that are that would jut that would

flag you know that the subversive nature

of the reading activities so you know it

gets very murky when you get into this

and I'm here most precisely on behalf of

the 2700 writers who are the members of

the pen American Center but also of

thousands more writers professional

semi-professional vocational

recreational writers who share our

concerns about the way in which

government institutions are now nosing

into what should be personal creative

space and and shrinking public access to

information about that about how the

government is using these new post 9/11

Powers pen I think has a has great you

know authority to speak in this matter

because for over 80 years we've been

working on behalf of writers and other

people who have been imprisoned or

persecuted for what they've said and

written and what they've read um I have

some knowledge of this both at this end

as the presidency of pen and also at the

sharp end as was mentioned in 1989 the

Ayatollah Khomeini issued what the Nobel

laureate VS Naipaul called a very bad


and and you know fortunately that that

threat has receded but it should be

noted that in several countries the

publishers of this novel and people

selling the books were subjected to very

real threats and menaces and in many

cases violent retribution I mean there

were attacks on newspapers in in in I

think in New York State and then on

Cody's book store was firebombed in

California and and there were other

attacks around the world and there are

still countries which forbid the reading

and even the possession of my books

fortunately that is not being the case

in this country the United States has

led the world in promoting the kind of

hope the kind the attitude to open

exploration of ideas which I have

certainly tried to pursue in my work and

the same free exchange of information

which Penn seeks to extend

internationally and we at Penn have seen

over and over again how societies around

the world are weakened when the freedom

of individuals to seek information and

to debate ideas and is limited we know

from our own experience as writers lucky

enough to live in open societies and how

those freedoms when they are protected

fuel creativity and and correct or

prevent countless government mistakes or

errors but now we've been doing this you

know around the world

for protecting freedom of expression but

we are quite clear about defending a

grappling with the impact of terrorism

again I know this institutionally as the

president and also you know personally I

did some grappling of my own in this

regard and we of course I mean I have

good ground to deploy terrorism and to

think that there's very good reason to

do things to get rid of it but we also

grapple with the impact of anti-terror

and national security measures not just

here but around the world we've seen it

in let's just name a couple of countries

I had hot turkey South Korea countries

which have claimed to be struggling with

terrorist threats and which have passed

anti-terror laws which greatly exceed

their stated purpose and come to be used

to consolidate power cover up government

misconduct and stifle dissent

interesting to the United States

government has frequently been an ally

of pens in challenging these abuses in

other countries and in the cases I've

mentioned was in fact an ally in

opposing that the use of using the cover

of anti-terrorist legislation to in fact

bring in authoritarian legislation which

served quite different purposes so it's

kind of ironic that an ally in those

days is now the subject of this

conversation today several measures

enacted since since 9/11 including the

Patriot Act in our view contain elements

that compromise core American values and

put our country on shaky ground

internationally some provisions have

given federal authorities new power to

monitor the daily activities of

law-abiding US citizens and residents

and collect as we've been hearing

information on personal associations of

reading habits and so on others have

weakened the power of the people to

monitor what the government is doing in

that regard and some in our view violate

basic basic human rights standards and

principles which the u.s. itself has

helped to formulate and which it has

been promoting internationally now we

have a moment where the Patriot Act is

scheduled to expire and Congress has the

opportunity to review and improve

anti-terror legislation and it's very

encouraging to see in the 9/11

Commission guidelines which one hopes

very strongly will be followed in the

report of the Commission they say

clearly that the burden of proof for

retaining a particular government power

should be on the executive to explain a

that the power actually does materially

enhance security and be that there is

adequate supervision of the executives

use of the powers to ensure protection

of civil liberties in the case of

section 215 there are five questions

which we believe go against these these

these guidelines and need to be answered

why does the government need the power

to search records of people who are not

suspected of being terrorists or agents

of foreign government why is it

necessary that section 215 orders be

issued by a secret court the Foreign

Intelligence Surveillance Court

Surveillance Court and not by courts

where booksellers and librarians

the ability to challenge overly broad

borders why is it necessary to impose a

gag order that prevents law-abiding

citizens from learning that their

records have come under scrutiny

why excuse me with the growing use of

the Patriot Act authorized national

security matters that allow federal

investigators to seek records without

even securing FIS a court orders what

guarantees exists that this that these

searches receive any independent review

at all and finally why can't the number

of bookstore and library searches be

made public there seems absolutely no

security reason for these things to be

happening and let's just remember that

the freedom to write begins with the

freedom to read I mean I agree with Pat

it's great to be here with with every

part of the book industry but there's a

fifth part that's in these boxes you

know which is 200 thousand readers and

the freedom to write begins with the

freedom to read most of us owe our

careers to local public libraries and

bookstores and to the individual

librarians teachers and booksellers who

encouraged us to ask questions and

offered us both the materials and the

space to pursue our answers in many

countries of the world gifts like these

are almost inconceivable luxuries but

here they are guaranteed by the First

Amendment and library confer and library

confidentiality laws and Court decisions

that have historically held in check the

urge to seek investigative clues in the

records of what people read section 215

undermines all these protections and as

these petitions make clear readers are

very worried indeed and on behalf of

these readers and of writers I'd like to

just add my thanks to representative

Sanders and to Barbara Lee who was here

earlier and to everybody else on this

panel I mean it's a great job getting

these signatures together and but thank

you especially for your leadership in

addressing these concerns thanks very

much okay thank you very much are there

any questions yes

and he said that libraries they had

actually used section 215 that they

wanted to prevent libraries from

becoming havens for terrorists and

that's how they'd actually track toward

our library and I think it has already

been addressed there will be under some

circumstances historically they have

been ways in which the government can

get information from libraries but what

everyone here is saying is that under

Section 215 right now government agents

can get access to your reading records

without having to demonstrate any

particular reason that you are involved

in terrorist activities no probable

cause there is a secret judge situation

in which in fact the judge has no option

I think sometimes the Justice Department

say well it has to go through a judge

but they forget to tell you is that all

that the FBI has to say is they're doing

an investigation on international

terrorism and the judge has no option

but to give them that warrant so the

answer is if the government can make a

case samel just made the point we are

all concerned about terrorism but you

just cannot go in without having

probable cause without explaining to an

independent judiciary that you have

reason to believe that somebody is

involved in terrorist activity yes sir

whereas your legislation stand and it

seems to me that with these housies

reform bill in the house back

looking to expand possibly government

surveillance so could you address that

sure but the good news here is that not

only do we have such wide bipartisan

sponsorship for the freedom to read act

but as was demonstrated when an

amendment which crystallized that bill

came to the floor of the house we had a

majority of members of the house as you

know section 215 has been sunsetted and

that was a very wise provisioner

obviously I would have hoped that I

voted against the patriarchy that

actually section should not have been in

the first place but what it does mean is

that when we look at the Patriot Act

again it's not simply a question of

renewing section 215 it is a question of

having to bring it up again

if proponents of that concept want to do

it they're gonna have to start from

Ground Zero and I am absolutely

confident that we have the votes to

defeat any effort to bring up a

provision similar to section 215 I don't

expect much to be happening in the next

two weeks on that particular section

obviously the issue right now is what is

going to be going into the 9/11

legislation yes ma'am

what did you think about our reason it

is them of Kesavan of past events what

do I think about it I quite enjoyed it I

do think that you know if we're in

danger from Cat Stevens and we're

screwed so I you know I I can't really

believe that you know the cat you know

is that is the real danger that we're

facing but you know he did he and I had

a little run-in once before and even

though he now tries to pretend that he

was misquoted and his views were taken

out of context let me assure you they

were not and he didn't he wasn't

misquoted he said it on television and

if you want to go and look up the

records you could find the film on which

the videotape you know he wasn't I mean

he's just wriggling now you know I think

record sales went down and so no I mean

I just saw I've had a little smile you

know but I think truthfully it's silly

you know that it's if Cat Stevens can't

come into America we must be in really

bad trouble okay let me I think all of

the speakers and maybe mr. Rushdie more

than anybody else told us the real

struggle and the significance of what we

are talking about today do not

underestimate the importance of this

issue this has to do with whether real

ideas will be generated with a serious

discussion will take place whether

people can be free to raise points of

view without worrying that the

government is looking over their

shoulder what we are talking about today

is what the essence of what America is

supposed to be and that is a free

country and I just want to conclude by

thanking everybody up here mr. Rushdie

the the librarians the booksellers Pat

for doing just a tremendous

in fighting for freedom we hear a whole

lot of talk about freedom today

these guys are leading that fight I want

to thank them all very very much thank

you all for coming