I have an old friend who refused to switch over to Gmail, Google's email service, several years ago when the company began rolling out beta accounts. The service's tagline about never having to delete an email thanks to its message threading and large amount of space available for each account, he said, made our messages prone to the government's Project Echelon. For years, I've dismissed his assumption as another conspiracy theory, a tinfoil hat approach to a new email service.
Thing is, after the last week the Obama Administration has had, his idea hardly seems silly anymore; in fact, it seems downright relevant.
Today, you've heard the national media play up a trio of controversies that are besieging the president and his administration: the Benghazi controversy, the IRS targeting of right-wing groups, and the Department of Justice's shady-as-hell collection of Associated Press phone records. Attorney General Eric Holder spoke today on the IRS investigation while White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was bombarded with questions over the AP story.
To limit the look at the fire the administration has come under to just these three stories, however, would be to ignore the greater context of the Obama presidency's now looming legacy of the dissolution of civil liberties which can include the administration's backing of the FBI's plan on Internet surveillance and the administration's reliance on drones. All told, it's been a bad week, yes, but when you add these last two topics to the pile, this administration's track record looks downright miserable.