Keystone Cops state
: The NY Times’ Nicholas Kristof finds himself detained twice by the authorities in Iran:
The second time was at Tehran’s airport as I was trying to leave, and this time the interrogation was tougher.
“Have you ever been to Israel?” Gulp, yes.
“Are you working for the Israeli government?” Of course not….
After hinting for 90 minutes that I was a spy and a liar, and that they might hold on to me indefinitely, the interrogators finally let me board my plane. Indeed, toward the end, they seemed worried principally by my threat to write about the encounter.
That episode crystallized an impression that had been forming during my trip through Iran: if it were an efficient police state, it might survive. But it’s not. It cracks down episodically, tossing dissidents in prison and occasionally even murdering them (like a Canadian-Iranian journalist last year). But Iran doesn’t control information