Obama's Deepening National Security Dilemmas

Boxed in by security threats and politics, Obama fights on

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Pete Souza / The White House

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Even in May, before Snowden revealed the scope of NSA surveillance, Obama was struggling to reconcile his old civil-liberties views with his current security positions. Critics in Congress were upset that federal agents hadn't followed up more aggressively on tips about the Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev. In his speech, Obama assured the public that he would protect civil liberties. But, he said, he would be "reviewing the authorities of law enforcement, so we can intercept new types of communication." What would the Obama of 2007 say?

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