Federal idiocy in the news

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water. From AP, July 10:

Supermax prison: Obama’s books objectionable
The federal government’s most secure prison has determined that two books written by President Barack Obama contain material “potentially detrimental to national security” and rejected an inmate’s request to read them.

Ahmed Omar Abu Ali is serving a 30-year sentence at the federal supermax prison in Florence, Colo., for joining al-Qaida and plotting to assassinate then-President George W. Bush. Last year, Abu Ali requested two books written by Obama: Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope.

But prison officials, citing guidance from the FBI, determined that passages in both books contain information that could damage national security. A prison spokeswoman referred questions to the FBI, where a spokeswoman was looking into the matter Thursday evening.

From Fox News, June 17:

Pentagon Exam Calls Protests ‘Low-Level Terrorism,’ Angering Activists
A written exam administered by the Pentagon labels “protests” as a form of “low-level terrorism” — enraging civil liberties advocates and activist groups who say it shows blatant disregard of the First Amendment.

The written exam, given as part of Department of Defense employees’ routine training, includes a multiple-choice question that asks:

“Which of the following is an example of low-level terrorism?”

— Attacking the Pentagon

— IEDs

— Hate crimes against racial groups

— Protests

The correct answer, according to the exam, is “Protests.”

“Its part of a pattern of equating dissent and protest with terrorism,” said Ann Brick, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, which obtained a copy of the question after a Defense Department employee who was taking the test printed the screen on his or her computer terminal.

“It undermines the core constitutional values the Department of Defense is supposed to be defending,” Brick said, referring to the First Amendment right to peaceably assemble.

We thought America had moved on from this kind of nonsense. Maybe not.

See our last posts on the politics of the GWOT.

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