Wilson Center

Tackling global issues through independent research, open dialogue, and actionable ideas.
Recent Tweets @
Who I Follow

VIDEO: Here’s what then-Senator Obama said about surveillance (Wilson Center speech)

Then-Senator Obama’s 2007 speech at the Wilson Center is suddenly newsworthy in the wake of the big NSA-Verizon story.

Here’s what he said:

This Administration also puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we demand. I will provide our intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to track and take out the terrorists without undermining our Constitution and our freedom.

That means no more illegal wire-tapping of American citizens. No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. No more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war. No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient.

That is not who we are. And it is not what is necessary to defeat the terrorists. The FISA court works. The separation of powers works. Our Constitution works. We will again set an example for the world that the law is not subject to the whims of stubborn rulers, and that justice is not arbitrary.

This Administration acts like violating civil liberties is the way to enhance our security. It is not.