Obama Should Do a 180 on the Surveillance State

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Obama, Holder and others who go after Edward Snowden’s head, like Rep. Mike Rogers and Sen. Feinstein, are going to go down in political flames if they stick to their hard line against whistleblowers. The right thing morally and for the sake of a free America for Obama to do now is a 180. He should say that he will not prosecute Snowden, that he’ll drop the case against Manning, and that Assange is also off the hook. He should say that the government’s spying has gone too far and that he’s going to cut it back drastically. The chances of his choosing this about face are zero. I pose it to clarify Obama’s other alternatives.

On an issue like the surveillance state as it has now erupted, there are only two possibilities that a man of power like Obama will entertain: scale it back or maintain it. Obama will attempt maintenance via selling his case and eventually by compromise (a small degree of cosmetic change), as  a way to tough it out and muddle through. By doing this, Obama will render himself even more of a lame duck than he already is because this issue is not going to go away until there is a 180 degree change in course.

10:21 am on June 11, 2013