Osama Ben Franklin?

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From the "you've got to be s#!*ing me" files:

The FBI is warning police nationwide to be alert for people carrying almanacs, cautioning that the popular reference books covering everything from abbreviations to weather trends could be used for terrorist planning.

In a bulletin sent Christmas Eve to about 18,000 police organizations, the FBI said terrorists may use almanacs "to assist with target selection and pre-operational planning."

It urged officers to watch during searches, traffic stops and other investigations for anyone carrying almanacs, especially if the books are annotated in suspicious ways.

Hat tip: Arthur Silber.

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  1. Wow, this is a hot item what with Reason editors trying to out-scoop each other. Sanchez wins for best title but Nick’s inclusion of a horrifying joke is get’s points as well. Charles, sorry, you just didn’t have anything going for you.

  2. I haven’t read the government memo, but surely they are talking about books like the World Almanac and Book of Facts (which has lots of information about cities, buildings, bridges, etc.), not Poor Richard’s Almanac (as your headline intimates) or the Farmer’s Almanac (as editorializing authors portray with their references to weather trends). Maybe this alert will not turn out to be all that helpful, but mocking the idea with references these other unrelated books is an unfair and misleading representation.

  3. Um, Conservative Guy, all the information available in the World Almanac, etc., can be found on-line. Furthermore, terrorists who aren’t chipheads could just photocopy relevant pages from editions kept in libraries. Hell, since they’re evildoers who hate our freedom, they might even just rip the pages they want out of a copy on a newstand shelf. And anyway, so the police pull a guy over for speeding and see an almanac on the passenger seat… what are they supposed to do, arrest him for having an unsecured book in the car?

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