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I'm fiercely opposed to this newly unveiled surveillance state that US of A is... and yet I find myself not blaming Obama much for this.

I think people have misinformed notions about how much power the president really has. Obama's stated core focus was and has been on improving the situation for the poor/middle class. That's a big task on its own, I don't think you can expect one president to take on and dominate such variety of large tasks.

But now that things are in the open, support a candidate who in clear terms promises challenging these NSA programs for the next election cycle. Yes, Obama said he would do this in his own campaign trail, but it was unclear probably to him what he was up against exactly and how difficult it would have been to resist it alone. My optimistic take is now that we all know to a much greater degree what's going on, we're in better position to do something about it.




And yet he lies to cover it up. If he really wanted to oppose it, he could simply expose what's happening on his own. He could issue executive orders shutting it down. The DOJ, FBI and NSA are all part of the Executive Branch, after all.


At the very least he can explain why he changed his mind. I get it. I just can't trust him if he doesn't come as clean as he can about his reversal on Gitmo and surveillance and whatnot. I totally understand getting into office, seeing the real data, and saying, "I can't be the one that pulls the plug and causes people to die."

But he owes it to us to at least tell us that.


How has he reversed his position on Gitmo?


The Associated Press's Elizabeth White reports on a speech by Presidential hopeful Barack Obama, then a junior Illinois Senator, to a crowd in Texas. "We're going to close Guantanamo. And we're going to restore habeas corpus," Obama says. "We're going to lead by example—not just by word but by deed. That's our vision for the future." [0]

[0]: http://m.theatlanticwire.com/global/2013/01/obama-closing-gu...


And then there's this, from May 1st this year: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/04/30/obama...


> And yet he lies to cover it up.

Is there any evidence of that?


Obama talking to Charlie Rose earlier this week:

> What I can say unequivocally is that if you are a U.S. person the NSA cannot listen to your telephone calls and the NSA cannot target your e-mails.

Then The Guardian released a document several days later, signed by Eric Holder, authorizing numerous exceptions to that, with which they are allowed to spy on Americans.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/20/fisa-court-nsa-w...


So you are sure Obama was lying through his teeth and not just ignorant? I mean, Obama must know every detail of Eric Holder's job right?

Or are you just using "lying" to make a strong political statement, and you really see no difference?


The buck stops with Obama. Ignorance or incompetence is in some ways worse than lying as he might have some good reason to lie.


> and yet I find myself not blaming Obama much for this.

Might not be his fault for creating it - but he definitely bears responsibility for continuing it.

If we really wanted to - he could call a press conference at any time & blow the lid off the whole thing. But instead, he goes the opposite route & prosecutes anyone who speaks out.


yet I find myself not blaming Obama much for this.

That's fine.

Will you blame the next president who does it?


I would say not. It seems the military/surveillance arm of the Executive has become a truly autonomous entity, with no one who takes the big seat willing to come down on it or do anything other than to listen to its [from our uninformed perspective] FUD, and follow its whims. I might guess, for example, that for the same reason Obama expanded surveillance, Bush went to war. There is no representative democracy here, at least where "national security" is concerned.


If the president can't stand up to it, who can?


bullshit. Obama could fire anyone from Eric Holder to Keith Alexandar. What is happening now is what Obama wants to happen. It's 100% his responsibility.


>Yes, Obama said he would do this in his own campaign trail, but it was unclear probably to him what he was up against exactly and how difficult it would have been to resist it alone

Sounds like an Obamapology to me. Been hearing alot of those lately.


> Sound like an Obamapology to me

I don't think these stupid partisan catch-phrases have any place on HN whatsoever.


I wasn't aware that it was partisan. These days, IMO, it's a term of convenience. There are so many apologies that must be made for this guy that combining the two words will save a tremendous amount of time.




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