The Obama administration secretly won permission from a surveillance court in 2011 to reverse restrictions on the National Security Agency’s use of intercepted phone calls and e-mails, permitting the agency to search deliberately for Americans’ communications in its massive databases, according to interviews with government officials and recently declassified material. [….]
What had not been previously acknowledged is that the court in 2008 imposed an explicit ban — at the government’s request — on those kinds of searches, that officials in 2011 got the court to lift the bar and that the search authority has been used.
In 2008, the Bush Administration urged the surveillance court to impose this ban; Obama then moved to repeal it. As Instapundit pointed out, he also repealed it before the 2012 elections.
This is, IMHO, the tip of the iceberg. We are expected to believe that an unpopular President who narrowly retained his seat during a reelection campaign did not use any of these vast datasets to win – despite the fact that the IRS openly targeted his opponents and helped his friends. Sure, the IRS did those bad things, but the NSA data was only for official use, right?