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Coming To Terms With Obama's FISA Vote

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Still fuming over the FISA sellout, and greatly disappointed by Barack Obama's "Yea" vote, I decided to do more research.

What I found did help a bit, but I'm still disgusted by the fact that the telecoms who illegally spied on us now have retroactive immunity.

What I found, the thing that helped me feel a tiny bit better about all this, was a statement by Barack Obama about why he decided to support the FISA bill.

In a nutshell, he voted for the bill because:

• it brings the FISA court back into the picture and demands compliance with the court;


• it requires the Inspectors General to investigate past misconduct, so maybe someone(s) -- other than the now-immune telecoms, of course -- will be exposed for their role(s) in the illegal wiretapping and perhaps even held accountable.

So he obviously put a great deal of thought into it and did what he felt was best for now. That's his prerogative.

But I still strongly oppose this legislation.

Sure, the FISA court is back as a requirement, but that never stopped the Bushies from sidestepping the court.

And the Inspectors General may launch an investigation, but we know that the Bushies are good at dodging any kind of proceedings through which they might be held accountable for their misdeeds. They just play the "state secrets" card, or the "executive privilege" card, like they're above the law. And they always seem to get away with it.

And the fact still stands that Congress gave the telecoms a get-out-of-jail-free card.

Imagine the outrage if Bill Clinton had illegally spied on us like Bush has. They probably would have used that to impeach Clinton all over again, not pass a bill supporting the activity.

But Bush -- with a 25% approval rating -- gets a free pass and a Congressional blessing. Why?

No wonder this Congress now has a 9% approval rating.

In an ideal world, Obama would have joined with Senators Russ Feingold, Chris Dodd, Pat Leahy, and others who firmly opposed the bill, and we would have seen a filibuster.

But this is not a perfect world, and Obama is not a perfect person. He is a politician, and this is a very important election year. We know that the Republicans will continue to play the fear card. Hence, Obama's "Yea" vote.

Disappointed as I am, however, I will still support Obama's campaign in every way I can.

Because no one is perfect.

Because this election is about more than just one issue.

And because the alternative -- a McCain presidency -- is unthinkable.


Mary Shaw is a Philadelphia-based writer and activist, with a focus on politics, human rights, and social justice. She is a former Philadelphia Area Coordinator for the Nobel-Prize-winning human rights group Amnesty International, and her views (more...)

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  Have you seen ANY signs at all of Demo... by Nathaniel Heidenheimer on Saturday, Jul 12, 2008 at 9:17:56 AM
I agree, Ms. Mary, that the election centers aroun... by JC Garrett on Saturday, Jul 12, 2008 at 9:56:59 AM
Obama voted for it was his Campaign, again tri-ang... by Bia Winter on Monday, Jul 14, 2008 at 9:07:56 AM
You're right - this election is not about one ... by Dennis Kaiser on Saturday, Jul 12, 2008 at 10:04:22 AM
to look for best possible interpretations. We all ... by Daniel Geery on Saturday, Jul 12, 2008 at 10:29:56 AM
Young and handsome.  The willingness of the A... by Angelo on Saturday, Jul 12, 2008 at 10:48:55 AM
Duopoly Expands Spy Powers; Grants Telcos Immunity... by Rady Ananda on Saturday, Jul 12, 2008 at 5:40:18 PM
Don't pay any attention to anything our politi... by Goblue on Saturday, Jul 12, 2008 at 8:29:10 PM
 EXCEPT USING THE FRAZE OUR GOVERNMENT IS NOT... by RICH SHA on Sunday, Jul 13, 2008 at 3:08:35 AM
This past week George Washington law professor Jon... by Munich on Saturday, Jul 12, 2008 at 12:56:37 PM
Immunity = Above the Law ~ RICO . Cloture Motion; ... by Kimball on Saturday, Jul 12, 2008 at 1:29:12 PM
J.C. Garrett is right.   I read Obama... by Josephus on Saturday, Jul 12, 2008 at 3:05:38 PM
Lets make more excuses for the lousy choice we hav... by freedomrider on Saturday, Jul 12, 2008 at 4:38:44 PM
 WHAT WILL IT TAKE FOR WE THE PEOPLE TO SAY E... by RICH SHA on Sunday, Jul 13, 2008 at 3:21:43 AM
At some point you will need to wake up and face th... by pft on Saturday, Jul 12, 2008 at 5:35:33 PM
I will cast my vote for Obama. The M$M pushes rig... by AllDems08 on Saturday, Jul 12, 2008 at 9:14:42 PM
third party-the wasted vote is a vote that continu... by Jack Harrington on Friday, Jul 18, 2008 at 6:36:29 PM
"What I found did help a bit, but I'm sti... by Julie Johnson on Saturday, Jul 12, 2008 at 10:34:49 PM
Because the telecoms broke an existing law. Glenn... by AllDems08 on Saturday, Jul 12, 2008 at 11:10:29 PM
  Of our Senators, 19 Democrats and 48 Repub... by AllDems08 on Sunday, Jul 13, 2008 at 12:05:37 AM
( YOUR PAPERS PLEASE)... by RICH SHA on Sunday, Jul 13, 2008 at 3:26:49 AM
But it is about character, honesty, and transparan... by John R Moffett on Sunday, Jul 13, 2008 at 5:33:40 AM
and voters saw it as a character issue. The conseq... by francine on Monday, Jul 14, 2008 at 3:33:35 AM
Obama, Pelosi, Reid, ... are far more dangerous th... by old91A10 on Sunday, Jul 13, 2008 at 1:18:34 PM
While this election may be more than "just&qu... by Mark Welkie on Monday, Jul 14, 2008 at 7:34:16 AM