I agree with the AC, the NSA snooping is fundamentally different (in the negative direction.)
The justification for Iraq was flimsy. Our healthcare system is what it is, and economic bubbles have been problematic. But these are just big fuzzy issues with many competing players. Basic human conflict.
Civilized society is fundamentally based at some point on a basic level of trust and openness. The USA is founded on the ability of the people to supervise and object to the actions of the governing people and agencies. Keeping the NSA snooping as a secret has violated a basic contract of trust that the people bestow upon individuals who operate the government.
How can the American people oversee the activities of big agencies if such agencies can lie to, conceal from, and even intimidate the people?
The NSA has been caught in one lie after another as new documents are revealed. People and corporations have been forced into silence.
I understand that confidentiality must exist when pursuing suspects, but that is completely different.
Why the secrecy? Was it really about tipping off the subjects of investigations, or was it simply knowing this behavior was unjust and thus had to be kept out of the light of scrutiny? This is what children do when they know their parents will say 'no.'
We cannot have a functional society if these basic tenets of civility are violated as a matter of routine.