Ted Kennedy — or, to be more accurate, Ted Kennedy’s office — has an op-ed piece in the Globe today about the Bush administration’s war on civil liberties. It includes this:
Just this past week there were public reports that a college student in Massachusetts had two government agents show up at his house because he had gone to the library and asked for the official Chinese version of Mao Tse-tung’s Communist Manifesto. Following his professor’s instructions to use original source material, this young man discovered that he, too, was on the government’s watch list.
Think of the chilling effect on free speech and academic freedom when a government agent shows up at your home — after you request a book from the library.
Leaving aside my apparent misapprehension that “The Communist Manifesto” was written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (or maybe I’m right), there is a slight problem: the story about the college student appears to be an urban legend. Gary McGath has details here, noting that a variant of the story recently popped up in California. (Via Universal Hub.)