We’re gonna need a bigger hypocrisy meter.
The White House has said that it welcomes media interest in US surveillance practices, despite confirming that the Department of Justice is in the early stages of a leak investigation that may lead to criminal prosecutions of whistleblowers who revealed them.
As the second of two secret US monitoring programmes was partially declassified in response to leaked disclosures this week, officials speaking at a presidential summit in California told the Guardian that the ensuing public debate was necessary.
Deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said: “The debate that’s been sparked by these revelations – while we do not think that the revelation of secret programmes is in the national security interest of the US – the broader debate about privacy and civil liberties [is something Obama] went out of his way to identify as one of the trade-offs we have to wrestle with.
“We’ll have that debate. We welcome congressional interest in these issues, we welcome the interest of the American people and of course the media in these issues but we feel confident we have done what we need to do strike a balance between privacy and security by building in rigorous oversight mechanisms.”
Translation: Keep pursuing this and we’ll be snooping on all you phone calls and emails.