The U.S. president, Barack H. Obama, asks us to trust our leaders.
“In the abstract, you can complain about Big Brother and how this is a potential program run amok,” Obama said, without discussing details. “But when you actually look at the details, I think we’ve struck the right balance.”
He’s a super-hawk, but he’s not a hypocrite.
Yes, Obama vaguely promised to ensure civil liberties and prevent executive overreach, but he also openly praised the FISA court system—the secret court system that gives the government the power to collect data on millions of people without them knowing—as an exemplar of oversight. He voted for the Patriot Act reauthorization in 2005 and the FISA Amendments Act in 2008, which he originally opposed. So his stance on surveillance may have made him a hypocrite back in 2008, but that statute of limitations expired long ago.
But, me worry? Dan Drezner says these programs are legal, politically legitimate, and bipartisan. A former NSA deputy training director, Cedric Leighton, asks us to trust NSA. Well then, I can return to watching porn without a VPN now.