Bill O’Reilly has had a change of heart. During the Bush administration when it was engaging in wholesale data mining and warrantless wiretaps, O’Reilly was all for it and attacking anyone who questioned it as traitors who want Americans to die. Now that the Obama administration is doing the same thing, it’s a “massive intrusion” on our privacy. How about that.
During the Bush administration, opposing the National Security Agency’s warantless wiretapping program meant you wanted “Americans to die.”
But now Fox News host Bill O’Reilly believes the NSA’s massive collection of data under the Obama administration is an unconstitutional government overreach.
On his show Monday night, the conservative host described the NSA’s surveillance programs as a “massive intrusion.” O’Reilly warned that “corrupt government officials” could leak sensitive data to hurt their political opponents. He said that amassing telephone records might be “acceptable,” but keeping actual content of private conversations on file was “flat out unconstitutional.”
O’Reilly’s tune was far different under the Bush administration. At the time, he voiced strong support for the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program, which collected the telephone records of millions of Americans. In 2006, after a judge ruled the program was unconstitutional, O’Reilly speculated that she didn’t care if Americans were killed by terrorists.
In fact, here is what he said in 2006 when Judge Anna Diggs Taylor struck down (temporarily) a similar program by the Bush administration:
See, I don’t understand Judge Taylor. Maybe you can help me. Does she want Americans to die? There isn’t any criminal proceeding in this case. This is an overarch to try to get intelligence information from calls to suspected Al Qaeda overseas, not domestic. Does she want people to die?…
Does she want dead people in the street here in America? Because I’m sure that she would not only oppose the NSA program, she would oppose coercive interrogation, profiling at the airports. She would oppose every anti-terror measure the Bush administration has put in just because they’re the Bush administration. But the unintended consequences of the opposition is death.
Gosh, I’m so surprised. Aren’t you surprised? Of course, there are many Democrats who’ve done the same thing on the other side, been outraged at such things when Bush did them and then suddenly trusting Obama to do them because he’s just such a wonderful guy he would never abuse his power. The word naive hardly seems strong enough.