Barack Obama sammenlignes med Richard Nixon. Parallellen er deres vilje til å bruke statsapparatet for å kontrollere borgerne, uten at borgerne vet noe. Vil amerikanerne finne seg i det? Nei, tror Damian Thompson i Telgraph. Han tror PRISM og Snowdon er så stort at Obama ikke kommer til å sitte perioden ut.

Det regner med uventede politiske konstellasjoner: både høyre og venstresiden har funnet hverandre. Fox News og Michael Moore mener det samme. Dette er government «intrustion», innblanding, overgrep.

De store mediene er lunkne og tør ikke følge opp saken i dens fulle bredde. En journalist i BBC presterte å si at den har kommet for en lettelse for Obama forden har tatt oppmerksomheten vekk fra IRS. Men IRS er utslag av samme mentalitet: man har muligheten til å ramme motstandere, og hvorfor ikke benytte muligheten når man har anledning.

Tim Stanley

Finally, totaling every scandal up – IRS, AP phone records, Fox journalists being targeted, the Benghazi mess – this has to be the most furtively authoritarian White House since Nixon’s. We don’t yet have a «smoking email» from Obama ordering all of this, but it can’t be said often enough that there is a correlation between Obama’s “progressive” domestic agenda and the misbehavior of the other agencies governed by his administration – forcing people to buy healthcare even when they can’t afford it, bailing out the banks, war in Libya and the use of drone strikes to kill US citizens. This is exactly what the Tea Party was founded to expose and oppose. All the laughter once directed at the “paranoid” Right now rings hollow.


Men så dukker en uforutsigbar person som Edward Snowdon opp og kullkaster alt. Han er ingen Bradley Manning. Damian Thompson tror amerikanerne vil trykke ham til sitt hjerte, en helt som var villig til å fore sin egen personlige lykke for at andre skulle ha rett på et privatliv.

I do not see how Obama can talk his way out of this one. Snowden is not Bradley Manning: he’s not a disturbed disco bunny but a highly articulate network security specialist who has left behind a $200,000 salary and girlfriend in Hawaii for a life on the run. He’s not a sleazy opportunist like Julian Assange, either. As he says: «I’m willing to sacrifice all of that because I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.»

It will be very difficult for the Obama administration to portray Snowden as a traitor. For a start, I don’t think US public opinion will allow it. Any explanations it offers will be drowned out by American citizens demanding to know: «So how much do you know about me and my family? How can I find out? How long have you been collecting this stuff? What are you going to do with it?»

Suddenly the worse-than-Watergate rhetoric doesn’t seem overblown. And I do wonder: can a president who’s presided over, and possibly encouraged, Chinese-style surveillance of The Land of the Free honestly expect to serve out his full term?