Earlier today, President Obama gave a long-awaited and long-winded speech on the NSA. The Washington Post has the transcript.
Here are my thoughts:
Obama says we need more "balance" between security and liberty. The president would "not dwell on Mr. Snowden’s actions or his motivations".
I will. Edward Snowden is a national hero who should be given immunity from prosecution and welcomed back to the US.
Instead of praising Snowden, the president says "the sensational way in which these disclosures have come out has often shed more heat than light, while revealing methods to our adversaries that could impact our operations in ways that we might not fully understand for years to come."
I suggest the revelations by Snowden shed an immense amount of light into the downright scary surveillance tactics of the NSA.
Obama says "I consulted with the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, created by Congress. I’ve listened to foreign partners, privacy advocates and industry leaders. My administration has spent countless hours considering how to approach intelligence in this era of diffuse threats and technological revolution."
That's completely believable. However, Obama failed to say "But heck, the discussion was meaningless, because I did what I wanted in the first place."
Obama promised "reformed procedures" and "greater transparency to protect privacy".
And here's a humorous statement: "I’ve made clear to the intelligence community that unless there is a compelling national security purpose, we will not monitor the communications of heads of state and government of our close friends and allies."
In short, we will not monitor communications of foreign leaders unless we will. How comforting.
I can sum up President Obama's entire speech up in a simple easy to understand graphic courtesy of reader "California Banker".
"Trust Me!" (Just as you did with Obamacare).
I promise "Change You Can Believe In!" (You can believe all you want, but there won't be any changes).
Mike "Mish" Shedlock