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Flashback: Obama Railed Against Monitoring Citizens Who Did Nothing Wrong

Obama in 2007: “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…” While Obama publicly expressed outcry at monitoring of citizens protesting Iraq, his administration’s collection of Verizon phone records was broader. Unlike the Bush White House, which sometimes did not use a warrant, the Obama Administration had a warrant from a FISA judge. Obama goes on to mention that FISA court system, which he used to get his warrant for the broad seizing of Verizon records, works.

“This administration also puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we provide. 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 wiretapping 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. 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.”

UPDATE: This article has been include more context to Obama’s quote.(6/6).

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Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at andrew.kaczynski@buzzfeed.com.
 
 
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