Saturday, December 24, 2005

Correction: Homeland Security library story was a hoax

According to the newspaper which broke the story, last week's report that Homeland Security agents had interviewed a student for interloaning Mao Tse Tung's Little Red Book (blogged about here) was a hoax:

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.

Basically, the student made it all up. But in the present environment in the USA, where the President asserts the right to bug everyone's phone calls, and with a law on the books that allows the government to search library and bookshop records without probable cause, it didn't seem unbelievable either to his professors, or to the journalists who reported it, or to the people who commented on it.

Still, there's a bright side - namely that the story was a hoax, and that it is safe to do research in the USA.


Kudos for posting the correction.
In the future maybe these sort of stories will be greeted by more open skeptisism.

Posted by Genius : 12/24/2005 11:30:00 PM

In the future these stories will be greeted by more open skepticism when we're shown a reason to be skeptical.

Posted by GeorgeDarroch : 12/25/2005 09:38:00 PM

Your credibility is not a reason?

Note I am not saying Bush is a nice guy - only that (like in a court of law) one should only charge him with the crimes he is guilty of.

Posted by Genius : 12/26/2005 06:53:00 AM