Arab-Americans Now Fear the Phone
Source: The Boston Globe
Click here for the article from ‘The Boston Globe.’
February 15, 2006
IN AUTHORIZING the National Security Agency to spy on American citizens without a warrant, President Bush violated the law and trampled on our most fundamental liberties.
However, the greatest damage can be seen in the apprehension this controversy has caused within the Arab-American community and the echoing negative effects that continue to reverberate in the Middle East.
Arab-Americans are now afraid to speak with their family members in the Middle East by phone because of the uncertainty of whether the conversations, often in Arabic, will be misunderstood or mistranslated by the NSA.
It is a shame to see the Bush administration defending this program. It is most shameful to learn that American citizens now presume that their phone conversations with their family members in the old country are being recorded by our government.
The American people need to ask how we can pretend to promote democracy in the Middle East when our president has elected to crush it at home.
KAREEM W. SHORA
The writer is the Director of the Legal Department at the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.