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Edward Snowden is “Heroic” Says David Stockman

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David Stockman is no stranger to what he calls the U.S. military-industrial-security complex. He tried to cut--not just trim--the defense budget during his tenure as director of the White House Budget Office under President Reagan but met stiff resistance from the White House as well as the defense establishment (and that was when the defense budget as $350 billion—about 40% less of what it is today).

Now, following revelations about the NSA’s expansive surveillance program of phone calls and emails, Stockman says the U.S. “military-industrial-security complex is a clear and present danger.”

Related: Is NSA Leader Edward Snowden a Hero or a Traitor?

He tells Aaron Task in the accompanying video that Edward Snowden, the former CIA contractor who disclosed the NSA surveillance program, is “heroic” and “has done a great service to alert everybody in this country about the absurd lengths to which all of this has gone, to the degree to which the Constitution itself is imperiled.”

Stockman says he was not aware of the NSA surveillance program, which he sees as an extremely overzealous response to actual security risks.

“In one recent month 93 billion communications were surveilled or looked at in some form or another,” says Stockman. “I think there are a couple of hundred jihadists in the world of maybe a couple of thousand at most.”

Related: Did Obama Just Destroy the Internet?

"The Patriot Act needs to be repealed. The national security apparatus needs to be dramatically shrunk. We need to get back to the idea that if you’re going to interfere in private communications you need a warrant with specific reasons."

Many in Washington like Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN) defend the NSA program. Coats writes in today's Wall Street Journal op-ed that 9/11 may well have been prevented if the NSA program existed then. But Stockman says, “If we had a dictatorship… [or] a police state maybe you could have prevented a lot of things from happening, but that’s not what you do in a democracy.”

Now that you know what Stockman thinks about Washington politicians, watch the accompanying video to learn what he thinks about Booz Allen and other corporate members of the so-called military-industrial-security complex.

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