Tuesday, December 24, 2002

China announces that a new front has opened in the War on Terrorism. They're holding a New York-based dissident, Wang Bingzhang, who was kidnapped in July on a trip to Vietnam, in connection with espionage and terrorist activities --- more specifically, posting essays related to the Taiwan question on the Internet. Evidently, they have adopted the Western dictum that the pen is mightier than the truck bomb.

But then again, some governments in the West seem to have the same basic idea. More precisely, the American West. Like Denver, Colorado, where police officially classified two college professors who run a soup kitchen, troubled high school students, a nun who runs schools on desolate Indian reservations, and the Nobel prize-winning American Friends Service Committee, as "criminal extremists".

That may help explain, to people who can't figure out what's wrong with John Poindexter's "Total Information Awareness" scheme to spy on the public, exactly what the rest of us are frightened of. But hey, Poindexter's outfit is showing real signs of growing into the maturity they'd need to avoid the temptations the system would offer towards this sort of... well, shall we say threat enhancement or just plain sloppiness? The cheesy eye-in-the-pyramid logo which they cribbed off a cheap paperback edition of Illuminatus! is actually gone from their web site, along with other material. So now, nobody can see anything there that's worth worrying about...


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