I have consistently opposed this Administration's efforts to use debates about our national security to expand its own power, whether that was in regard to the conduct of the Iraq war or its restrictions on our civil liberties through domestic surveillance programs or suspension of habeas corpus. It is time to restore oversight and accountability in the FISA program, and rejecting this unprecedented grant of retroactive immunity is a good place to start.But, in fact, the Democratic Majority Leader in the House is pushing the Telecom immunity bill that was written by one of the Republicans. So while Obama rightly blasts them, he wrongly hides the complicity of a substantial portion of his own corrupt party.
Giving retroactive immunity to telecom companies is simply wrong. Thankfully, the most recent effort to pass this legislation at the end of the legislative year failed. I unequivocally oppose this grant of immunity and support the filibuster of it. I have cosponsored Senator Dodd's proposal that would remove it from the current FISA bill and continue to follow this debate closely. In order to prevail, the proponents of retroactive immunity still have to convince 60 or more senators to vote to end a filibuster of this bill. I will not be one of them.
This Administration has put forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we demand. When I am president, there will be no more illegal wire-tapping of American citizens; no more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime; no more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war. Our Constitution works, and so does the FISA court.
Which gets me to my observation: Am I one of the few to learn the lessons encompassed in Orwell's Animal Farm? Seriously, the whole damn book was an obvious metaphor of the inevitable corruption of good intentions.
I believe it is obvious that the 'lesser of two odious,' regardless of the "team" you're rooting for, remains odious. I think the obvious, and sad, truth is, but for the occasional maverick that comes in under the radar, until the straight-and-narrow is routinely enforced by the voters, odious is all we will receive. And until people say "I'm voting for the best, regardless of the perceived futility, not the least-worst" we're going to have government full of quislings. After all, the costs of betrayal are too small compared to the rewards of power when elections are limited to a false-choice of two "electable" candidates.