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December 15, 2002

Why is this Illegal?

I heard this morning on Weekend Edition Sunday that domestic distribution of government publications intended for foreign audiences is illegal. Is this true? And if so, what could possibly be the reason for this? The only logic for such a law that I can think of is that our government wants to be able to lie to the rest of the world without worrying that its own citizens will know about it or object to it. If that's the logic, the law seems pretty indefensible.

Anyway, in this case the question may be moot. The NPR piece was about a book called Writers On America and it seems to be all online. Of course, without being able to see the printed copy (which U.S. embassies are distributing around the world), I guess we just have to trust that our government is giving us the same text it's giving to the rest of the world.

Posted December 15, 2002 12:30 PM | law school

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