Well, the White House did say it welcomes debate about the revelation that the NSA was grabbing phone records of Verizon customers in the name of national security. Cue the New York Times, which posted a scathing editorial this afternoon declaring that "the administration has lost all credibility." (Note: The newspaper later toned down that line to read that the "administration has lost all credibility on this issue," notes Slate. Emphasis added.) The editors say they're not buying the same-old argument that we need to trust the administration to do what's right to fend off terrorists. In fact, "Obama is proving the truism that the executive will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it."
The White House and its defenders say such data is necessary to determine whether suspected terrorists are working with people in the US. "That is a vital goal, but how is it served by collecting everyone’s call data?" This is yet another abuse of the 2001 Patriot Act, whose powers were way too broad from the start, says the editorial. "Stunning use of the act shows, once again, why it needs to be sharply curtailed if not repealed." Click for the full editorial.