It was his best speech on national security, but it will not quell the controversies.
Imagine if the Democrats in 2007, having just regained control of the Congress, had decided to go to the mat against the Bush tax cuts. Imagine that they voted repeatedly to repeal them. They tried to delay implementation. They linked repeal to debt ceiling legislation. And while most of them knew better than to shut down the government over marginal tax rates, for a group critical to Nancy Pelosi’s majority, repeal had become a matter of religion.
Intelligence has thwarted plots to attack us and saved countless innocent lives. But that shouldn’t blind us to the need for debate and possible overhaul: not because of Edward Snowden, but because times have changed.