Obama’s civil liberties record questioned

Obama’s civil liberties record questioned

The disclosure of a broad government effort to collect phone records of millions of U.S. consumers has rekindled a debate about President Barack Obama’s commitment to civil liberties, with some lawmakers and advocacy groups saying he has broken a campaign pledge to combat terrorism in ways that protect basic freedoms.

Mr. Obama’s record on civil liberties was already drawing renewed scrutiny over reports that his administration has investigated journalists as part of criminal leak cases, his increased use of drones and other matters.

As a candidate in 2008, Mr. Obama took aim at then-President George W. Bush’s assertion of certain executive powers in fighting terrorism. Once in the White House, he did away with some of the tools used by Mr. Bush’s administration while keeping others intact.

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