"Presidents by their nature like to have power because they feel they need it to keep the country safe. Obama is no exception to this rule."

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Yale University law professor Jack Balkin has some wise words for liberals in the wake of the latest revelations about the Bush Administration's domestic wiretapping program:

The mere fact that Obama is now in the White House is not a justification for rejoicing or for thinking that we have dodged a bullet and forestalled a threat to our civil liberties. Presidents by their nature like to have power because they feel they need it to keep the country safe. Obama is no exception to this rule. The U.S. Congress, frightened and manipulated by George Bush, Dick Cheney and conservative demagogues, gave their blessing to lots of new surveillance powers with only vague limits. Whether those powers will be used well or badly will depend on Congressional oversight and executive branch implementation. That is where we should be focusing our attention now. If we do not use the release of this report to focus attention on these matters—the implementation of this powerful and important new surveillance statute—it will have been a lost opportunity.

The Obama Administration is continuing a long term bipartisan project of constructing our National Surveillance State. If we don't pay attention to how that state is being constructed, and what checks and balances are built into its contours, we will have no one to blame but ourselves.

Whole thing here. Reason on wiretapping here.

NEXT: Robert Samuelson: "national government is on the verge of a permanent expansion"

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  1. Sorry, but it seems to me the only thing Obama bin Lyin is good at is 1). Giving speeches and 2). taking his egg head family on whirlwind world sight seeing tours at Main Street Americas expense!

    RT
    http://www.privacy.cz.tc

  2. The U.S. Congress, frightened and manipulated by George Bush, Dick Cheney and conservative demagogues…

    Oh, give me a fucking break. Maybe they would have known if a few of them had, you know, bothered to read PATRIOT before passing it.

  3. Presidents by their nature like to have power because they feel they need it to keep the country safe. Obama is no exception to this rule.

    FIFY, Jack. Presidents accumulate and exercise all sorts of power that has nothing to do with national security, so the “keep the country safe” explanation is just peddling one of their pretexts for doing so.

  4. Presidents by their nature like to have power because they feel they need it to keep the country safe. Obama is no exception to this rule.

    Hat tip to Pete Townsend.

  5. Everywhere you turn, the talking heads and insiders are saying, “We can’t focus on the past. Let’s just look forward.”

    If government officials are continually assured they are above the law, and may do any fucking thing they please, and be exempt from consequences, just try and guess what they will do.

  6. Presidents by their nature like to have power because they feel they need it to keep the country safe they are power-mad demagogues who entered politics primarily to attain power over other human beings in the first place, and those who reach the presidential level have demonstrated a willingness to withstand any humiliation and to resort to any tactic necessary to achieve that level of power, due to the inherently corrupting nature of democracy.

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