Jackboots on Broadway?

Defense insider calls for the abridging of civil rights

In the future, the federal government may have to "abridge individual rights" and launch security measures "not in accordance with our values and traditions," according to retired general Patrick M. Hughes, the top intelligence official at the Department of Homeland Security.

"What I'm about to say is very arrogant to a fault," continued Hughes, a former chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency, in previously unreported remarks at a March 2003 Harvard University forum, "Future Conditions: The Character and Conduct of War, 2010 and 2020." The transcript of the meeting was unearthed and reported in an article by Justin Rood in CQ Homeland Security.

"Set aside what the mass of people think. Some things are so bad for them that you cannot allow them to have them. One of them is war in the context of terrorism in the United States," Hughes said. "Therefore, we have to abridge individual rights, change the societal conditions, and act in ways that heretofore were not in accordance with our values and traditions, like giving a police officer or security official the right to search you without a judicial finding of probable cause."

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    Additional reporting: David Botti, Nicole Duarte, and Laurie Anne Agnese

     
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