Naomi Wolf is an author and essayist whose works have appeared in The New Republic, Wall Street Journal, Glamour, Ms., Esquire, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. She also speaks widely to groups across the country.
Her first book, The Beauty Myth, was an international bestseller. She followed it with Fire With Fire: The New Female Power and How It Will Change The 21st Century; Promiscuities: The Secret Struggle for Womanhood; Misconceptions, critique of pregnancy and birth in America; The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot; and Give me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries.
Wolf is also co-founder of the Board of The Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership, an organization devoted to training young women in ethical leadership for the 21st century. She is a graduate of Yale University and completed her graduate work at New College, Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.
Wolf: Let’s think about the last seven or eight years. You know, if you had told me in 2000 that within 5 years, the United States from the top down would have a policy of torture camps, top down, and that right down the chain of command from [Donald] Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice, from George [W.] Bush, who acknowledged that he is, who acknowledged that he was present while these orders were being given to torture prisoners. And that [right down] that chain of command are military and contractors went along with these illegal orders to torture human beings. [All] of that, that was a handmaid’s tale scenario although that was crazy in America that wouldn’t happen. But if you have told me that we’d have within 6 years a surveillance society in which the White House has basically confirmed and isn’t budging and, you know, Congress isn’t budging from a position that they’re free to listen in on each and everyone of us without a warrant, just as they eavesdrop on the personal phone calls of our brave men and women in Iraq calling home to their loved ones and transcribing them, you know, I would have thought that was surreal or Orwellian in that, that was a crazy scenario we’d never stand for it. So, at this point, should we, you know, look at which way the cards are falling and tried to prevent the worst, I do think that’s wise. When I said that coming police state, you know, we have a police state at this point in the sense that we have paramilitary forces not answerable to people, Blackwater. We now have soldiers on our streets, the First Brigade. We have a surveillance apparatus. And to ordinary citizens, we have harassment of activist which I’m hearing about daily in a terrifying way. Like the stories are getting worse and worse. I met a brave young Iraqi vet who brought with a group of Iraqi veterans their protest to the [gates] of the debate, the presidential debate because they felt like veteran’s issues have not been addressed. And the police rode a horse into the crowd and trampled the face of one of these Iraqi vets. And, you know, I just heard from Nancy [Shamis], the wife of a well known film producer who’s a [IB] activist and she’s on the terrorist list in Maryland. She’s identified as a terrorist because she’s a peace activist, and two nuns who are peace activist, identified as terrorists. And, you know, the Ron Paul Community is under continual surveillance, you know, the secret service surrounded them at the RNC and confiscated their possessions and Amy Goodman was arrested at the RNC and ABC producers were arrested for taking pictures and people’s, you know, film and video was confiscated. I mean, this is what a police, they look like Hello, America.