Who Could Have Predicted?

A friend of mine gave me a “Yes We Did” sticker the day after Obama won. I threw it away. I’m glad I did. No politician deserves unquestioning adoration. In fact, I’d argue that they all deserve relentless scrutiny and skepticism about their every utterance, especially if you voted for them.

The below, from yesterday’s remarkable Guardian exclusive, illustrates why I’ve opposed Obama’s civil rights violations just as much as Bush’s. This is a disgusting abuse of power, and exactly what civil libertarians have been railing against for 12 years.

It was totalitarian excess when Bush did it, and still is when Obama does it. So far, few politicians have even engaged the debate about these matters, lest they get labelled “soft on terrorism.” Who’s going to represent us when things like this are now the default?:

The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America’s largest telecomsproviders, under a top secret court order issued in April.

The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an “ongoing, daily basis” to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.

The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.

Under the Bush administration, officials in security agencies had disclosed to reporters the large-scale collection of call records data by the NSA, but this is the first time significant and top-secret documents have revealed the continuation of the practice on a massive scale under President Obama.

James Heflin

Author: James Heflin

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