But as reassuring as it is to be reminded that the intelligence agencies are just "neighbors and friends," can't that description be made to fit, well, damn near everyone?
When John Wayne Gacy wasn't sodomizing and murdering young men while dressed as a demented clown, he was considered by many to be a good neighbor and friend. Surely the members of Al Qaeda are someone's neighbors and friends. And charismatic Kool-aid salesman Jim Jones had scads of neighbors and friends in Jonestown.
Confusingly, when Hope n' Change thinks of our own real-life neighbors and friends, we think of quiet, hard-working, taxpaying, patriotic folks who happen to favor Tea Party conservatism. And yet these friendly, neighborly people are routinely described by this president and his party as terrorists, arsonists, racists, misogynists, and fascists.
All of which is to say that even Barack Obama doesn't believe that a group of "friends and neighbors" should be trusted without question, or that their collective actions should be free from judgement or repercussion.
Nor should their leader. Especially if he's neither friend nor neighbor.