In an early morning rally on Election Day 2008, Senator Barack Obama made an appeal to a crowd that was described as “the Facebook generation”. While the speech was certainly peppered with ‘why you should vote for me’ platitudes, one particular statement stands out.
Via CNET (2008):
For one thing, under an Obama presidency, Americans will be able to leave behind the era of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and “wiretaps without warrants,” he said.
(He was referring to the lingering legal fallout over reports that the National Security Agency scooped up Americans’ phone and Internet activities without court orders, ostensibly to monitor terrorist plots, in the years after the September 11 attacks.)
It’s hardly a new stance for Obama, who has made similar statements in previous campaign speeches, but mention of the issue in a stump speech, alongside more frequently discussed topics like Iraq and education, may give some clue to his priorities.
It is a remarkable statement and reference in lieu of more recent revelations that the program allowing government agencies to spy on Americans has not only continued under President Obama, but has expanded exponentially.
The news led Neil Cavuto to refer to it as the Patriot Act on steroids, and caused Mark Levin to surmise, it has “the elements of a police state”.
Senator Diane Feinstein stated she is perfectly content with the massive surveillance programs, however. “It’s called protecting America“, she said.
Protecting Americans from themselves?
How did all that surveillance work out for Americans in Benghazi?
Via CNS News:
The National Security Agency may have been conducting massive surveillance of the Internet through its PRISM program, including surveillance of Facebook–as The Guardian and The Washington Post reported yesterday–but that did not prevent the administration from blaming the Benghazi terrorist attack, which a terrorist group was openly taking credit for on Facebook, on a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Muslim video posted on YouTube.
While the Benghazi attack was still unfolding on the evening of Sept. 11, 2012, Ansar al-Sharia, a Benghazi-based terrorist group with links to al Qaeda, made a posting on Facebook taking responsibility for the attack. Despite Ansar al-Sharia’s Facebook posting, the administration publicly explained the attack as the outgrowth of a spontaneous demonstration against an anti-Muslim video posted on YouTube.
I’m sure the victims of the Fort Hood massacre, the Boston bombing, and the potential victims in Times Square would agree – if this is your idea of keeping Americans safe, it’s time for a new plan.
Heckuva job, Obama.