Candidate Obama Debating President Obama On Civil Liberties vs. Government Surveillance

Article note: This video is awesome. Obama-prez-wanna-be vs Obama-i-am-da-man on privacy vs spying.

We recently had a video showing then Senator Joe Biden, from seven years ago, “debating” the current President Obama on government surveillance. I hadn’t seen this until now, but someone else has put together a much better video showing Presidential candidate Obama in 2008 vs. President Obama in 2013. The difference is stark.

Not only is there a massive difference in what’s being said, but also in how it’s being said. The Candidate Obama spoke clearly, directly strongly and without equivocation about protecting civil liberties and not giving up our freedoms. President Obama’s speech, on the other hand, sounds weak, vague and unpresidential in comparison. In the first one, he makes these clear, declarative announcements:

This administration puts forth a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we provide.

But as President, he says (while rolling his eyes — the video is incredible):

You can’t have 100% security… and then also have 100% privacy and zero inconvenience…. We’re, we’re going to have to make some choices.

As a candidate:

I will provide our intelligence and law enforcement agencies the tools they need to take out the terrorists without undermining our Constitution and our freedoms. That means no more illegal wiretapping of American citizens. That means no more national security letters to spy on Americans who are not suspected of committing a crime. No more tracking citizens who do no more than protest a misguided war. No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient. That is not who we are. That’s not what is necessary to defeat the terrorists.

As President, he talks vaguely about how his team made an “assessment” and that these programs keep people safe, and “in the abstract” people might claim these programs are “Big Brother” but he thinks there’s a “balance” to be struck. It’s funny how different dictatorial surveillance powers look when you’re the guy in charge of them.

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