Nobody had to give any direct order to
Read the Strassel piece, but I must note this particularly risible quote from the man heading the most opaque administration since FDR; and who employed
(How can I fit a reference to Lois Lerner in here? Oh.)
The Democrat harping on mysterious "foreign contributers" is hard to take from a guy who accepted credit card donations from anywhere; not bothering to employ simple, and standard, ways to prevent such illegal donations.
On the NSA surveillance of every phone number ever dialed, and where and for what every credit card is used: No doubt this is a result of the Patriot Act - i.e., Big Government under George Bush. Seriously, it's what Big Government does. George and Barack are just following the lead of Woodrow and Franklin. And Henry, of course, but we did break with That Sort of overreach circa 1776.
George Orwell labeled one manifestation of this tendency "Thought Police." Many other things were illegal in Orwell's Oceania, you'd be surprised by the similarities.
While what the Obama Administration has done with the NSA appears 'legal' to me, the president is certainly open to the charge of hypocrisy. George McGovern didn't whine so much about Constitutional violations as did Senator Obama.
Obama's hypocrisy, however, isn't the point. The point is that Big Government will unfailingly use whatever powers it has to increase the power it has - whoever is in charge. None of these scandals are failures of our current system, they are the system. None of it is overreach, it's how serfs are treated.
This is the simple point the tea party has been politely making. It's why they were targeted.