Little red lie?

The other night when Sean Kinsell was visiting, I read this story about Homeland Security agents showing up at the home of a student and intimidating him for checking out Chairman Mao's ridiculous (and omnipresent) "Little Red Book," and my immediate reaction was "I don't believe this!"

It's just too hokey. I don't think the government would hire agents that stupid.

I started a post and forgot all about it. I've had a bad cold and haven't blogged much the last few days, and it seemed so idiotic that I didn't think it would be taken seriously. But alas! The Internet lefties are eating it up as proof of President Bush's Gestapo tactics.

Anyway, I'm delighted to see that Sean Hackbarth has been all over this, and he's determined that it's almost certainly a fraud:

Looking at DHS's website I'm not sure what agency would have visited him. Maybe it was the Secret Service. But this sounds like something the FBI would do, not someone from DHS. The student wishes to remain anonymous so we have no details from him. No word also from DHS. Only two professors conveyed the story, one, of which, Dr. Brian Glyn Williams stands by the story he was told. In fact, he only mentioned the story to the reporter as a comment on the NSA spying story. In an e-mail he wrote, "I cited this incident as an example of the White
House policies' very real applications and how they trickle down to the university level." This incident supposedly happened in October, and only now did the professor tell someone.

Two glaring factual errors in the original story include the university has no record of the book coming into their library, and the library doesn't require a student's Social Security for an inter-library loan request.

Something is fishy....

Yeah, something certainly is. But that hasn't stopped the big leftie blogs (and countless other sites) from jumping all over an unverified story which is probably a hoax.

My common sense suggested this was utter nonsense, because there were hundreds of millions of Little Red Books distributed and sold all over the world, even as novelties. It's sold at Amazon and Barnes and Noble and it's of historical interest (and possibly of interest as a novelty or nostalgic item) but it doesn't pose one iota of a threat to Homeland Security. If DHS agents actually did spend their time tracking down copies of the Little Red Book, we'd lose the war. I knew this was baloney.

Good work Sean!

ADDITIONAL NOTE: In my attempt to leave no stone unturned, I did find one version of the Little Red Book which might be considered dangerous, and which might even be confiscated at airports!


posted by Eric on 12.20.05 at 06:17 PM


I'm familiar with this story and have to tell you you are dead wrong on this one. Not only is this story NOT a fraud, there is more to it. They actually flushed a copy of the little red book down the student's toilet! I'm afraid that, once this gets out, communists all over the world are going to riot in the name of Marx.

Harkonnendog   ·  December 20, 2005 8:10 PM

Brothers or Toys?

Eric Scheie   ·  December 20, 2005 8:33 PM

They're going to march? COOL! I hope they walk in nice straight lines--makes easier targets.

Grand Stand   ·  December 22, 2005 3:08 AM

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