A UMass Dartmouth senior doing a research paper on communism was visited by federal agents from Homeland Security after he requested a library copy of Mao Tse-Tung's "The Little Red Book".
Two history professors at UMass Dartmouth, Brian Glyn Williams and Robert Pontbriand, said the student told them he requested the book through the UMass Dartmouth library's interlibrary loan program.
The professors said the student was told by the agents that the book is on a "watch list," and that his background, which included significant time abroad, triggered them to investigate the student further.
"I tell my students to go to the direct source, and so he asked for the official Peking version of the book," Professor Pontbriand said. "Apparently, the Department of Homeland Security is monitoring inter-library loans, because that's what triggered the visit, as I understand it."
Standard Times Article (via Slash Dot)
Thomas Whaples noted that if you look up Mao's book on Amazon, the book is "better together" with Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto! (Amazon has since removed this - see Tom's screen shot).
UPDATE 12/24/05: Skinner pointed out to a The Standard Times follow-up article written by Aaron Nicodemus (the same journalist who broke the story):
The 22-year-old student tearfully admitted he made the story up to his history professor, Dr. Brian Glyn Williams, and his parents, after being confronted with the inconsistencies in his account.
Had the student stuck to his original story, it might never have been proved false.
The agents had returned, the student said, just last night. The two agents, the student, his parents and the student's uncle all signed confidentiality agreements, he claimed, to put an end to the matter.
But when Dr. Williams went to the student's home yesterday and relayed that part of the story to his parents, it was the first time they had heard it. The story began to unravel, and the student, faced with the truth, broke down and cried.
Standard Times Article: Federal Agents' Visit a Hoax.