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Dr. Justin A. Frank, author of Obama on the Couch, offers some, um, extremely frank comments on the president's May 23 speech; reporter Beau Hodai talks about his detailed report on repression of Occupy.Dr. Frank is a psychiatrist in Washington, DC, and he returns to offer and discuss his views of Obama's speech on drones, presidential authority to kill, and closing Guantanamo. PBC frames the conversation as a call for help--Obama acknowledges that innocent civilians have been killed by his drone strikes, and says he wants to put some limits on his own authority. Dr. Frank sees him struggling to prove to his mother and the father who abandoned them that he is idealistic and tough. Dr. Frank notes Obama's choice of Susan Rice for National Security advisor, representing an agressive response to Republicans. We note that while Obama is inviting a reduction in his power, he is not willing to use that power to close Guantanamo or end the state of perpetual war.
At 41 minutes, we talk with Beau Hodai, who just published a big report, Dissent or Terror, which exposes the expansion of the domestic police state since 9/11 under the Patriot Act and the laws which created the Department of Homeland Security and its regional fusion centers, and the coordination between the FBI, local law enforcement, and the security operations of corporations who were targets of the First Amendment expressions of Occupy. Even before Occupy Wall Street popped up, Phoenix Police, DHS, FBI and corporate security collaborated in monitoring a protest of a meeting of ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) in Phoenix in the summer of 2011. Hodai was a registered guest at the resort where the ALEC meeting was held, and was ejected after an off-duty cop who was working for ALEC identified his name and photo from information provided by local law enforcement.
The emails from the Phoenix police and fusion center personnel repeatedly described Occupy with the potential for terrorism, vandalism and anarchy, despite their peaceful activities. While the Occupy members seemed naive in some respects, local cops and federal operatives were monitoring Facebook and Twitter posts using Patriot Act powers, and sharing that info with banks and other corporate targets. Hodai notes, alarmingly, that surveillance of electronic communications is not limited to the NSA, and that fusion centers and local cops have the tools and legal cover to spy on peaceful protesters. He also describes the insertion of a police informant into the Occupy group, and that the cop made hints of using violence.