Saturday, December 24, 2005

Federal agents' visit over Little Red Book a hoax

Just peachy.
The UMass Dartmouth student who claimed to have been visited by Homeland Security agents over his request for "The Little Red Book" by Mao Zedong has admitted to making up the entire story.
The 22-year-old student tearfully admitted he made the story up to his history professor, Dr. Brian Glyn Williams, and his parents, after being confronted with the inconsistencies in his account.
In the days after its initial reporting on Dec. 17 in The Standard-Times, the story had become an international phenomenon on the Internet. Media outlets from around the world were requesting interviews with the students, and a number of reporters had been asking UMass Dartmouth students and professors for information.
The story's release came at a perfect storm in the news cycle. Only a day before, The New York Times had reported that President Bush had allowed the National Security Agency to conduct wiretaps on international phone calls from the United States without a warrant. The Patriot Act, created in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to allow the government greater authority to monitor for possible terrorism activities, was up for re-authorization in Congress.
There was an increased sense among some Americans that the U.S. government was overstepping its bounds and trampling on civil liberties in order to thwart future attacks of terrorism. The story of a college student being questioned for requesting a 40-year old book on Communism fed right into that atmosphere.

I will cop to swallowing this one hook, line & stinker. There is overwhelming evidence that far worse has been happening, so it took no great logical leap to believe this story as well.

The really bad news is that the same tactics Karl Rove used to kill forever the investigation into Shrub's National Guard record will now be deployed to try to Swiftboat our concerns about runamok domestic spying. The fact that this particular sad sack of a student made his story up does not disprove the larger truth. But the wingnuts will make him this year's Bill Burkett: his fabrication will be all you hear on the subject from the right wing for the next few weeks. And the short attention span theatre that is the American public will probably allow them to get away with it.


Anonymous Vicki said...

My guess is the kid was a Rove plant. Rove thought the best way to disarm the wiretapping and domestic spying issue was to plant this hoax.


5:59 PM  
Blogger <-<--esoder<---<----<----- said...

Interesting theory, Vicki. Maybe we should check out his campus affiliations. Campus Republicans, maybe? This regime is full of people from the cointelpro days.

12:41 AM  

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