clock menu more-arrow no yes

Someone at the NSA thought "Mohammad Raghead" was an OK way to refer to Muslims

Jim Rice/Fairfax Media

The latest Glenn Greenwald scoop is about NSA surveillance of 5 prominent Muslim Americans who don't appear to have done anything to warrant this kind of surveillance. It's a thought-provoking piece and I encourage you to read the whole thing.

But the most inflammatory revelation in the piece is a 2005 training document that explains how to "properly format internal memos to justify FISA surveillance." It shows an example form that uses "Mohammed Raghead" as the name of a fictitious terrorism suspect.

Raghead1

Of course, this document might have been the work of one insensitive NSA employee, and doesn't necessarily represent the views of the NSA as a whole. Still, it's an important reminder that the NSA is run by people, and people often have prejudices. This is one reason it's important to have robust judicial oversight before the NSA is allowed to spy on Americans.