Thursday, July 3, 2008

Is Obama misleading his supporters?

Obama, a constitutional lawyer, has declared he will not vote against a new FISA bill that grants the US president new unchecked powers to spy on US citizens. Glenn Greenwald, a constitutional law expert, is not persuaded by Obama's reasoning.

Barack Obama:
. . an independent monitor must watch the watchers to prevent abuses and to protect the civil liberties of the American people. This compromise law assures that the FISA court has that responsibility.

Glenn Greenwald (responding to above claim):

This is just false. The new FISA bill that Obama supports vests new categories of warrantless eavesdropping powers in the President (.pdf), and allows the Government, for the first time, to tap physically into U.S. telecommunications networks inside our country with no individual warrant requirement. To claim that this new bill creates "an independent monitor [to] watch the watchers to prevent abuses and to protect the civil liberties of the American people" is truly misleading, since the new FISA bill actually does the opposite -- it frees the Government from exactly that monitoring in all sorts of broad categories.
Daniel Larison, a conservative blogger observes: "Obama supports giving the government and this administration the unchecked power to spy on anyone they choose to spy on. That’s pretty inspiring, isn’t it?"*

*h/t: Greenwald

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SPECIAL COVERAGE I live-blogged the spontaneous Obama victory celebration in Washington DC. Experience what it felt like to be among thousands of deliriously happy people gathered outside the White House. Click here.

Previously, I had been blogging about the Obama, McCain and the US election. I wrote about Sarah Palin on this blog even before McCain chose her to be his running mate. The choice was disappointing, and a possibility I had anticipated.

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