Friday, June 7, 2013

Obama loses credibility over Verizon call data

The media failed in vetting the candidacy of Barack Obama in 08. In the process it banned racism while unleashing every sexist ploy in the book against Hillary Clinton in the primaries and effectively targeting John McCain with ageism in the general election. (You have to ask: why can't guys like David Axelrod understand that bigotry is bigotry, and every version of it is immoral?)

Held up by his campaign as the harbinger of the new politics, Barack Obama appeared to be destined to clear out all corruption and unite Washington. And oh, yes, he would bring complete transparency to our government.

Although the media is still somewhat sluggish in covering the Obama Administration, it has evidently begun to wake up. Sitting here with my Verizon cell phone at hand, you bet I’m annoyed at the latest revelation of the administration’s invasion of my privacy. And yours.

However, I am rather pleased to see the NY Times editorial board has chosen to voice its displeasure:

Within hours of the disclosure that federal authorities routinely collect data on phone calls Americans make, regardless of whether they have any bearing on a counter terrorism investigation, the Obama administration issued the same platitude it has offered every time President Obama has been caught overreaching in the use of his powers: Terrorists are a real menace and you should just trust us to deal with them because we have internal mechanisms (that we are not going to tell you about) to make sure we do not violate your rights.
Those reassurances have never been persuasive — whether on secret warrants to scoop up a news agency’s phone records or secret orders to kill an American suspected of terrorism — especially coming from a president who once promised transparency and accountability. 

The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue. Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive branch will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it. That is one reason we have long argued that the Patriot Act, enacted in the heat of fear after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks by members of Congress who mostly had not even read it, was reckless in its assignment of unnecessary and overbroad surveillance powers. 

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