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Noam Chomsky book banned from Guantánamo library

Noam Chomsky book banned from Guantánamo library

October 14, 2009

From a Miami Herald article by Carol Rosenberg:

Professor Noam Chomsky may be among America’s most enduring anti-war activists. But the leftist intellectual’s anthology of post 9/11 commentary is taboo at Guantanamo’s prison camp library, which offers books and videos on Harry Potter, World Cup soccer and Islam.

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 16,000 items.

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 said by e-mail after learning of the decision. “Of some 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.”

The full article

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