Agents are our neighbors and friends

From the President’s speech. I had to check twice to make sure I wasn’t on The Onion. Christ on a crutch, serial killers are doubtless our neighbors and friends, doesn’t stop them being killers. Just as it doesn’t stop agents from riding roughshod over the Constitution. Who wrote this crap for Obama? I’m pretty damn sure that a younger Obama would have been all over the President’s speech tearing it to shreds and exposing it for the whitewash it was.

Things certainly change when a guy gets his hands on the levers of power.

OP: "Obama made it clear that “The US is not spying on ordinary people”!

Just those potential terrorists–you know those people who use cell phones, the internet, etc…

He’s hoping no one makes that distinction since the whole basis of needing this program is that the the “bad guys” are our neighbours.
The whole “trust us” to act in the dark thing is his modus operandi.
It makes sense he’d lean on this same argument but to go for why we shouldn’t question the program. The agents storing our metadata are “our neighbours and friends”. It is what any authortarian worth their salt in doublethink has been saying since the leaks were released.

I thought it was a pretty good speech. He acknowledged the dangers of abuse, but argued that it is balanced by the need for security. He’s revising some of the policies and making others more transparent. I’d like to see more revisions, but I have a hard time seeing Obama as an authoritarian here. Just a pragmatist really. If Congress thinks the current laws represent an abuse of power, they could just repeal the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act. I’d be in favor of that.

An authoritarian would use trusting someone with terms like friend or neighbour instead of saying no one should have the potential to have so much unmitigated powers that are exercised in the dark.
It doesn’t matter who has the powers but that they shouldn’t have happened at all.
There isn’t a need for these programs without warrants.
So yes telling us to remember these agents are our friends is the very definition of being an authoritarian. The whole job of an authoritarian is “trusting” governments total power because they are friendly and wise without question.

There would have been no immunity for those who broke the law during the telecom scandal from the Bush years if he’d been pragmatic.

There is no reason to trust him on this issue since we wouldn’t be having these discussions without the leaks.
His current dealings with the fasttrack on the tpp is just more proof his speeches and his actions never hold up.
Or the criminals during the Bush years would be behind bars.