Before taking another week off on Martha’s Vineyard, President Obama held a news conference, announcing preemptive moves to restore public trust shattered by the recent stream of revelations about broad government surveillance of civil society and its myriad communications.
Obama again assured the country there were ample checks in place to prevent official abuse, but said the sensational manner in which these classified secrets have leaked out piece by piece has unnecessarily raised fears and caused many to ask questions.
There was no mention of other recent revelations about official abuses by politically-motivated Internal Revenue Service agents, but their presence was felt. One reporter, who sought to ask if he could understand the concerns, was cut off sharply by a suddenly professorial president:
“Q: Can you understand, though, why some people might not trust what you’re saying right now about wanting to —
“THE PRESIDENT: No, I can’t.