I confess a bit of instinctual resistance to this mass government spying on phone records. On the other hand, I don’t believe it’s necessarily unjustifiable. I’d like to hear more how it was used, what was gained, what safeguards are in place.
I have to laugh at the Obama administration on account of it, though. This is true blue schadenfreude. First, he has denied we have an ongoing war on al Qaeda, when, in fact, that’s the only reason such a system could really be justified. Second, he and his supporters were so incredibly self righteous about the war, about GITMO, and about civil liberties during the 2008 campaign, it’s rather plain to see now that this was all a pose, at least for Obama himself, as he has done almost nothing to scale back the national security state and related apparatus erected during the Bush administration and even undertook the Libya fiasco without congressional or UN authorization. The man recognizes no limits. Finally, when read in light of all the other scandals going on, it’s a reminder that government power is a serious thing, an easily abused thing, and while I’m not necessarily against such a system of metadata collection on principle, I am particularly suspicious about how such a small, venal, contemptuous man like Obama and his hateful, anti-American, leftist followers could possibly not abuse such power, as they have abused the intrinsically dangerous power of the DOJ, the IRS, and much else.
So, while I wouldn’t trust Obama as the head waiter at a restaurant, at the same time, I realize people doing any important job worth doing need a certain amount of power to get it done. But there is no doubt we should be suspicious of any new and invasive federal involvement in our lives, even if it may ultimately be permissible to prevent mass murder.