With all the scandals floating around lately, and the addition of the latest wide sweeping Verizon records grab I thought sharing this would add something to the conversation.
The following is a quotation from then-Senator Obama’s 2005 floor speech rejecting cloture on the Patriot Act:
“This is legislation that puts our own Justice Department above the law. When National Security Letters are issued, they allow federal agents to conduct any search on any American, no matter how extensive or wide-ranging, without ever going before a judge to prove that the search is necessary. They simply need sign-off from a local FBI official. That’s all… And if someone wants to know why their own government has decided to go on a fishing expedition through every personal record or private document – through library books they’ve read and phone calls they’ve made – this legislation gives people no rights to appeal the need for such a search in a court of law. No judge will hear their plea, no jury will hear their case. This is just plain wrong. Giving law enforcement the tools they need to investigate suspicious activity is one thing – and it’s the right thing – but doing it without any real oversight seriously jeopardizes the rights of all Americans and the ideals America stands for.”
Read the Rest @ Obama Learns Newspeak – Forbes
and here’s another, from 2007…
By Adam Weinstein
In a 2007 speech by then-Sen. Barack Obama, the presidential hopeful pledged to chase terrorists “without undermining our Constitution and our freedom.” He promised to work with the legal system set up by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978, in which court judges can secretly review the government’s plans to track suspected terrorists in advance. “That means no more illegal wire-tapping of American citizens,” Obama added:
“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. No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient. That is not who we are. And it is not what is necessary to defeat the terrorists. The FISA court works. The separation of powers works. Our Constitution works. We will again set an example for the world that the law is not subject to the whims of stubborn rulers, and that justice is not arbitrary.”
By getting a court order to force Verizon to turn over its customers’ call records, Obama stuck to the substance of his pledge — if not to its spirit.