George Takei is hardly the only American concerned about the NSA’s massive surveillance programs. But unlike most people, his fears are rooted in the memory of the government persecution he suffered firsthand in a Japanese internment camp.
“Due process is a pillar of our American justice system,” the Star Trek star told Daily Intelligencer last night at the Eighth Annual Stella by Starlight Benefit Gala. “We were rounded up simply because we happened to look like the people who bombed Pearl Harbor. And we were put in prison camps with barbed wire and machine guns pointed at us. It was a horrific violation of our Constitution.”
Because of that experience, Takei is particularly wary of the government’s powers being abused. “We know where this can go,” he said. “We have to be ever vigilant against overstepping of the fundamental ideals of our democracy.”
Takei understands that President Obama “is a person who has to deal with a lot of issues.” But on the NSA spying programs, he says, “I don’t agree.”