President Barack Obama, in his first extended remarks since the disclosure of two National Security Agency programs that critics say invade the privacy of Americans, strongly defended his anti-terrorism policies and rejected comparisons to President George W. Bush.
"The whole point of my concern, before I was president — because some people say, "Well, you know, Obama was this raving liberal before. Now he's, you know, Dick Cheney." Dick Cheney sometimes says, "Yeah, you know? He took it all, lock, stock, and barrel," the president said in an interview with PBS.
"My concern has always been not that we shouldn't do intelligence gathering to prevent terrorism, but rather are we setting up a system of checks and balances? So, on this telephone program, you've got a federal court with independent federal judges overseeing the entire program. And you've got Congress overseeing the program, not just the intelligence committee and not just the judiciary committee — but all of Congress had available to it before the last re-authorization exactly how this program works."