This story (from the BBC) has popped up at a very strange time. George W is due to visit Hanoi next week and there is a Congressional vote on trade in the pipeline.

Three US citizens and four Vietnamese have been sentenced to 15 months jail for terrorism, a Hanoi court has ruled.

Taking into account time already served the seven could be freed in a month, when the US citizens face expulsion.

The seven were accused of trying to set up illegal radio transmitters to make anti-communist broadcasts.

It is also interesting that US citizens were all of Vietnamese origin.

In addition the alledged leader of the plot, Nguyen Huu Chanh, is in South Korea and the Vietnamese authorities are trying to have him extradited.

I don’t think modern Vietnam needs radio broadcasts to distribute information. They seem to be a pretty well wired internet country and I doubt they have to resources to create a giant firewall ala China to keep the information out.