Barack may, in fact, end up validating his security credentials while ultimately aligning himself with Dodd and Feingold in zapping the immunity clause from the current FISA legislative proposal.
These two Senate worthies managed to postpone the FISA U.S. Senate vote until after the July 4 break.
But the biggest thing to understand is something that escaped me until I read the following elucidation from About.com.
Here, from political columnist Kathy Gill, is the nub of the argument. I urge you to read and reread her whole piece.
Telecoms are already exempt from having to second-guess the legality of a government request. From Feingold’s Wednesday floor speech: “If the proper documentation is submitted, the company must cooperate with the request and will be immune from liability.” SOURCE
In essence, this provides Barack with an argument for voting against extending immunity, because the immunity is already a feature of the original legislation! Surely, amid all the other things on Barack’s mind, this will not be lost as the time of decision draws near.
I have been intentionally provocative in my title for this post. The fact is that very few are backing away from Barack because of his stated willingness to go with what has been called a compromise on FISA.
If the Bush insistence on exempting companies that are already exempt is understood, it comes off as yet another in a predictable series of inept and scurrilious fear gambits.
As Kathy Gill notes in the aforementioned piece: “No wonder Verizon’s lawyers advised the company not to participate!”
A few days ago I wrote the following:
I am reasonably sure Obama’s reaction to all this will be:
He is running for President to carefully remove the pieces of infamy that were put in place by the Bush Regime. As the nation affirms this course, by electing him and creating a better margin for Democrats in Congress, the legal apparatus of this sorry era will itself be rolled back to something like a Constitutional mode of governance.
My guess is that this is an issue of Lincolnian gravity and that we have a person of Lincolnian capacities to thread a path through this thicket.
I have no reason to believe we will not see a surprising outcome to the FISA flap, one which will modify criticism from the left and render the hypocritical criticism from the MCCain camp as ittelevant and specious as it has been on every other issue the seemingly-fatigued GOP standard-bearer has stirred himself to address.