J.D. Tuccille on Obama's Weak 'Reform' of the Surveillance State


President Obama
White House

It's never a promising sign when a politician compares presumptuous government intrusions to the risks taken by freedom fighters who put their asses on the line to fight intrusive government policies. Yet that's how President Obama launched his speech last Friday, suggesting that the National Security Agency's surveillance of communications in the United States and around the world is nothing but a continuation of the Sons of Liberty's lookout for redcoats. So, the NSA's secretive reports to administration officials are the equivalent of Paul Revere's midnight ride? But Obama didn't go quite that far. He didn't go that far, either, writes J.D. Tuccille, in his lukewarm embrace—well, let's call it a moist, limp handshake—of the very modest reforms to NSA snooping practices recommended by his hand-picked review group.