The New York Times editorial board today denounced the Obama administration for its massive and unprecedented NSA-run domestic datamining operation. Some notable highlights:
"Within hours of the disclosure that federal authorities routinely collect data on phone calls Americans make, regardless of whether they have any bearing on a counterterrorism investigation, the Obama administration issued the same platitude it has offered every time President Obama has been caught overreaching in the use of his powers:
"Terrorists are a real menace and you should just trust us to deal with them because we have internal mechanisms (that we are not going to tell you about) to make sure we do not violate your rights. Those reassurances have never been persuasive ...especially coming from a president who once promised transparency and accountability.
"The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue. Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive branch will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it...."
"...Essentially, the administration is saying that without any individual suspicion of wrongdoing, the government is allowed to know whom Americans are calling every time they make a phone call, for how long they talk and from where.
"This sort of tracking can reveal a lot of personal and intimate information about an individual. To casually permit this surveillance — with the American public having no idea that the executive branch is now exercising this power — fundamentally shifts power between the individual and the state, and it repudiates constitutional principles governing search, seizure and privacy."
Of course, that power shift and repudiation is precisely the point of such operations:
We have in the White House the most anti-individualist and anti-Constitutional president (a man intellectually weaned in his youth by anti-West totalitarianists) since Woodrow Wilson (a would-be dictator who viewed the Constitution as "outdated"), albeit without the latter's secret army of thugs serving his "progressive" whims. Yet.