Guilty until Proven Innocent

Rights worldwide, not only in the Arab or third world, have been violated by the U.S. as is evident from the surveillance scandal in which it has unceasingly monitored all of humanity and convicted the accused despite their innocence.

The question, or rather, questions that are still being raised include the following: Is it possible to say that in a so-called democratic world the United States has no limits? Will this discovery, which exposed the stripping of state freedoms and human rights, push the world’s peoples to reconsider the history of their relationship with a country that is no longer the only superpower but is eavesdropping on their citizens and others? Do we blame those deceivers or ourselves because we willingly accepted being the victim of “advanced” deception and did not stop to wonder about the fact that this “great” country has behaved this way with its closest allies?

The surveillance scandal, with all its ramifications, has proved earth-shattering. Suffice it to say, it clarified the fact that citizens of the United States are not free and do not exercise lives free from monitoring and control. They are all, without exception, branded as suspects. I admit that I was like other world citizens who were placed under strict control. I believed that the network of American eavesdropping was primarily international and not domestic, focusing on heads of state and other senior politicians in various countries. I was surprised to find this year that the surveillance extends to all nationalities, phones old and new, from East to West and from the jungles of Africa to the forests of China. All words are recorded, examined and analyzed, no matter how trivial or special.

If you add this to the work of satellites orbiting the earth that monitor people’s movements from above, we find that activities and residences are also monitored. Everyone from the potato seller in Cairo to the khat vendor in Sanaa are subject to this kind of meta-censorship. It isn’t too hard now to peep into a house and see what happens there. Such precautions should not be based on curiosity or infringing on personal privacy. But politicians there claim that it is an integral part of protecting the United States, the leader of the free world as it was called in the ‘50s and ‘60s when it led humanity to democracy, freedom of expression and the promotion of human rights. This same superpower claims these actions are “venerable” and that its military bases stationed across three-quarters of the globe have the right to protect themselves at home and most of all abroad.

I hope that the world’s populations are not deluded by the vocabulary the U.S. has diffused, including freedom of expression, human rights, the rights of self-determination and other definitions in the vocabulary of freedom which they have branded upon our minds. This vocabulary, in essence, expresses the urgent need for change and still connotes a sense of hope and goodness for humans now and in the future. If the country which advocated and allegedly adopted them has now abandoned and distorted them with their own hands and sees all people as guilty until proven innocent, this does not diminish the importance of the vocabulary of freedom or people’s need for these concepts. This sufficiently proves that [the U.S.] lacks human justice and oppresses and disregards human dignity and freedoms.

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