More about his decision…
I know at least one of my fellow bloggers here at Donklephant strongly disagrees, and while I understand and appreciate the views of those who think this FISA legislation is still a gross violation of our civil liberties, the previous incarnation of this bill earlier this year (without tougher restrictions on telcoms) garnered a filibuster-proof 68 votes by the Senate. This compromise makes the bill better and sets the stage for further progress in the future.
Also, as Obama explains in the video, telcom immunity should not get in the way of reupping FISA legislation that has existed for the past 30 years. And as I said back in 2006…it’s not about eavesdropping…it’s about the lack of accountability…
I don’t have any problem with Bush eavesdropping, but if he does it and then doesn’t get a retroactive warrant, well, that’s illegal. And since 1978, we’ve apparently not have anybody try to skirt these laws until Bush.
Yes folks, we’ve been eavesdropping for a long, long, long time. That’s why the FISA courts were established in the first place.
So, if people don’t like the FISA bill as it existed since 1978, that’s fine, but nothing about this new compromise comes anywhere close to what Bush was doing. Let’s remember that he didn’t notify the courts he was wiretapping. That was clearly illegal. This bill fixes that.
In fact, this bill includes even more protections for Americans who live overseas and for the first time allows the courts to see the letters the President sent to the telcoms to convince them that this program was legal.
If some think that’s caving, that’s fine. I don’t, and I’m glad Obama doesn’t either.