Thursday, July 10, 2014

Greenwald: NSA Targets Five American Muslim Leaders For Surveillance, Apparently Because They Are Muslim

Via Kevin Gosztola at FDL's The Dissenter, we have Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain at The Intercept revealing yet more NSA activity in violation of the First Amendment's freedom of religion guarantee. Here's Gosztola's summary:

Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain of The Intercept have published a much-anticipated story revealing five prominent Muslim-Americans the National Security Agency and FBI spied upon. The surveillance, which primarily appears to have involved monitoring their emails, was conducted under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

The five individuals are: Faisal Gill, a former member of President George W. Bush’s administration and a Republican Party operative; Asim Ghafoor, a public relations consultant, lobbyist, lawyer and advocate for the rights of American Muslims; Agha Saeed, a professor who has mobilized American Muslims to become involved in the American political process; Hooshang Amirahmadi, founder and president of the American Iranian Council, who has done considerable work on American policy toward Iran; and Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which is the largest Muslim civil rights organization in America.

The national legal advocacy organization, Muslim Advocates, reacted, “This report confirms the worst fears of American Muslims: the federal government has targeted Americans, even those who have served their country in the military and government, simply because of their faith or religious heritage.  The report clearly documents how biased training by the FBI leads to biased surveillance.”

Oh, and Gosztola notes this bit of raw, offensive incivility:
On a visceral level, The Intercept included a section from July 2005 instructions on how to format internal memos “justifying surveillance.” The NSA did not use “John Doe” in the place where the name is supposed to be. They used “Mohammed Raghead” instead.
And this from Greenwald and Hussain:
“I just don’t know why,” says Gill, whose AOL and Yahoo! email accounts were monitored while he was a Republican candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates. “I’ve done everything in my life to be patriotic. I served in the Navy, served in the government, was active in my community—I’ve done everything that a good citizen, in my opinion, should do.”
Please read both articles. Apparently, in today's America, being both a Muslim and a civil liberties activist are enough in combination to ensure you will be spied upon by the most invasive arm of your government. If the Hobby Lobby case wasn't enough to signal to you the death of the First Amendment's establishment clause, this revelation should finish the job. If you're not Christian, as I am not, you have a choice: keep a low profile... or expect your government to spy on you. Once again, Thomas Jefferson turns in his grave...


  1. CIA, Senate and a Constitutional Crisis Resolved (not in favor of the Constitution)

    L'Enfant de la Haute Mer(

  2. Why haven't you mentionned me?

    L'Enfant de la Haute Mer(

    1. Sorry, Enfant; I only just read the post and wrote a post this morning (Sat. 6/12). I'll append a H/T.



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