He's right to a large extent, but I'm not sure framing things this way is quite as virtuosic as he might think:
"If people can't trust not only the executive branch but also don't trust Congress, and don't trust federal judges, to make sure that we're abiding by the Constitution with due process and rule of law, then we're going to have some problems here." Obama added that the National Security agents behind the surveillance programs "cherish our Constitution...You can shout Big Brother or program run amok, but if you actually look at the details, I think we’ve struck the right balance,” he explained.
Obama himself channeled Orwell on Friday while defending the secrecy surrounding the spy programs. "Your duly elected representatives have consistently been informed," he said. In other words, trust Washington.Three problems with that logic: Americans don't trust government; an overwhelming majority of lawmakers were never told about the program; and members of Congress who were privy to intelligence "briefings" say their knowledge was limited. Look, it's a dangerous world. Obama and his team need to get their hands dirty to protect us. As terrorists grow more dangerous, we need to consider using the flexibility of the Constitution to adapt. But the mandate to keep Americans safe is no excuse to keep them in the dark.
The National Security Agency has at times mistakenly intercepted the private email messages and phone calls of Americans who had no link to terrorism, requiring Justice Department officials to report the errors to a secret national security court and destroy the data, according to two former U.S. intelligence officials.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography