Obama's Spying Lies Unraveling
He knows if you've been sleeping. He knows when you're awake.
In a three-day span, those rationales were upended by a federal judge who declared that the program was probably unconstitutional and the release of a report by a White House panel utterly unconvinced that stockpiling such data had played any meaningful role in preventing terrorist attacks.
Either of those developments would have been enough to ratchet up the pressure on President Obama, who must decide whether to stand behind the sweeping collection or dismantle it and risk blame if there is a terrorist attack.
Beyond that dilemma for the president, the decision by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon and the recommendations from the review panel shifted the footing of almost every major player in the surveillance debate.
NSA officials, who rarely miss a chance to cite Snowden’s status as a fugitive from the law, now stand accused of presiding over a program whose capabilities were deemed by the judge to be “Orwellian" and likely illegal. Snowden’s defenders, on the other hand, have new ammunition to argue that he is more whistleblower than traitor.