Monday, December 19, 2005

dhs harassing college students

This is outrageous -- the Government sent two agents to pay a call on a Dartmouth student. What was this dastardly radical student up to, you ask? What had he done to bring the unblinking eye of the Department of Homeland Security down on him?

He checked out a book by Chairman Mao.

Specifically, the unnamed senior decided to do a paper on Communism for a class. He decided to do some research into Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong and filed a request with the interlibrary loan people for an unabridged translation of the Chinese version of Mao's book of Communist lore and wisdom, "The Little Red Book."

Well, apparently the Department of Homeland Security is monitoring interlibrary loans too. The request for Mao's book plus the fact that the student (who wishes to remain anonymous) has spent considerable time abroad was just too suspicious to ignore. Two DHS goons showed up at his parents' house to investigate.

You know, I'm beginning to run out of adjectives to describe the sheer scope of stupidity of this regime, or to describe its ready willingness to trample on our privacy and our civil rights. Uh, I thought we were fighting Islamic terrorists? Who the hell cares if a college student gets ambitious and decides to request an unabridged version of Mao's book? How does this protect me in the least? Juan Cole has more on this, too. If you don't read Juan Cole, you should.

Ironically, the student was writing a paper for his class on fascism and totalitarianism. I guess he got a real-life lesson in the dangers of an overweening security state that claims unlimited power in the name of "fighting terrorism."

In any case, I think with this story out, we can expect would-be terrorists or communist plotters to avoid requesting interlibrary loans at the local university.