Well, I wasn't asking you to back it up in any challenging sense, just more wondering where you're seeing it and by extension what you consider "the left." I consider most all national level "liberal" politicians to be centrist at best, but it is true that they are characterized as "the left" just b/c they are Democrats. By that measure the response of "the left" has been disgraceful. I do not think this is a failure of leftist ideals so much as a misapplied label: American Democratic politicians are, by and large, neoliberal imperialists with a kinder view towards sexual autonomy than Republicans. This is not to take a moderate's cop-out and call them the same, but what differences there are are not usually in the realm of foreign policy or domestic surveillance. FDR, hero of "the left", authorized the Japanese internment camps, after all. The U.S. has a terrible track record in this area. I think the response from the official "left" is par for the course.
I'm not sure if you're counting me in the "more vocal" lefties here, but it's true that while I read Chaff, I don't often post. I do discuss politics elsewhere, and sign what petitions I can, and write letters to representatives. Not sure what else you would expect an ordinary citizen to do, and you can't be sure that others you might see as silent aren't active in ways you don't know about. If you're talking about people who are lefty, who post, and who soft-pedal this issue, I have no defense for them. I am very much against surveillance. Although I admit I feel some despair about the possibility of actual change, I would hope whatever comments I've made have not given the impression I am defending anyone in power who is defending the NSA's actions.