Progressive Librarians Guild Endorses AHA Resolution on United States Government Practices Inimical to the Values of the Historical Profession

On January 11, 2007, the Progressive Librarians Guild Coordinating Committee approved endorsement of the American Historical Association's (AHA) Resolution, presented by Historians Against the War and approved by the AHA at its 2007 convention. The Progressive Librarian's Guild (PLG), an organization composed of librarians, archivists, teachers, and scholars, stands by the AHA and Historians Against the War in supporting academic freedom and freedom of information, and in condemning "revisionism" of pre-war intelligence and the use of torture.

As such, in line with the AHA statement, PLG urges members to take a public stand as citizens on behalf of the values necessary to the practice of our profession, and to do whatever they can to bring the Iraq war to a speedy conclusion.

The Resolution on United States Government Practices Inimical to the Values of the Historical Profession presented at the 2007 convention of the American Historical Association states:

Whereas the American Historical Association's Professional Standards emphasize the importance of open inquiry to the pursuit of historical knowledge;

And whereas the American Historical Association adopted a resolution in January 2004 re-affirming the principles of free speech, open debate of foreign policy, and open access to government records in furthering the work of the historical profession;

And whereas during the war in Iraq and the so-called war on terror, the current Administration has violated the above-mentioned standards and principles through the following practices:

  • excluding well-recognized foreign scholars;
  • condemning as "revisionism" the search for truth about pre-war intelligence;
  • re-classifying previously unclassified government documents;
  • suspending in certain cases the centuries-old writ of habeas corpus and substituting indefinite administrative detention without specified criminal charges or access to a court of law;
  • using interrogation techniques at Guantanamo, Abu-Ghraib, Bagram, and other locations incompatible with respect for the dignity of all persons required by a civilized society;
  • And whereas this community of scholars concludes that a free society and the unfettered intellectual inquiry essential to the practice of historical research, writing, and teaching are imperiled by the practices described above.

Now, therefore, the Association urges its members through publication of this resolution in Perspectives and other appropriate outlets:

1. To take a public stand as citizens on behalf of the values necessary to the practice of our profession; and

2. To do whatever they can to bring the Iraq war to a speedy conclusion.

----- Progressive Librarians Guild Coordinating Committee, January 11, 2007.

See the following relevant documents: