Religious Group Demands NSA Documents in Ethnic-Slur Probe

A new FOIA request is just the latest fallout of the Snowden leaks.

The National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland, as seen from the air, January 29, 2010. 
National Journal
Dustin Volz
July 17, 2014, 12:21 p.m.

A Sikh or­gan­iz­a­tion is ask­ing in­tel­li­gence au­thor­it­ies to dis­close in­tern­al com­mu­nic­a­tions that con­tain eth­nic epi­thets.

The Sikh Co­ali­tion on Thursday filed a Free­dom of In­form­a­tion Act re­quest to the Na­tion­al Se­cur­ity Agency and the FBI for em­ploy­ee emails sent from Sept. 11, 2001, un­til the present that con­tain the slurs “ra­g­head” or “tow­el­head.”

The move is in re­sponse to a new Ed­ward Snowden leak pub­lished last week that re­vealed the NSA and the FBI have spied on the emails of five high-pro­file Muslim-Amer­ic­ans who are not pub­licly known to be guilty of any ter­ror­ist activ­ity. In the same leak, one dis­closed file from 2005 shows an uniden­ti­fied tar­get’s name be­ing logged in a spread­sheet as “Mo­hammed Ra­g­head.”

“As Amer­ic­ans, we ex­pect law-en­force­ment of­fi­cials to be­have like adults,” said Am­ardeep Singh, pro­gram dir­ect­or of the Sikh Co­ali­tion, in a state­ment. “The Sikh Co­ali­tion will not tol­er­ate the use of ra­cial or re­li­gious slurs by people who are sup­posed to pro­tect us.”

Shortly after the re­port’s pub­lic­a­tion, a White House spokes­wo­man said it had asked James Clap­per, the dir­ect­or of na­tion­al in­tel­li­gence, to “un­der­take an as­sess­ment of in­tel­li­gence com­munity policies, train­ing stand­ards, or dir­ect­ives that pro­mote di­versity and tol­er­ance, and as ne­ces­sary, make any re­com­mend­a­tions changes or ad­di­tion­al re­forms.”

The White House and the Of­fice of the Dir­ect­or of Na­tion­al In­tel­li­gence did not im­me­di­ately re­spond Thursday to a re­quest for a status up­date on the in­tern­al re­view.

The Sikh Co­ali­tion is a non­profit or­gan­iz­a­tion formed shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, ter­ror­ist at­tacks.

Last week, Jason Leo­pold, a well-known and pro­lif­ic open-re­cords re­port­er, also filed a re­quest with the FBI ask­ing for sim­il­ar doc­u­ments.

What We're Following See More »
BIG CHANGE FROM WHEN HE SELF-FINANCED
Trump Enriching His Businesses with Donor Money
9 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Donald Trump "nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign." A campaign spokesman "said the increased office space was needed to accommodate an anticipated increase in employees," but the campaign's paid staff has actually dipped by about 25 since March. The campaign has also paid his golf courses and restaurants about $260,000 since mid-May.

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Variety Looks at How Michelle Obama Has Leveraged Pop Culture
11 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

“My view is, first you get them to laugh, then you get them to listen," says Michelle Obama in a new profile in Variety. "So I’m always game for a good joke, and I’m not so formal in this role. There’s very little that we can’t do that people wouldn’t appreciate.” According to writer Ted Johnson, Mrs. Obama has leveraged the power of pop culture far beyond her predecessors. "Where are the people?" she asks. "Well, they’re not reading the op-ed pieces in the major newspapers. They’re not watching Sunday morning news talk shows. They’re doing what most people are doing: They are watching TV.”

Source:
QUESTIONS OVER IMMIGRATION POLICY
Trump Cancels Rallies
18 hours ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump probably isn't taking seriously John Oliver's suggestion that he quit the race. But he has canceled or rescheduled rallies amid questions over his stance on immigration. Trump rescheduled a speech on the topic that he was set to give later this week. Plus, he's also nixed planned rallies in Oregon and Las Vegas this month.

Source:
‘STRATEGY AND MESSAGING’
Sean Hannity Is Also Advising Trump
1 days ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump's Fox News brain trust keeps growing. After it was revealed that former Fox chief Roger Ailes is informally advising Trump on debate preparation, host Sean Hannity admitted over the weekend that he's also advising Trump on "strategy and messaging." He told the New York Times: “I’m not hiding the fact that I want Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States. I never claimed to be a journalist.”

Source:
THE SHAKE-UP CONTINUES
RNC’s Spicer to Work from Trump HQ
1 days ago
THE LATEST

"Donald Trump's campaign and the Republican party will coordinate more closely going forward, with the GOP's top communicator and chief strategist Sean Spicer increasingly working out of Trump campaign headquarters, the campaign confirmed Sunday."

Source:
×