NSA

On NSA Spying, Sen. Obama Would've Disagreed Big Time With Pres. Obama

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In response to a Guardian report about the National Security Agency's collection of data on millions of Verizon customers, Pres. Obama told reporters today, "Nobody is listening to your phone calls." In the same speech, Pres. Obama explained that "there are some trade-offs involved" in keeping America safe. "You can't have 100% security, and also then have 100% privacy and zero inconvenience," Obama said.

How does that claim stack up against what Obama's said in the past–both as a president and a senator? We'll show you:

President Obama's inauguration speech in January 2009: 

"As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals."  

Sen. Obama in August 2007: 

"[The Bush] administration puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we provide. I will provide our intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to track and take out the terrorists without undermining our constitution and our freedom."

From Sen. Obama's office in Dec. 2007 regarding his support of a filibuster of FISA:

"Granting such immunity undermines the constitutional protections Americans trust the Congress to protect. Senator Obama supports a filibuster of this bill …"

Sen. Obama in Jan. 2008, after threatening to filibuster FISA, spoke out against "wiretaps without warrants." 

How things seem to have changed since Obama's time in the Senate. Check out Scott Shackford's analysis of the logical fallacies in Obama's recent speech here and Reason.com's coverage of the NSA scandal here

NEXT: NSA's Phone Surveillance Is Illegal, Says EPIC

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  1. At least Obama’s disregard of civil liberties has been consistent. Substitute “Drug War” for “NSA Spying” in the title of the article and you get the same result.

  2. It’s a shame that this Senator Obama never got to be President.

  3. Obama a hypocrite? Why that’s the most shocking news I’ve ever heard!

  4. “On NSA Spying, Sen. Obama Would’ve Disagreed Big Time With Pres. Obama”

    I’m not sure I buy this, but I think this is going to become an Obama apologist talking point: Obama was corrupted by power. I think he always had statist ambitions, but knew to hide them until he got elected. Senator Obama knew the best way to stand out was to criticize Bush. I see no real contradiction between the actions of Senator Obama and those of President Obama.

    Not that I’m accusing Feeney of making a Obama apologist talking point. Feeney is correct that Senator Obama’s words go against President Obama’s actions. I just think that Obama defenders are trying to spin this as “even the best of us can be corrupted by power” instead of the reality the guy is an authoritarian, always has been and always will be.

    1. Even if this is true, and the “corrupted by power” thing becomes The Excuse, that’s still a win. Because that’s why the damn Constitution was put there in the first place.

      Either he was always a power-hungry statist bastard or he was an angel corrupted by the power of the office. In both cases, chain him down with the Constitution.

    2. Oh, and lay off the coke, Len.

      1. Never! I an invincible.

    3. I just think that Obama defenders are trying to spin this as “even the best of us can be corrupted by power” instead of the reality the guy is an authoritarian, always has been and always will be.

      Only authoritarians seek power in the first place. Senator Obama was merely making the noises that would get him to President Obama.

  5. “Nobody is listening to your phone calls. That’s not what this program is about.” “You can’t have 100% security, and also then have 100% privacy and zero inconvenience.”

    One might ask: Could he have given any lamer defense?

    I defy any regular to watch the full answer all the way through without screaming.

    1. Of course, considering the track record of the TSA, Homeland Security, FBI, CIA, NSA etc, “.01% Security” is a laughable notion.

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