Thursday, June 15, 2006

An Embarrassment of Bitches

Quite apart from the ridiculous, Stalinist appearance of the FBI detaining a visiting scholar, questioning him about his polticial affiliations and positions and then shipping him back home is the international embarrassment the sordid, grimy little episode delivered to the US. Of course, most Americans have no idea that it even happened:
On the afternoon of Thursday June 8, the How Class Works - 2006 conference at the State University of New York at Stony Brook was disrupted by the action of U.S. government officials who refused to allow Professor John Milios of the National Technical University of Athens to enter this country on his arrival at JFK airport from Greece. Professor Milios was detained at the airport and questioned at length by the FBI concerning his political views and affiliations. He was put on a plane back to Athens eight hours after he arrived, on the claim of technical difficulties with his visa.

Professor Milios came to the United States at the invitation of the How Class Works - 2006 conference program committee to present a paper reflecting his recent research exploring ways in which class position in society shapes people's attitudes. His absence was a serious loss to the intellectual life of the conference and the university. Upon hearing the reason for his absence, conference participants were shocked and angered that a colleague in the international community of scholars had been subject to political interrogation when trying to enter the United States, and then refused entry. This is a wholly unacceptable practice. The action of U.S. officials on June 8 isolated American faculty and students from important research results derived overseas and made it impossible for a senior international expert to interact with his colleagues in the United States.
Professor Milios goes on to explain that this ordeal was the subject of a media swarm in Greece but here in the US, barely a word. The Greek parliament has roundly condemned the US for this unabashed nonsense.

The Bush administration is so afraid of intellectual opposition, or rather intellectualism in general, that mild-mannered sociology professors are being deemed threats to national security. Either that or we can look at it all as Bush's own Cultural Revolution. How much more petty can daily official comportment sink?

1 Comments:

Blogger Musclemouth said...

Wow. Now that is some news. Thanks for posting it.

10:11 AM  

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