It is a sign of hope in the world that a brilliant African-American could be elected President of the United States and re-elected four years later.
I am a Republican but I salute and admire President Obama. How can you not?
He is a courageous and charismatic man and a brilliant politician and organiser.
I support universal healthcare, coming from the UK where the NHS makes us all feel safe and secure against poverty and disease. Obamacare has major problems and should be reformed, but the principle is sound.
I can’t find much else I like about the President’s platform, other than progress on gay rights.
That said, I believe him to be a principled and honest man and I admire him.
His presidency has been tarnished by a series of scandals. The Benghazi CIA/State Dept scrubbing during a Presidential campaign. The IRS targeting conservative groups to the point where it asked one congregation to “describe the content of your prayers.” And the AP getting its phones tapped, and a Fox News reporter put under surveillance.
The line from the White House has been that the President had no personal knowledge of the above.
This seems to me fantastical, but I want to believe it; and there is no absolute proof to the contrary.
Glenn Greenwald of the Guardian has come up with the biggest scoop since Watergate in exposing the extent, breadth, depth and overreach of the PRISM programme. He must win a Pulitzer prize, there can be no doubt about that whatsoever.
Tonight he published an interviewer with the whistleblower, Edward Snowden, who has fled to Hong Kong. A fairly lowly IT guy who could listen, as he said, to your wife’s phone calls with no problems at all. Snowden comes across as a genuine patriot. Although he praises Bradley Manning, unlike Manning he has put no American asset at risk, exposed no soldier.
President Obama does not pretend he did not know about or authorise the PRISM program. He will now have to answer Snowden’s allegations that the NSA routinely lied to Congress about the tools at their disposal; if that is true, the President also knew.
But one thing is certain. If President Obama wants to stand for hope and regain respect, he will not banish this whistleblower for a life on the run, fleeing to Communist Chinese territory against the democracy that is his home and birthright.
Edward Snowden is no Manning. If President Obama wants a “debate” (at the least) he can show his bona fides by issuing a Presidential pardon to Edward Snowden – who should come home and testify in full to Congress.