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February 28, 2004

Censoring Foreign Books

The Bush administration doesn't want you to read books from nations whose policies we oppose. If they declare such a country an enemy, don't even think you should be able to hear a viewpoint from that country.

In fact, if a publisher in the US edited such a book, they can apparently go to jail for violating trade embargos. The implications are staggering:

Nahid Mozaffari, a scholar and editor specializing in literature from Iran, called the implications staggering. "A story, a poem, an article on history, archaeology, linguistics, engineering, physics, mathematics, or any other area of knowledge cannot be translated, and even if submitted in English, cannot be edited in the U.S.," she said.

"This means that the publication of the PEN Anthology of Contemporary Persian Literature that I have been editing for the last three years," she said, "would constitute aiding and abetting the enemy."...

Tara Bradshaw, a Treasury Department spokeswoman, confirmed the restrictions on manuscripts from Iran in a statement. Banned activities include, she wrote, "collaboration on and editing of the manuscripts, the selection of reviewers, and facilitation of a review resulting in substantive enhancements or alterations to the manuscripts."

An administration permeated by jack-booted thugs from end to end.

Posted by Nathan at February 28, 2004 06:39 AM