I usually don’t blog about political issues on this blog, but enough is enough. On July 10, 2008, President Bush signed into law the clearly unconstitutional F.I.S.A. Amendments Act, which gives the Bush administration virtually unchecked powers to monitor Americans’ international phone calls and emails, and grants immunity to telecommunications companies that illegally aided in the president’s warrantless wiretapping program. Congress may have rolled over and joined the conspiracy to weaken constitutional protections, however, the ACLU has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a broad coalition of plaintiffs challenging the constitutionality of the law. Some Democratic leaders who still respect the right to privacy have promised to revisit the issues surrounding the FISA Amendments Act during the 2009 debate over reauthorization of USA Patriot Act provisions. I suggest reading more about this issue on the ACLU web site. Thomas Paine wrote, “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” (The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777).
I’m disappointed with Barack Obama’s vote for this bill, which represents a reversal for him. He previously opposed that provision. Why did he change his position on this? Character is revealed through action and this action proves that his demoncratic liberal talk is just that, talk. His actions have now revealed that now that he’s the heir apparent, he does not want to take a stand for the constitution or freedom. So much for the oath of office he hopes to take if he’s elected president.
The F.I.S.A. bill passed 69 to 28 in the Senate, and a number of Democratic senators, including Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, and former rival Hillary Clinton, voted against it. Michael Falcone in The New York Times politial blog quoted Clinton as saying, “… even as we considered this legislation, the administration refused to allow the overwhelming majority of Senators to examine the warrantless wiretapping program. This made it exceedingly difficult for those senators who are not on the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees to assess the need for the operational details of the legislation, and whether greater protections are necessary. The same can be said for an assessment of the telecom immunity provisions.” On an issue of such importance, not to mention a grievous violation of the constitution, all representatives should have been given the information so they could make an informed decision about the merits of this legislation and if anything was rotten, they could leak it to the press. If only we had a true free press (but that’s another issue). Clinton also said, “I cannot support this legislation when we know neither the nature of the surveillance activities authorized nor the role played by telecommunications companies granted immunity.”
What was Barack Obama thinking when he voted yes? So much for the “Audacity of Hope.” If Barack is elected president, will we continue to see erosion of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as the Executive Branch slowly gains more and more power as the Bush administration has done for the past eight years?. If Obama voted yes as to not to appear weak on terrorism, it demonstrates his weakness as a leader, a lack of respect for the Constitution, choosing political expedience over the leadership he’s always talking about, one more erosion of liberty that is so fragile. At one point Obama spoke about his intent to filibuster (his so called words), and now that he expects to be president and looking forward to having all that unconstitutional power at his disposal, he votes yes (his real action). Most politicians fail tests of character, and Barack has failed his. Character, once again, was revealed through action.