Circa 2008, Barack Obama gave his supporters reason to believe that if he were elected, he would protect whistleblowers and obey U.S. law on the subject of torture.
He has disappointed on both subjects.
Long before Edward Snowden exposed mass surveillance on Americans by the NSA, the Obama Administration was aggressively persecuting former civil servants who blew the whistle on objectionable behavior during the Bush Administration.
On torture, President Obama laudably decided against restarting what he and Attorney General Eric Holder both declared to be an official program of illegal torture. But the Obama Administration has declined to investigate and prosecute the torturers. Even if the president were within his legal rights to exercise discretion and "look forward," letting torturers go free would be a historic injustice. In fact, Obama's torture policy is itself a violation of U.S. law. The Convention Against Torture was signed by President Reagan and ratified by the Senate. The torture treaty went into force in the United States on November 20, 1994. It compels an official investigation and referral of the torturers for prosecution. One purpose of the treaty is to ensure that these steps are not discretionary.