Today, Common Sense comes to you courtesy of a fellow American, who wrote the following letter to The Washington Post : “American citizens are willing to sacrifice civil liberties in the fight against terrorism, but which Americans are doing the sacrificing?
“Since Sept. 11 the FBI has interviewed me at work and at home because my name is similar, not to that of one of the hijackers, but to an individual arrested with suspected links to the terrorists. The FBI has contacted my broker, my neighbors and my friends to learn more about me. I was purchasing an apartment, but . . . at closing I was informed [that] my bank accounts were frozen. Only an angry settlement attorney was able to unfreeze the funds.
“A month passed . . . Then I found out again that I did not have access to transfer funds from my accounts without government approval. “I am a federal employee. I have not been charged with a crime. I do not support terrorism, and I was willing to help the law enforcement agencies. . . . But as time goes by and I have to get ‘clearance’ every time I want to make a bank transfer, I feel victimized. Every time I travel and receive the extra security checks because of my name it makes me trust my government less. What scares me even more is that I am an American citizen, and that is why I am not in jail. If I were not a citizen, I could be one of the hundreds of detainees . . . only because . . . my name is Ali Ayub and not Joe Smith.”
Something to think about.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.