Drunk with hope

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama

Edward Snowden didn’t vote for Barack Obama but he trusted—or, perhaps, ironically, had enough hope—in his candidacy that he waited until after the 2008 elections to make the decision to unveil the extent of the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance program.

You could say Snowden hoped candidate Obama—so publicly against the Iraq War, so dubious about domestic spying and other programs, so happy to be viewed as a reformer—might actually undo some of the harm, and potential harm, established by the post 9/11 terrorism cure-all known as the Patriot Act.

Candidate Obama was, after all, the constitutional lawyer who understood the limits of government, the Illinois State Representative who asserted “it means something to be a citizen,” the U.S. Senator who described some of the specific provisions that have allowed PRISM as “way aboard.”

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