Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Terror threat sparks Newton librarian/FBI standoff
Boston Herald ^ | 01/25/06 | Dan Atkinson

Posted on 01/25/2006 12:05:00 PM PST by danno3150

Newton officials are calling their refusal to allow FBI agents access to library computers without a warrant during a terrorist threat last week “their finest hour.”

Law enforcement officials say it’s a “nightmare.”

Police rushed to the Newton Free Library after tracing a terrorist threat e-mailed to Brandeis University to a computer at the library.

But requests to examine computers Jan. 18 were rebuffed by Newton library Director Kathy Glick-Weil and Mayor David Cohen on the grounds that they did not have a warrant.

Cohen, defending the library’s actions, called the legal standoff one of Newton’s “finest hours.”

“We showed you can enforce the law — without jeopardizing the privacy of innocent citizens,” the mayor said.

It took U.S. attorneys several hours to finally secure a warrant, Glick-Weil said, and they took the computer from the library at about 11:30 that night, after the library had closed.

Brandeis received the alleged e-mail threat at about 11 a.m., according to Waltham Lt. Brian Navin. While police reportedly didn’t find anything threatening after evacuating 12 buildings at Brandeis and a nearby elementary school, by about 2 p.m., the e-mail was traced to a computer at the Newton Free Library.

Newton police, followed shortly by FBI and state police officers, rushed to the library to lock the building down, Glick-Weil said.

“There was a lot of excitement going on,” she said.

An FBI spokesman, as well as Lt. Bruce Apotheker of the Newton police, both said their offices would not comment on the investigation.

But a law enforcement official close to the investigation said in an e-mail the confrontation was a “nightmare.”

Nancy Murray, director of education for the Boston branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, said she was surprised the FBI asked for information without a warrant.

“They couldn’t possibly expect to get (the computer) without a warrant,” she said. “Good for the library for knowing more about warrants than the police.”


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events; US: Massachusetts; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: bombthreat; cohen; davidcohen; fbi; glickweil; librarian; library; librarycomputers; mayor; mayorcohen; newton; newtonma; searchwarrant; weil
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-143 next last

1 posted on 01/25/2006 12:05:01 PM PST by danno3150
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: danno3150

It would have been justice if the Newton Library blew up.


2 posted on 01/25/2006 12:06:33 PM PST by Semper Paratus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: danno3150
ONLY IN MA!!

FYI, currently in the house in MA is a bill to oversee Church finances and what their money is used for. All churches. Has already passed in the senate, Romney has promised to veto it. However, these socialists and communists will just over ride his veto as they have countless times before.
3 posted on 01/25/2006 12:08:24 PM PST by gidget7 (Get GLSEN out of our schools!!!!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: danno3150

I see no reason that the government can't get a warrant when it needs information. It's right there in the fourth Amendment. Change the Amendment if you feel warrants are no longer necessary.


4 posted on 01/25/2006 12:09:24 PM PST by mysterio
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: danno3150

This is a publicly-funded library, yes? Is a warrant neccessary to search a public institution?


5 posted on 01/25/2006 12:10:06 PM PST by atomicpossum (Replies must follow approved guidelines or you will be kill-filed without appeal.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Semper Paratus

It would have been justice if the Newton Library blew up.


Exactly. Of course then they would have been squalling tht someone should have done more to protect them. What idiots.


6 posted on 01/25/2006 12:10:15 PM PST by midwyf (Eliminate government involvement in the environmental religion too.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: danno3150
Cohen, defending the library’s actions, called the legal standoff one of Newton’s “finest hours.”

Liberals. A criminals best defense.

7 posted on 01/25/2006 12:10:48 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (If you think you know what's coming next....You don't know Jack.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: gidget7

I heard about that from Article 8. I guess the commie senators have never heard of the First Amendment.


8 posted on 01/25/2006 12:11:28 PM PST by darkangel82
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: danno3150

If they were Christian conservatives the FBI would have burned them all alive.

Great to be communists in Romneyland.


9 posted on 01/25/2006 12:12:19 PM PST by the gillman@blacklagoon.com
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: danno3150

If the threat involved their sorry asses or their kids, they would be singing a different tune. "The police didn't do anything! They just stood around waiting for the stupid warrant. My child could have died!" Typical library liberals.





10 posted on 01/25/2006 12:12:36 PM PST by Right Wing Assault ("..this administration is planning a 'Right Wing Assault' on values and ideals.." - John Kerry)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: danno3150

Okay, where do we email these pinheads?


11 posted on 01/25/2006 12:14:03 PM PST by wouldntbprudent (If you can: Contribute more (babies) to the next generation of God-fearing American Patriots!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: danno3150
were rebuffed by Newton library Director Kathy Glick-Weil and Mayor David Cohen

And the next time the Mayor requests some urgent federal action for Newton the requestee should be rearranging their sock draw.

12 posted on 01/25/2006 12:14:06 PM PST by Semper Paratus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wouldntbprudent

http://www.ci.newton.ma.us/Library/About/administration.htm


13 posted on 01/25/2006 12:14:36 PM PST by atomicpossum (Replies must follow approved guidelines or you will be kill-filed without appeal.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: gidget7
However, these socialists and communists will just over ride his veto as they have countless times before.

And then the case goes to the Federal courts where the law will be overturned.

14 posted on 01/25/2006 12:15:43 PM PST by Gay State Conservative
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: atomicpossum
This is a publicly-funded library, yes? Is a warrant necessary to search a public institution?

Libraries only have computers and video games to increase traffic to justify their budgets.

Time for some budget trimming, libraries are luxuries.

15 posted on 01/25/2006 12:15:52 PM PST by Mark was here (How can they be called "Homeless" if their home is a field?.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Semper Paratus

That would have put them in fine shape.


16 posted on 01/25/2006 12:16:05 PM PST by TASMANIANRED (The Internet is the samizdat of liberty.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: danno3150

What about probable cause? Doesn't that override the need for a warrant?


17 posted on 01/25/2006 12:17:42 PM PST by doc30 (Democrats are to morals what and Etch-A-Sketch is to Art.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: danno3150
I believe the Newton library is one the ones that don't filter their internet access workstations with filters.

Al-Queda will be making a note of this.

18 posted on 01/25/2006 12:17:46 PM PST by Semper Paratus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Semper Paratus

I'm 'outta MA with the next job-offer.


19 posted on 01/25/2006 12:21:32 PM PST by johnny7 (“Iuventus stultorum magister”)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: wouldntbprudent
Okay, where do we email these pinheads?

Don't bother.I lived in Newton for the first 33 years of my life and within 10 miles of Newton for the rest of my life.

Newton is a lost cause.Kim Jong Il could easily carry Newton in a presidential election...Bob Dole couldn't. Per capita,there are more rich guys with gray ponytails there than anywhere else in the world.

Got the picture?

20 posted on 01/25/2006 12:22:19 PM PST by Gay State Conservative
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Gay State Conservative

Yeah, thanks. 'But I still think it would be a hoot to have them receive a couple of hundred thousand emails from--gasp---the Red states.


21 posted on 01/25/2006 12:23:57 PM PST by wouldntbprudent (If you can: Contribute more (babies) to the next generation of God-fearing American Patriots!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: danno3150
Amendment 4 - Search and seizure

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Looks pretty simple to me.

The FBI could have and should have gotten a warrant before going to the library.

I'm far from siding with the liberals on most anything, but I am strongly on the side of the Constitution, and this looks pretty cut and dried.

22 posted on 01/25/2006 12:25:05 PM PST by randomnumber (I have no excuse for my behavior; do you?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gay State Conservative

We certainly would hope so!!!!


23 posted on 01/25/2006 12:26:13 PM PST by gidget7 (Get GLSEN out of our schools!!!!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Mark was here
"Libraries only have computers and video games to increase traffic to justify their budgets."

Libraries have computers so that those who don't have computers/printers/internet access are able to have access when they're needed.

"libraries are luxuries."

They're 'luxuries' that allow members of society to improve themselves. As such, libraries facilitate societal improvement and advancement.
24 posted on 01/25/2006 12:28:16 PM PST by NJ_gent (Modernman should not have been banned.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: danno3150
Cohen, defending the library’s actions, called the legal standoff one of Newton’s “finest hours.”

I wonder if he would have continued to feel so smug and justified if terrorists did in fact attack the Brandeis campus, after he had refused the FBI's request to follow up the threat?

These elitist maroons disgust me.

25 posted on 01/25/2006 12:29:20 PM PST by SuziQ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: randomnumber

It's cut and dried that the FBI needed a warrant to perform a search without consent, and they went and got one. I think what is irritating to most people on this thread (me, anyway) is that the library did not consent to the search.


26 posted on 01/25/2006 12:29:46 PM PST by Caveman Lawyer (Cluckin' defiance)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: johnny7
I'm 'outta MA with the next job-offer.

"Don't tempt me, Frodo"!!

27 posted on 01/25/2006 12:31:08 PM PST by SuziQ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: danno3150

BUMP


28 posted on 01/25/2006 12:31:10 PM PST by SweetCaroline (Grandchildren are GOD'S way of compensating us for growing old. THANKS GOD!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: danno3150

Probable cause.

Even Ms. Glick-Weil has heard of probable cause:

Kathy Glick-Weil, director of the Newton Free Library, said she opposes the government having the authority to search an individual's library records without probable cause and worries that the law compromises the library's traditional role of promoting the free exchange of information and ideas. 8/21/2003
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2003/08/21/librarians_fight_search_law/




Evidently a BOMB THREAT doesn't meet HER definition of probable cause.


29 posted on 01/25/2006 12:33:37 PM PST by Velveeta
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Caveman Lawyer
I think what is irritating to most people on this thread (me, anyway) is that the library did not consent to the search.

The Mayor and Librarian acted like an outraged homeowners instead of cooperative public officials.

30 posted on 01/25/2006 12:35:08 PM PST by Semper Paratus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: danno3150
It took U.S. attorneys several hours to finally secure a warrant, Glick-Weil said, and they took the computer from the library at about 11:30 that night, after the library had closed.

So WTH is going on down in Mass. that it takes several hours to secure a warrant in a situation such as this?

This attitude among law enforcement that the Constitution which they swore an oath to support and defend is a "nightmare" is rather disturbing to me, but I reckon it's par for the course in Massachusetts.

31 posted on 01/25/2006 12:37:01 PM PST by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Caveman Lawyer
"...I think what is irritating to most people on this thread (me, anyway) is that the library did not consent to the search."

Ah! Because a person chose to exercise their rights under the the Constitution it makes it bad.

Got it, but I'm not in agreement.

If it were me, I might have agreed to the search given the circumstances if it were explained reasonably, but since I wasn't, I'll go with door number 1.

32 posted on 01/25/2006 12:37:37 PM PST by randomnumber (I have no excuse for my behavior; do you?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Velveeta
Evidently a BOMB THREAT doesn't meet HER definition of probable cause.

It's a judge's call to define probable cause, not a librarian's - that's why law enforcement officials are required to secure a warrant before conducting searches.

33 posted on 01/25/2006 12:38:11 PM PST by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: mysterio

We're at war, if you hadn't noticed.


34 posted on 01/25/2006 12:39:25 PM PST by balch3
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

Comment #35 Removed by Moderator

To: Gay State Conservative

If someone had died, because of their nonsense...


36 posted on 01/25/2006 12:41:07 PM PST by TaxRelief
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: danno3150

Attention all terrorists!
Newton Library will shield you
from the FBI!


37 posted on 01/25/2006 12:43:02 PM PST by TaxRelief
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mvpel

actually, if I agree that law enforcement can search my home, then they can search my home. I don't need a judge to tell me whether or not it is reasonable. I have that option, of course. But a library is a public institution. No one should expect that anything they do in a library would remain private. I never have. Whether the feds have a right to go into a local library and order folks around is another matter. Local cops should have been able to do it. But that's just my opinion.


38 posted on 01/25/2006 12:43:03 PM PST by petitfour
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: randomnumber
Amendment 4 - Search and seizure

Which would apply if the perpetrator owned the computer.

If the FBI asked by boss to inspect my computer at work, he could say yes without violating my 4th amendment rights.

Since they are the library's computers, which are in effect the government's computers, they can and should agree.

39 posted on 01/25/2006 12:44:25 PM PST by dinasour (Pajamahadeen)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: gidget7
Now that is what the separation of church and state was meant to prevent.
40 posted on 01/25/2006 12:45:41 PM PST by VegasCowboy ("...he wore his gun outside his pants, for all the honest world to feel.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: petitfour

I could be wrong, but I have always assumed that the records of public libraries are a matter of public record.


41 posted on 01/25/2006 12:47:29 PM PST by Skooz (Modesty hides my thighs in her wings)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: swarthyguy

You barely escaped this time


42 posted on 01/25/2006 12:49:48 PM PST by txhurl (Gingrich/North '08)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Semper Paratus

It was probably a set up by them...they knew the library wasn't going to blow...so they exercised what they think is their right...to get back at W.


43 posted on 01/25/2006 12:50:45 PM PST by shield (The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instructions.Pr 1:7)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: TaxRelief
If someone had died, because of their nonsense...

Agreed,but that woudn't matter in Newton.To give you an idea of what I'm saying,keep in mind that Newton is heavily Jewish but the majority of the resident think that Israel is the second most dangerous and oppressive nation on Earth, after the US.

44 posted on 01/25/2006 12:54:56 PM PST by Gay State Conservative
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: dinasour
"...Since they are the library's computers, which are in effect the government's computers, they can and should agree."

An argument can be made that the public owns the computers and not the government.

Given the way most libraries are funded, I'd have to challenge that statement.

45 posted on 01/25/2006 12:55:13 PM PST by randomnumber (I have no excuse for my behavior; do you?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: danno3150
Newton officials are calling their refusal to allow FBI agents access to library computers without a warrant during a terrorist threat last week “their finest hour.”

I lived/worked in Newton for 4 years. The people there, on the whole, don't have 2 brain cells to rub together.
46 posted on 01/25/2006 12:56:35 PM PST by Antoninus (The only reason you're alive today is because your parents were pro-life.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mysterio

Public library and the folks wanting access to the computers were citizens. Anyone sitting at one of the computers would have had the same basic access to anything that they would have...


47 posted on 01/25/2006 12:57:48 PM PST by trebb ("I am the way... no one comes to the Father, but by me..." - Jesus in John 14:6 (RSV))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: danno3150
Nancy Murray, director of education for the Boston branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, said she was surprised the FBI asked for information without a warrant. “They couldn’t possibly expect to get (the computer) without a warrant,” she said. “Good for the library for knowing more about warrants than the police.”

Why would the FBI not possibly expect to get the computer without a warrant? Warrants are only required when the party you want information or materials from does not wish to give it up voluntarily. Why wouldn't the library wish to do so?

It has nothing to do with the FBI not knowing more about warrants than the library does. It has to do with the FBI thinking, incorrectly in this case, that the library might understand that when lives are possibly at stake, they should expect some cooperation from a public official.

If I lived in Newton, I'd move that the librarian be fined or fired.

48 posted on 01/25/2006 12:57:57 PM PST by RonF
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: danno3150
"Shoot the hostage librarian."


49 posted on 01/25/2006 12:59:35 PM PST by Stultis (I don't worry about the war turning into "Vietnam" in Iraq; I worry about it doing so in Congress.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mvpel

"It's a judge's call to define probable cause, not a librarian's - that's why law enforcement officials are required to secure a warrant before conducting searches."

Couldn't this fall under the category of a hot pursuit? It reads like a terror threat was recieved, immediately traced to a specific location, and when the cops arrived, a bureaucrat says not so fast.

If someone is shot on the street in front of the library, and the perp is seen to run inside, do the police need a warrant to pursue?


50 posted on 01/25/2006 1:00:50 PM PST by Jim Verdolini (We had it all, but the RINOs stalked the land and everything they touched was as dung and ashes!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-143 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson