Monday, December 19, 2005

The Little Red Herring

I have a hard time believing this story is true. But if it is, I want to know why the government is wasting time and money on this sort of thing.
NEW BEDFORD -- A senior at UMass Dartmouth was visited by federal agents two months ago, after he requested a copy of Mao Tse-Tung's tome on Communism called "The Little Red Book."

Two history professors at UMass Dartmouth, Brian Glyn Williams and Robert Pontbriand, said the student told them he requested the book through the UMass Dartmouth library's interlibrary loan program.

The student, who was completing a research paper on Communism for Professor Pontbriand's class on fascism and totalitarianism, filled out a form for the request, leaving his name, address, phone number and Social Security number. He was later visited at his parents' home in New Bedford by two agents of the Department of Homeland Security, the professors said.

The professors said the student was told by the agents that the book is on a "watch list," and that his background, which included significant time abroad, triggered them to investigate the student further.
Just how old is this “watch list” and what are they watching for? Maoism is a threat to the U.S.? Mao doesn’t even have much credibility in China anymore.

I have confession to make. I have a copy of Mao’s Little Red Book. I’ve had it for 30 years now. I got it from Radio Peking when I wrote and requested one as a teenager. I wasn’t a Maoist, I just thought it would be cool to have one of the most famous (infamous?) publications in the world straight from the country of its origin. So, DHS, you probably know how to get in touch with me if you’d like to discuss the matter.


Anonymous said...

Gee thanks Dave!

Your little confession just made me, by implication, a "fellow traveller".

I swear G-Man I didn't know of this secret little red book of which David speaks.

And if I did, I'd have burned it!

Yes! That's what I'd have done, and any other books which Hoover, or Ashcroft, or Bush wants burned.

I'd burn em all!

Please just let me alone, and I'll testify against David. I'll provide any names that you want.


A True American.

Dave said...

Hey, Pal-o-mine (or shall I just call you "Red"), I'll flip on you in a heartbeat.

John McAdams said...

There is plenty of reason to doubt that this story is in fact true.

Apparently Bogus: Homeland Security Visited Student Who Ordered Mao’s “Little Red Book”