Obama Justifies NSA Spying: Paul Revere Did It First
by Steve Watson
In a speech that was billed as an announcement of “reforms” to the NSA’s mass spying practices, the president argued that the US has a long history of defending liberty by conducting surveillance. Obama even cited Paul Revere, in remarks clearly designed to justify government spying on its own citizens.
#Obama‘s justification for #NSA spying: “but Paul Revere did it first!”
— Paul Weiskel (@PWeiskel08) January 17, 2014
To virtually no one’s surprise, the president’s “reforms” will not stop NSA’s mass spying, and this was immediately evident in the opening remarks of Obama’s speech when he attempted to argue that in times of war, the US has always used surveillance to secure freedom.
“At the dawn of our Republic, a small, secret surveillance committee borne out of the “The Sons of Liberty” was established in Boston.” Obama stated. “The group’s members included Paul Revere, and at night they would patrol the streets, reporting back any signs that the British were preparing raids against America’s early Patriots.”
Note how in the first sentence, using incredibly Orwellian tactics, Obama has twisted the facts to link spying to patriotism, and to suggest that the earliest American icons were engaged in the same sort of activity as today’s NSA.
Obama then went on to cite the Civil War, World War II, and the Cold War, arguing that “Throughout American history, intelligence has helped secure our country and our freedoms.”
Anyone with any shred of intelligence knows that comparing the actions of Paul Revere, who famously alerted the Colonial militia to the approach of British forces before the battles of Lexington and Concord, is in no way comparable to NSA mass spying.
Was Paul Revere covertly spying on his own people? Was he collecting records of all their communications, even if they were completely innocent and not suspected of doing any wrong? Of course not, to argue so is completely asinine.