The PJ Tatler

The New York Times Turns On Obama

In light of the NSA surveillance program, the New York Times wasn’t amused.  In fact, it seems this development has finally made the editorial board at the Times say, “enough!”  In their op-ed today, they said:

within hours of the disclosure that the 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 — whether on secret warrants to scoop up a news agency’s phone records or secret orders to kill an American suspected of terrorism — especially coming from a president who once promised transparency and accountability. The administration has now lost all credibility. Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it. That is one reason we have long argued that the Patriot Act, enacted in the heat of fear after the 9/11 attacks by members of Congress who mostly had not even read it, was reckless in its assignment of unnecessary and overbroad surveillance powers.


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 repudiates constitutional principles governing search, seizure and privacy.


The senior administration official quoted in The Times said the executive branch internally reviews surveillance programs to ensure that they “comply with the Constitution and laws of the United States and appropriately protect privacy and civil liberties.”

That’s no longer good enough. Mr. Obama clearly had no intention of revealing this eavesdropping, just as he would not have acknowledged the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen, had it not been reported in the press. Even then, it took him more than a year and a half to acknowledge the killing, and he is still keeping secret the protocol by which he makes such decisions.

The board writes that the Patriot Act needs to be “curtailed if not repealed” over these abuses.  That’s a separate debate, but it appears that the liberal newspaper is sick of the trite responses the administration gives when abuses of government power are exposed.  Good for them!   Either way, Obama’s buffer provided by the media, which is a love-hate relationship, seems to be crumbling at a time when he needs them most to deflect legitimate questions surrounding the IRS, Benghazi, Fast and Furious, AP, and EPA scandals.  Oh, and this one with the NSA as well.

The Times is doing their job, but liberals may see it as racist.