This should provide good fodder for, well, Noam Chomsky:
U.S. military censors recently
rejected a Pentagon lawyer's
donation of an Arabic-language
copy of the political activist and
linguistic professor's 2007
anthology Interventions for the
library, which has more than
Chomsky, 80, who has been voicing disgust with U.S. foreign policy
since the Vietnam War, reacted with irritation and derision. "This
happens sometimes in totalitarian regimes,'' he told The Miami Herald
by e-mail after learning of the decision.
incidental interest, perhaps, is the nature of the book they banned. It
consists of op-eds written for The New York Times syndicate and
distributed by them. The subversive rot must run very deep.''
Prison camp officials would not say specifically why the book was
rejected but Navy Lt. Cmdr. Brook DeWalt, a Guantánamo spokesman, said
staff reviews "every proposed or recommended library item to assess
force protection issues associated with camp dynamics -- such as impact
on good order and discipline.'' [...]
A rejection slip accompanying the Chomsky book did not explain the
reason but listed categories of restricted literature to include those
espousing "Anti-American, Anti-Semitic, Anti-Western'' ideology,
literature on "military topics,'' and works that portray ``excessive
graphic violence'' and "sexual dysfunctions.''
I'm guessing the censors felt this fell into the "anti-American" category. Chomsky's works have received public endorsements from both Hugo Chavez and Osama bin Laden in recent years. I kind of doubt that Chomsky's is what's going to push Guantanmo inmates over the edge into anti-Americanism though.
This was also very odd:
Other reportedly popular items [in the Guantanamo library] include old World Cup soccer playoff
videos, a French cuisine cookbook published in Beirut and scholarship
on the Koran, prescreened to make sure they contain mainstream
For a time, Richard Nixon's Victory Without War
flew off the shelves, a librarian reported. So much so that alleged
9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed referred to it during a war court
hearing earlier this year.
I would expect Chomsky to be a hit, but Nixon?
Hat tip: Gideon Rachman
JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images