Martha defends “enemy” writers

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Here is how The Delphian Adelphi University’s student magazine began its report on Professor Martha Cooley’s talk about the banning of Axis of Evil, collection of short stories poems and articles written by writers who come from countries such as Iraq, Iran, and North Korea, because it is considered enemy propaganda by the US government under the Patriot Act. 

Adelphi was given a glimpse of what our government may call propaganda on February 7th, 2007. In “Axis of Evil,” Professor Martha Cooley of the English Department and Professor Lawrence Sullivan of the Political Science Department spoke on the issue of the systematic breach of reader privacy, and free expression by the U.S. government under the guise of the Patriot Act.           

The Patriot Act states that all material that might aid and abet terrorist interest and goals is in violation of this act.  The bill has expanded the power of U.S authorities to use surveillance, unwarranted search and arrests, banning and censorship to detect and fight terrorism.  One of the tools Congress and the president have used to detect and fight terrorism is the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). According to OFAC’s website, they “administer and enforce economic and trade sanctions based on U.S. foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, and those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.” In addition, they censor and ban information/books that they believe aid terrorists. ……….. 

Professor Cooley, who is a long-standing and treasured friend, has, with good reason, felt ashamed of what the present government is doing in the name of patriotiam. She can be counted as one of those decent Americans who think that Bush and his cronies have long ago stepped over the mark, and in doing so have managed to make the world not one whit safer than it was before they began their meddling .

It think its fair to say that she believes that in going about things the way he has, Bush has probably made the world a lot less safe than it was.  Interestingly, when asked how other nations think of the US she quoted the first four lines of a poem by Cuban poet Raúl RiveroIt has been translated as I Don’t Want Anyone Coming around to Save Me. 

I don’t want anyone coming around to save me

So, whoever is sending me those nice thoughts,

those smug little messages,

-take it elsewhere. 

The Delphian reporter attempts to get Professor Cooley to expand on that, but I would have thought it was self-explanatory. 

Corrections: The Delphian gives the Words Without Borders link as www.wordswithoutborders.com.

This should read www.wordswithoutborders.org/

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