COLE ON CAT….Feeling sorry for Cat Stevens? Juan Cole suggests you not bother:

To steal from Bill Maher:

NEW RULES: If you advocate the execution of novelists for writing novels, you and John Ashcroft deserve one another.

It hardly needs saying that DHS’s statement that they are “extremely confident” about the information that prompted them to reroute the flight doesn’t butter much toast these days. Still, Prof. Cole is probably right: perhaps there are bigger and better things to worry about at the moment.

UPDATE: Chris Bertram makes the obvious (and appropriate) rejoinder. But it’s worth noting that DHS’s actions might have been perfectly appropriate. We don’t know (and probably never will). If it were clear that this was completely capricious, I wouldn’t defend it, but given the uncertainty, I’m just not sure the former Cat Stevens is worth my time crying over.

Of course, a better analogy wouldn’t have been a hypothetical case with Eric Hobsbawm, it would have been the very real case of barring Charlie Chaplin from re-entering the United States in 1952 because of his left-wing views.