In his post-NSA revelations press conference recently, President Obama spoke often of “abuse.” Unfortunately,it was always a hypothetical (emphasis added):
“make sure they have strong oversight by all three branches of government and clear safeguards to prevent abuse and protect the rights of the American people”
“I understand the concerns of those who would worry that it could be subject to abuse.”
“how we can make sure that there absolutely is no abuse in terms of how these surveillance technologies are used”
“And we’ve tried to set up a system that is as failsafe as so far at least we’ve been able to think of to make sure that these programs are not abused.”
And even one time he was explicit that there wasn’t abuse.
“What you’re hearing about is the prospect that these could be abused. Now, part of the reason they’re not abused is because these checks are in place, and those abuses would be against the law and would be against the orders of the FISC.”