I was previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator and am now a journalist. I am the author of three New York Times bestselling books -- "How Would a Patriot Act" (a critique of Bush executive power theories), "Tragic Legacy" (documenting the Bush legacy), and With Liberty and Justice for Some (critiquing America's two-tiered justice system and the collapse of the rule of law for its political and financial elites). My fifth book - No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the US Surveillance State - will be released on April 29, 2014 by Holt/Metropolitan.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Some truth in the New York Times

The New York Times: Obama Weighing Security and Privacy in Deciding on Spy Program Limits, by David Sanger

While few in the White House want to admit as much in public, none of this would have happened without the revelations by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor now in asylum in Russia. While Mr. Obama has said he welcomes the debate about the proper limits on the N.S.A., it is not one he engaged in publicly until the Snowden revelations began. Now the president has little choice — this week alone a constellation of forces is pushing for change: A federal judge called the bulk-collection program “almost Orwellian,” while some in Congress, many of his allies and Silicon Valley executives demanded change.
That is precisely why official Washington regards him with such contempt and is desperate to see him imprisoned: to prevent "more Snowdens", i.e., future whistleblowers who shine a light on their unconstitutional and abusive behavior carried out in secret. As the ACLU's Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer wrote in the New York Times today: "Edward Snowden has made our democracy stronger. He should be praised, not prosecuted."