An independent government committee has determined that the NSA program targeting American citizens is (surprise!) illegal. Well, most of the committee did — the two Bush appointees dissented.
Their report concluded that the collection of bulk phone records has provided only minimal protections at a huge cost to our freedoms.
Obama’s recent speech on this topic was about as weak as it could be. He spoke of the need to have spies and intelligence gathering (which no one disagrees with) and tried to convince us all that therefore, this was not too great or unusual. Admittedly, he also said the program should be cut back, but he wouldn’t go so far as to question the need for it in the first place.
The Bush people disagreed that the program was illegal (let us not forget that the program started under Bush, with his “Patriot” act) but did agree that it should be stopped nonetheless.
But seriously, the blame falls on all of government — Congress approved the Patriot Act, after all, and for Congress to now claim that they are shocked that the NSA is doing things they gave them permission to do is ridiculous. Obama is also responsible. He voted against the Patriot Act extension as a Senator but expanded it once he became President. (Ironically, he has spoken of the need to cut it back once he’s out of office, with the pretentious idea that he can handle this but some other President couldn’t.)
Let’s hope this leads to the Supreme Court finding the Patriot Act unconstitutional.