It’s shaping up to be a truly terrible PR week for the Obama administration. How bad?
Well, The New York Times Editorial Board ran a scathing piece in response to Obama’s alleged lack of knowledge about the NSA’s activities. They skipped the foreplay and got right into it in the first paragraph: “The White House response on Monday to the expanding disclosures of American spying on foreign leaders, their governments and millions of their citizens was a pathetic mix of unsatisfying assurances about reviews under way, platitudes about the need for security in an insecure age, and the odd defense that the president didn’t know that American spies had tapped the German chancellor’s cellphone for 10 years.”
When was the last time the Grey Lady labeled anything Obama-related “pathetic”?
The Washington Post‘s Dana Milbank was similarly unimpressed with Obama’s recent claims of ignorance: “For a smart man, President Obama professes to know very little about a great number of things going on in his administration,” Milbank wrote this week.
And then there’s Senator Dianne Feinstein’s completely unexpected 180-degree flip-flop on the topic of surveillance: previously a vocal supporter of the NSA’s activities, she is now calling for a “total review of all intelligence programs.”