"No one is suggesting that this all began under Obama. Nixon had his
dirty tricks, Teddy Kennedy was an enthusiast for wiretapping mobsters,
and George W Bush’s administration created most of the apparatus
currently being exploited by Obama’s. But we should reserve special
anger for Big Barack for the following reasons:
1. He was for surveillance before he was against it.
Obama opposed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act during the 2008
primaries when he was trying to look all civil libertarian. Once he had the nomination in the bag, he was suddenly for it.
2. He’s a liberal and liberals aren’t supposed to do this sort of thing. That’s presumably why the New York Times – the New York Times! – has produced such a hurt-sounding op-ed stating that he’s “lost all credibility” on civil liberties.
3. Obama has broadened the scope of the Bush plan.
Take phone record surveillance. Bush used it to unearth phone calls
overseas with the specific goal of tackling terrorism – and when his
misdeeds were exposed he created a new programme with judicial oversight
to appease liberals. By
contrast, Obama’s administration has been monitoring all Verizon
domestic calls with an indiscrimination that is an abuse even of the
authoritarian Patriot Act.
Finally, Michelle Malkin raises a very good question.
On the one hand, Obama recently declared that the War on Terror was
basically over. On the other hand, he has stepped up efforts to carry
out domestic surveillance. So, why the contradiction? Malkin concludes
that while it’s possible that the NSA has a counter-terrorism motive,
its moral cause is undermined by the attacks on political enemies and
the crazy scope of the snooping. Big government likes power – and it