Thursday, July 3, 2008

Tell Senator Obama to Honor His Pledge to Save the Constitution

Original Link:

Senator Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee, has announced his support of H.R. 6304, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 that passed the House of Representatives yesterday.

Obama has caved on an important constitutional issue and has given us a window into his governance as President, i.e. triangulation. Back in September, Obama vowed to “support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies.” Now he says he’s still against telecom immunity but plans to vote for the FISA bill anyway.

Retroactive immunity is just one aspect of this. H.R. 6304 purports to eliminate the Fourth Amendment prohibition of warrantless searches. Of course, this can’t be done by Congress– only by amending the Constitution. The ACLU explains the many serious problems with the bill.

From the Washington Post campaign blog:

In his most substantive break with the Democratic Party’s base since becoming the presumptive nominee, Obama declared he will support the bill when it comes to a Senate vote, likely next week, despite misgivings about legal provisions for telecommunications corporations that cooperated with the Bush administration’s warrantless surveillance program of suspected terrorists.

In so doing, Obama sought to walk the fine political line between GOP accusations that he is weak on foreign policy — Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) called passing the legislation a “vital national security matter” — and alienating his base.


Call the Obama campaign 866-675-2008

To get through: 1. Wait until the message asks you to press 4 for your contribution. 2. Press 6 instead. A volunteer will answer. 3. Give them the message.

Tell that you called.

Sign the online petition

Take a stand against FISA Update and for the Fourth Amendment

Senator Obama:

On Friday, June 20th, an unconstitutional FISA update bill passed the House of Representatives, which will legitimize the Bush Administration’s warrantless wiretapping program. It will give extensive powers of surveillance to the executive branch and provide an avenue for retroactive immunity for the telecoms companies that illegally spied on American citizens.

As the presumptive nominee of the Democratic party–and most likely the next President of the United States–your words and actions in the Senate carry a lot of weight. Therefore, we ask two things of you:

1) That you speak out against the bill in its entirety and encourage other Senators to vote against it when it comes up for a vote in the Senate next week.
2) That when called to vote on the FISA Bill, that you vote against it in its entirety.


The Undersigned

What’s next? Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has indicated he will allow a Senate vote next week. He could stop this easily, but he won’t. Senators Dodd, Clinton, and Feingold previously opposed this breach of the Constitution– they could stop it. Senator Obama could stop it.

Remember, this is legislation to retroactively legalize years of numerous, widespread illegal actions by the worst presidential administration in American history. It will prevent a full investigation of what was done, so we’ll never know. All to protect President Bush, the least-popular president ever.

Oh yeah, and the widespread warrantless surveillance of Americans will continue indefinitely if this bill becomes law.

UPDATE: Nothing was said about this issue on the Sunday morning talk shows. The cable news channels are ignoring the story. Not a single word in this morning’s Salt Lake Tribune. Heckuva job, media! Eric Alterman also notes the dearth of coverage.

UPDATE: Senator Russ Feingold thinks he can slow down this railroad, but won’t promise to stop it with a filibuster. “I don’t know what Sen. Obama’s going to do,” Feingold said. “But Democrats should be voting against this.”

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