The chief librarian at the University of the Incarnate Word, a Roman Catholic institution in San Antonio, has canceled the library’s subscription to The New York Times to protest its decision to publish an article last week on the Bush administration’s use of an international banking database to track terrorists, a practice that also exposed the financial transactions of thousands of Americans unconnected to terrorist groups.
In an e-mail message to his staff on Wednesday, the university’s dean of library services, Mendell D. Morgan Jr., wrote that the Times article bordered on “treason” because the article disclosed information that would help terrorists and other enemies of the United States, according to today’s Express-News, a newspaper in San Antonio. He said canceling the subscription was a concrete way to protest the decision to publish the article, although he did not say if he would take similar action against the Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal, which printed similar articles.
Some members of the library staff complained that Mr. Morgan was doing the opposite of what librarians should do, by censoring materials based on his personal views.
For its part, the university issued a statement saying that Mr. Morgan had the authority to spike the subscription. The university also said that it “is supportive of the First Amendment, a free press, and of the presentation of diverse points of view.”