From The Atlantic: Friday’s Speech ‘A Low Point in Barack Obama’s Presidency’

by Mark Wilson

This article in The Atlantic by Conor Friedersdorf fisks President Obama’s Friday speech, concluding that “President Obama spoke to us about surveillance as though we were precocious children. He proceeded as if widespread objections to his policies can be dispatched like a parent answers an eight-year-old who has formally protested her bedtime.”

Friedersdorf also provides a thorough debunking of President Obama’s chuckle-inducing claim that he hasn’t changed his stance on government surveillance (even though Senator Obama supported rollbacks of the USA PATRIOT Act and greater oversight on surveillance).

In fact, parts of Friday’s speech reminded me of the good old days in which President George W. Bush said things like, “We do not torture,” even as the U.S. government engaged in, at best, questionable interrogation practices and, at worst, kidnapped and shipped terrorism suspects off to countries like Egypt where the U.S. government knew, expected, and ordered that they would be tortured.

And as I pointed out on Friday, the fact that we’re having a discussion about the scope of government surveillance is a result of Edward Snowden not playing by the rules.

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