So much progress in the new year!

Even the Bush administration seems to be backing off its earlier advocacy of torture, but Bush's under-the-table appointee to the board of the United States Institute of Peace, the nutcake Daniel Pipes, rages on. His newest idea is to advocate placing people in internment camps in the United States on the basis of religion.

Of course the idea of placing people of a certain religion in camps is hardly original to Mr Pipes. He was influenced by his political models. But the inspiration he acknowledges is the forced internment of US citizens of Japanese descent during the Second World War. The US government has acknowledged that this internment was illegal, and in 1988 offered an official apology and reparations. Have a look at his interesting effort to call the consensus of policy-makers, historians and the judiciary "revisionist!" (Note to Mr Pipes: do look up "revisionist" in a dictionary).

Mr Pipes does indicate a dim awareness that his ideas are shared by no sane person on the face of the planet, acknowledging that his proposals meet with "near-universal disapproval" and that "polite society shies away" from dangerous lunatics like him. He attributes this to a reflexive tendency "to condemn in advance any use of ethnicity, nationality, race, or religion in formulating domestic security policy," which seems like a roundabout way of admitting to being a violent racist on the far edge of the fringe of the fringe of even his own wacko habitus.

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