also, if you have any tendency to be satisfied with obama etc's reassurances about all the limits and warrants that are supposedly in place, you have really lost your mind. how many times do people have to lie, evade, distort, before you stop believing them? it's their job to lie: it's their sworn oath to lie by their own account; by their own definitions, it is treason not to lie. they're currently lying about the fact that they were lying to you before. and yet you take them seriously.
i think one thing everyone in our society needs to reflect on: you're going to take james clapper or barack obama seriously because they're wearing suits and have positions of great authority. it doesn't matter, for example, that they have excruciatingly obvious motivations to lie. then you have snowden, and people just hammer: 29! all alone! high school dropout! but no one has seriously doubted the truth of what he's revealing. he has some sort of principles or commitment to freedom; they have no commitment to anything but power. snowden's commitment is incredibly obvious: he is saying the things he's saying at tremendous cost to himself. obama etc are lying to an ever-self-aggrandizing effect, to preserve and conceal their own power. barack obama - this is completely obvious to anyone with a shred of rationality - has no credibility whatever on anything when speaking qua pres; the only things the words of someone like that are intended to do is manipulate you; seriously, obviously, sentence by sentence. in your heart, you know this to be true. obama's access to truth is corrupted entirely by power. snowden has as much credibility as a human being can reasonably have.
officials from the dmv to the pres do not even really purport to be speaking as or for themselves; they are spokesmen for organizations. so severe is the situation that the question of sincerity does not even arise; you're simply representing what you take to be the position of a bureaucracy; you would even excuse yourself for lying or for saying things that are deeply opposed to your own beliefs. indeed, you might take it to be your duty to express whatever it is you're expressing as fake-sincerely as possible, all the while believing it to be false. well, that's your job. but what is truly shocking is that people believe you anyway; people think you have more credibility than a person who speaks passionately for himself.
29 and all alone actually does confer some credibility; eminent head of a bureaucracy: no credibility whatever: every sentence a mere strategy.
this is an example of an extreme problem: most people think power confers credibility. this is a mindless capitulation and extreme expression of irrationality. it sort of hints at the direction our species will take to extinction. milllions upon millions of people have already died because we tend to give epistemic authority to people who operate coercive power, because they operate coercive power. it's a straight-up epistemic illness.