Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Obama Caves on Warrantless Surveillance and Telecom Amnesty

As an Obama supporter, I have to say the Senator massively disappointed me today with his craven capitulation on warrantless surveillance and amnesty for law-breaking telecoms. His vote was a betrayal of numerous campaign promises. I had thought more of him and feel naive now for having believed him earlier.

If you value the Fourth Amendment more than Senator Obama seems to, here's a link to Strange Bedfellows, a new organization dedicated to preventing unchecked government power and preserving the Fourth Amendment. I've already signed up.

Become a StrangeBedfellow!


Spy Scribbler said...

Totally upset and disgusted, here. Must Bush strip us of all decency, dignity, and honor before he leaves office?

And now Obama?

Our country has changed in the last eight years, changed a whole lot. I don't know who we are anymore. I'd much rather have a president not inhaling while not having sex with interns. I can't believe I was once embarrassed by that. Little did I know how much worse it could get.

I've never hated a president before. I've never felt betrayed by a Senator, either. And now I have to vote for him? Cripes, that makes me angry.

ssas said...

I had to come see what you'd say about this! I suppose it's too much to ask someone in the middle of a campaign to alienate the Telcos.

Well, actually, I didn't think it was too much to ask.

PBI said...

Here, here on the Strange Bedfellows! You can also add your blog as a sponsor for Accountability Now PAC, which will be the political arm of S.B., by going here.

This issue is so core to everything we're supposed to be as Americans, that for me, Obama's actions have transformed him from a candidate I would gladly support to one for whom I will vote while holding my nose. I hate to say it, but Obama didn't cave at all; he is entirely complicit. As the Democratic Party's nominee, he could have put the brakes on this legislative abomination at any time, with one phone call, to Harry Reid. Instead, he chose to chase perceived political advantage and the accrual of power to the presidency.

I have informed the Obama campaign they will get no more money from me, and have also done the same with the DCCC and DSCC. I will be making any future political donations via ActBlue in an effort to make sure that we're not replacing rubber stamp Republicans with rubber stamp Democrats, and to work toward getting people who respect the Constitution and the rule of law into office. The new FISA legislation is every bit as bad as anything done by the Bush White House and the GOP-led Congress.

The ACLU has announced they will be bringing suit on the new FISA bill as soon as President Bush signs it into law. I give them a 50/50 shot - the structure of the telecom immunity provisions is such that, while it is unquestionably retroactive immunity in effect, there are window-dressing mechanisms in place to make it seem as if there is oversight. I suspect that the more egregious elements of the warrantless surveillance powers will be culled, but it will all depend on the judges before whom the case is presented.

For a while, it was nice to believe we had turned the corner on the lawlessness we have seen from Washington. It's mightily discouraging to have it confirmed that the majority of our legislators - not to mention both presidential candidates - have so little respect for the oath they swore to defend the Constitution.

Sensen No Sen

Barry Eisler said...

Paul, you're right as usual -- describing Obama's behavior as a "cave" is too generous to him. My position is otherwise identical to yours. Obama is no longer a candidate I can support enthusiastically; I'll vote for him in November as the better alternative, but will not contribute the money I had planned to contribute to his campaign (in fact, I regret that I contributed to his primary campaign). ActBlue is a much more sensible alternative.


Natalie Hatch said...

Why are there only two political parties in America? Is there a possibility of another being created to break the duopoly?

David Terrenoire said...

I called Obama's HQ to voice my extreme displeasure and sent Chris Dodd $50 to help him retire his campaign debt and to say thanks for standing up for the 4th Amendment.

Anonymous said...

The fact of the matter is that both political parties have spent the past thirty years chipping away at our liberties in order to further their respective agendas.

Why should anyone be surprised at this?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Eisler:
You profess outrage at Sen. Obama's support of legislation that would curtail civil liberties.

You have to remember that his supporters are the same crowd who stood idly by while Pol Pot slaughtered 1.4 million (according to Amnesty International) in the name of "the People".

David Terrenoire said...

anonymous ( I love it when someone leaves a sweeping comment like this without leaving a name),

I'm an Obama supporter and was around when the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia. So how, exactly, did we stand by while Pol Pot murdered his countrymen?

How are we any more responsible than those who now back McCain? I was a recent veteran in those days and, believe me, I didn't hear anyone, Democrat or Republican, eager to go into Cambodia to oust Pol Pot.

So how about some specifics, like names and dates?

I'm not saying that we as a country shouldn't bear some shame, but that shame is widely shared, just as it is with Rwanda. To pin it to one party or one candidate is playing conveniently loose with history to score some cheap political point.

Barry Eisler said...

David, thanks for saving me the trouble...