The security policy of the U.S. government from Cheney to Obama has passed from secret surveillance of communications abroad to secret surveillance of all communications at home. In what stages did it happen? Some day the history will be written; for now, it is instructive to rehearse the facts. Five years ago, Barack Obama was a candidate for president who pledged to filibuster a congressional bill that offered amnesty to telecoms that illegally gave information on American customers to the government. When Obama backed down from that promise, he pledged, if elected, to have his attorney general investigate the surveillance of Americans and bring the laws of the land back within the limits of the fourth amendment. As it turned out, he made Eric Holder his attorney general, and the security policy of the Obama administration came to be defined by harsh prosecution of whistleblowers who revealed the facts of illegal searches and seizures.