Chomsky book banned from Guantanamo Bay

Correction — Aug 23, 2010
According to the Miami Herald, the title of the book sent to a Guantanamo prisoner was Interventions (a book of newspaper essays about the September 11, 2001 attacks), not 9/11 as stated in the article. Wikinews apologizes for the error.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

File photo of Noam Chomsky from 2005

U.S. military censors blocked a Pentagon lawyer's donation of a book by U.S. dissident intellectual, Noam Chomsky, to an inmate at the U.S military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The Arabic version of the book, 9/11, was donated to the Guantanamo Bay library's collection of over 16,000 items, but rejected with a standard note of unacceptable material for the collection. Activist and intellectual Noam Chomsky responded by saying, "This happens sometimes in totalitarian regimes." Adding, "[o]f 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." The intended recipient of the Arabic version of 9/11 was Ali Hamza al Bahlul, former media secretary for Al Qaeda. Bahlul is serving life in prison for creating a video showing footage of Osama Bin Laden giving a speech followed by images of violent attacks by the U.S. military on Muslims and footage of the aftermath of the USS Cole bombing.

A Navy spokesman for Guantanamo Bay did not comment on the details of why this particular book was denied, but suggested the book was banned to avoid "impact on good order and discipline." The spokesman also said that books that promote “Anti-American, Anti-Semitic, Anti-Western” material or contain themes relating to “military topics”, “excessive graphic violence”, or “sexual dysfunctions" would be banned from the prison library.