The apparent apathy is the quiet after a nation has been defeated. The US has quietly become a dictatorship. Yes, it's "dangerous":
1/17/14, "Obama's NSA speech reflects American apathy," BBC, Anthony Zurcher, Editor, Echo Chambers
"The US public's reaction to the US surveillance program is in marked contrast to the European view, particularly in Germany, where opinion is decidedly negative. In a November 2013 poll, 70% of Germans objected to government collection of phone and internet data for national security purposes.
"Europeans still operate under the assumption that it is critical to uphold the rule of law," write Globalist editor Stephan Richter and German MEP Jan Philipp Albercht for the Guardian. "The US government is more than flexible with the rule of law by turning any notion of privacy into Swiss cheese. The dangerous implications this holds for the core ideas of democracy are obvious."
If Americans are relatively unconcerned about the US government monitoring their own population, they're even less worried about what it does in other countries.
"I want tight controls on what the US government can do to Americans," writes Ace of Spades blogger DrewM. "Foreigners? That's WHY we have an intelligence community."
Mr Obama's speech appears to confirm this. While he said he has "made clear to the intelligence community that - unless there is a compelling national security purpose - we will not monitor the communications of heads of state and government of our close friends and allies", that leaves a lot open to interpretation.
"It's still less than a categorical refusal to allow that kind of surveillance in the future," writes Ed Morrissey for Hot Air blog. "It's a diplomatic bone, tossed with the understanding that our allies should applaud but not expect us to change too much about what we do."
The best that has been said of Mr Obama's proposals is "it's a good first step". But for suspicious European allies, it's not much of a step at all."
My comment to the BBC author: Top 2 reasons for American apathy:
Reason 1: America has quietly become the Soviet Union. Media, Democrats, Republican leadership, Beltway lobbyists, academics, Hollywood are all happily on the radical left and its gravy train. Obama is the left's momentary top placeholder. Nothing he does will elicit more than a mild reproach. The Republican Establishment and their media (such as the Weekly Standard mentioned in your article) have merged with the democrats and agree with them on all major issues. Those involved put up mild charades pretending there are still two "sides."
Reason 2: In the unlikely event the GOP establishment does disagree with Obama, they can't do anything serious about it. They may put out fake sound bites once in awhile but everyone knows they're for show. The Tea Party scared the living daylights out of the GOP. Obama helped them defeat the Tea Party in 2012 and leading up to it via the IRS, and they owe him their lives. These are the top 2 reasons the US appears apathetic.
Separately, you mentioned the idea of Islamic terrorism. Obama and the left in no way think such a thing exists. They may acknowledge non-Islamic 'terrorism' in some form exists but they view it more a result of poverty and justifiable anger, something the American middle class should feel guilty about and pay for. Obviously it's a perfect excuse for those in political power to siphon billions of American taxpayer dollars every day to the endless list of cronies and thugs who influence elections and need to be paid off. A secondary benefit is it has permanently destroyed the American economy and the America that was once a beacon of freedom to the world. The word terrorism is mentioned every so often and that's the end of it. As to the rule of law per se, the left has long believed the US Constitution to be illegitimate if not a joke. That's why it's ignored in the US today aside from an occasional fake sound bite or photo op.
For the record, those of us on the right are terribly upset about everything you describe and have been for some years. We know we're in physical danger. We know America today has put other countries in terrible danger. Many of us on the right realized early in George Bush's first term that the Republican Party had sold us out to the left. You could say he was selling out the world too. It's worse under Obama and the US has only one functioning political party now. Meaning the US is a dictatorship. Yes, that's scary. To the extent the GOP exists today, it's purpose isn't to defeat democrats but to silence right of center Americans. They and their lobbyist pals are putting millions into silencing us in the 2014 and 2016 elections. We made a difference for awhile in the Tea Party movement, especially in November 2010. But for now we've been co-opted and silenced. P.S. I'm not usually a fan of the Ace of Spades blog you mentioned. He's establishment. You also quote Hot Air blogger Ed Morrissey. I agree with his statements in this instance. But he's also establishment. Just for future reference. The establishment generally wants Chris Christie. I'm on the side that wants Ted Cruz.