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Chris Hedges and Bill Binney on NSA Guidelines

Alexander Reed Kelly
Associate Editor
In December 2010, Alex was arrested for civil disobedience outside the White House alongside Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges, Pentagon whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, healthcare activist Margaret Flowers and…
Alexander Reed Kelly

Ahead of Obama’s anticipated announcement of new NSA regulations, the Truthdig columnist and the NSA whistle-blower discuss with The Real News Network’s Paul Jay what the president should tell the American people about the unprecedented domestic spying program he presides over.

“What you’ve done is create an omnipotent police force,” Hedges says. “And Hannah Arendt writes about this in her book ‘Origins of Totalitarianism’ vis-a-vis the stateless people who fled, as she did, Nazi Germany and had no status as citizens, and that the stateless, like those who are captured–primarily, of course, African-American poor people of color in the war of drugs–already experience this omnipotent police force, where there are pretext stops, where their doors can be kicked down, where they have no real legal protection. They may see a public defender. They’re stacked with charges, draconian sentences that see them, for nonviolent crimes–half of the 2.2 million people in our prison system are.

“But the danger is that when you create these omnipotent police forces that have the ability to essentially subvert the traditional rule of law, then as societies break down, whether that’s through climate change, whether that’s through economic deterioration, the reconfiguration of our society into an oligarchic state, where half of the country now lives in poverty or near poverty, when those people become restive, then those omnipotent police forces … immediately expand throughout the society.”

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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