I could just as easily made this another update to the data mining bombshell, but this story from yesterday shows exactly what the White House's game plan is to combat the criticism: maintain that it's legal while stopping anyone from investigating it:
The government has abruptly ended an inquiry into the warrantless eavesdropping program because the National Security Agency refused to grant Justice Department lawyers the necessary security clearance to probe the matter.
The Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility, or OPR, sent a fax to Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., on Wednesday saying they were closing their inquiry because without clearance their lawyers cannot examine Justice lawyers' role in the program.
"We have been unable to make any meaningful progress in our investigation because OPR has been denied security clearances for access to information about the NSA program," OPR counsel H. Marshall Jarrett wrote to Hinchey. Hinchey's office shared the letter with The Associated Press. [...]
Hinchey is one of many House Democrats who have been highly critical of the domestic eavesdropping program first revealed in December. He said lawmakers would push to find out who at the NSA denied the Justice Department lawyers security clearance.
"This administration thinks they can just violate any law they want, and they've created a culture of fear to try to get away with that. It's up to us to stand up to them," said Hinchey.
And now that more information is out there, the public will be more wary of their excuses. But if nobody can get security clearance, nobody can investigate. This is the definition of a stone wall.