UPDATE (early Monday morning 06/10/13): Looks like my random thoughts were really quite random. It appears the White House didn’t leak the information.
Please note the inclusion of this post in the Random Thoughts category.
Yesterday afternoon, taking a break from editing the now-completed first half of my novel, I learned about the reports of the federal government gathering data from various phone services, notably Verizon, and thought it yet another of the administration’s many scandals, but later caught Andrew C. McCarthy’s piece on National Review’s Corner saying this was being blown out of proportion.
Later, caught a few minutes of “On the Record with Greta van Susteren” where Karl Rove was giving the president the “benefit of the doubt” on this issue. Just before bed, via Instapundit, learned that University of California at Berkeley law professor John Yoo who “served as deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel in the Justice Department of President George W. Bush” offered a view similar to McCarthy’s claiming that this “data collecting isn’t unconstitutional because the Fourth Amendment only protects the content of phone calls and not information on the dialed numbers, length of the calls, etc.”
Do wonder if someone in the White House deliberately leaked the information to the Washington Post (which broke the story) knowing it would be blown out of proportion and so creating a large audience for administration flacks when they set the record straight. And when people learn that this story, sucking (at present) the air out of other administration scandals, has been blown out of proportion (if indeed it has), they might be more likely to discount those other scandals.
Just a thought. And now concluding where I began, you know why I include this in the “Random Thoughts” category.
ANN ALTHOUSE ON WHY THE DATA-MINING SCANDAL LEAKED: “I suspect it was someone who wanted to distract us from the IRS scandal (and other scandals) so that the scandal of the moment would be one that’s about Bush.”
How cynical we’ve all become, in this age of Hope And Change. But then: “Here’s where the other Obama scandals come in. How do we know the government is dutifully concentrating on national security — fighting terrorists and not political enemies? That kind of mistrust matters, but it’s not specific to the NSA program. It undermines everything government does. What would you like government to stop doing now that you can’t trust it with anything?”
UP-UPDATE: Maybe the White House didn’t leak the information, but it is, as the folks at Politico put it a “welcome plot twist” for the beleaguered incumbent:
It’s a reprieve for Obama, who was taking hits in the press, from Democrats and even some Republicans for running a program they cried is too reminiscent of the George W. Bush era– a new storyline that takes the focus off Obama, even briefly.
. . . .
Snowden may even draw some of the fire away from the Obama administration’s other scandals — especially the IRS targeting of conservative groups.