Democrats, Republicans Back Obama’s Police State Spying

Monday, January 20, 2014
By Paul Martin

By Patrick Martin
Global Research
January 20, 2014

The response of the US political establishment to President Obama’s adamant defense of illegal spying by the National Security Agency demonstrates that there is no constituency for the defense of democratic and constitutional rights within the US ruling elite.

In comments to the press immediately after the speech, as well as in appearances on the Sunday morning television interview programs, leading congressional Democrats and Republicans, as well as former intelligence officials, were unanimous in supporting both Obama’s speech and the NSA’s operations.

Three so-called critics of NSA spying, Democratic senators Mark Udall, Ron Wyden and Martin Heinrich, issued a joint statement hailing Obama’s speech as “a major milestone in our longstanding efforts to reform the National Security Agency’s bulk collection program,” as though the cosmetic gestures towards civil liberties represented genuine concessions.

The most adamant defenders of the NSA programs, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, a Republican, and Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, appeared together on the NBC program “Meet the Press” to support the NSA and launch a McCarthyite smear campaign against Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who exposed the illegal mass spying. (See, “Apologists for NSA redouble witch-hunt of Edward Snowden”.)

Rogers praised the speech, saying, “I thought the most important victory was the president standing up and saying, ‘Hey, the program did not have abuses. This wasn’t sinister. It wasn’t a rogue agency. It was legal and proper.’”

Feinstein chimed in: “What the president has said is that he wanted to maintain the capability of the program. That, as Chairman Rogers said, it has not been abused or misused. And it is carried out by very strictly vetted and professional people.”

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