Privacy, the surveillance state and Obama

Check out today’s op-ed by Maureen Dowd. Excellent.


When James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, was asked during a Congressional hearing in March whether the N.S.A. was collecting any information on “millions or hundreds of millions of Americans,” Clapper replied “No, sir,” adding, “not wittingly.” That denial undermines our faith in the forthrightness of those scooping up every little bit of our lives to feed into government computers.

The president calls the vast eavesdropping apparatus “modest encroachments on privacy.”

Back in 2007, Obama said he would not want to run an administration that was “Bush-Cheney lite.” He doesn’t have to worry. With prisoners denied due process at Gitmo starving themselves, with the C.I.A. not always aware who it’s killing with drones, with an overzealous approach to leaks, and with the government’s secret domestic spy business swelling, there’s nothing lite about it.