I sat down with James Clapper, former head of U.S. National Security, to get his views on the current state of America as it relates to domestic spying and intelligence gathering activity. He has recently made headlines by demanding that Edward Snowden, who revealed NSA's illegal domestic and foreign spying activities, be brought back from Russia to the U.S. and hanged.
Clapper told me that Snowden's facing criminal charges when he comes home, forcibly dragged, is a waste of time because he should be "hanged" and not given due process.
"Yes, he exposed wrongdoing among our intelligence gathering community. Indeed he exposed criminality in our activities and I and NSA head General Alexander went before congress and in contempt of them lied about our spying on the American people." said clapper.
"But we can't have people going around acting on the basis of their consciences and exposing the nefarious activities of our National Security Police State. That could create public awareness of the way we operate and the U.S. might no longer be a surveillance police state which is absolutely necessary to fight the bad guys."
Mr. Clapper, in connection with his demand that Snowden be hanged, said that there is ample precedent for such an action. We don't give due process to Americans we kill abroad with our drones, he pointed out. "Why give due process to this traitor when he comes on American Soil? And that goes for all 'whistleblowers' that, like Snowden, who expose the NSA, CIA, FBI for breaking federal privacy laws or our Orwellian data collection programs.
"Hell, hang them all. They're acting against our national core interest and real American values, Said the former head of National Security. "To hell with the rule of law and due process. It's now a question of survival of the fittest," he said.
"Let's get real. "We've abandoned due process and the rule of law ever since 9/11. "Look at Gitmo," he said. Nearly the entire mechanism of federal government became invested in indefinite detention without charges, torture, and the exclusion of captives from civilian courts", he pointed out.
"Indeed, let's get real. Get our head out of the sands. We've had to unchain ourselves from our constitution. Now we've got secret law applied by the secret FISA court that oversees intelligence gathering and spying in the U.S. And when you ban the real law and use a secret law and secret interpretations of law, we're in a whole new ball game."
"But that's o.k. Some say we're on the road to fascism. I don't give a damn if we are. We have to protect ourselves against the terrorists and, in so doing, pay any price," Clapper argued.
"Look, I don't like all of these developments. The U.S. isn't what it used to be at all. But you've got to go all out when you fight the bad guys. Sometimes you have to destroy a nation in order to save it."