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Obama: I'll Fight To Strip Telecom Immunity From FISA
CBSNEWS.COM ^ | June 21sth, 2008 | David S Morgan

Posted on 06/21/2008 5:01:07 PM PDT by The_Republican

(CBS/AP) - Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., issued a statement in support of the House's update of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, but said he would try to strip a provision granting immunity to telecommunication companies when the bill comes to a vote in the Senate next week.

The House approved a compromise bill Friday that would set new electronic surveillance rules that would also shield telecoms from lawsuits arising from their participation in the government's warrantless eavesdropping on telephone and computer lines in the United States.

The government eavesdropped on American phone and computer lines for almost six years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks without permission from the FISA Court, the special panel established for that purpose under the original 1978 law.

Some 40 lawsuits have been filed against the telecommunications companies by groups and individuals who say the Bush administration illegally monitored their phone calls or e-mails.

Obama said there is "little doubt" that the Bush Administration, with the cooperation of major telecommunications companies, "has abused [its] authority and undermined the Constitution by intercepting the communications of innocent Americans without their knowledge or the required court orders."

"Given the legitimate threats we face, providing effective intelligence collection tools with appropriate safeguards is too important to delay. So I support the compromise, but do so with a firm pledge that as president, I will carefully monitor the program.

"[The bill] does, however, grant retroactive immunity, and I will work in the Senate to remove this provision so that we can seek full accountability for past offenses."

The House approved the legislation 293-129.

The White House had threatened to veto any surveillance bill that did not also shield the companies.

Critics say granting immunity to telecoms would scrap the pending lawsuits and prevent any public airing of details about the government's surveillance activities.

Last February, when an earlier version of the FISA bill came to a vote, Obama voted for an amendment to strip the telecom immunity provision from the bill. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) voted in favor of keeping immunity for the telecoms.

Speaking in an interview to be aired on Bloomberg television this weekend, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said that he may schedule a separate vote on stripping immunity from the bill, although he expressed pessimism about its success.

"Probably we can't take that out of the bill, but I'm going to try," Reid told "Political Capital with Al Hunt."


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: 110th; congress; counterterrorism; fisa; immunity; obmama; telecom; telecoms

1 posted on 06/21/2008 5:01:08 PM PDT by The_Republican
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To: The_Republican

idiot


2 posted on 06/21/2008 5:02:08 PM PDT by nikos1121 (Obama, tells us truthfully, where you were born.)
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To: The_Republican
Obama's idea of security
3 posted on 06/21/2008 5:02:36 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country! What else needs said?)
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To: The_Republican

Marxist hate private industry.


4 posted on 06/21/2008 5:04:04 PM PDT by golfisnr1 (Democrats are like roaches - hard to get rid of.)
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To: The_Republican

Not unexpected for a muslim to fight to protect mass-murdering muslim brethren.


5 posted on 06/21/2008 5:04:23 PM PDT by Neoliberalnot ((Hallmarks of Liberalism: Ingratitude and Envy))
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To: The_Republican

Who gains from his plan?


6 posted on 06/21/2008 5:05:38 PM PDT by allmost
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To: The_Republican

OBAMA! OBAMA! OBAMA!

7 posted on 06/21/2008 5:06:58 PM PDT by Doogle (USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated))
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To: The_Republican
Is it PC for me to tell a black (mulatto)/ Muslim freshman senator who is running for US President to go pound sand?
8 posted on 06/21/2008 5:08:21 PM PDT by Irish Eyes
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To: Irish Eyes
Is it PC for me to tell a black (mulatto)/ Muslim freshman senator who is running for US President to go pound sand?

Of course it is! It's the new post-racial day...

9 posted on 06/21/2008 5:11:22 PM PDT by GunnyB (Once a Marine, Always a Marine)
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To: The_Republican
Some 40 lawsuits have been filed against the telecommunications companies by groups and individuals who say the Bush administration illegally monitored their phone calls or e-mails.

Does anyone know who any of these companies or groups are and if we can get their names?

10 posted on 06/21/2008 5:18:00 PM PDT by lil'bit
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To: The_Republican

Definitely a WTF. If the government is calling the tune, why should anyone be able to sue the companies who are merely doing their bidding? The answer, of course, is that it is the Alinsky way to use the legal process dishonestly, in this case, to achieve ends or apply pressure judicially when they were unable to carry the day legislatively. Scum.


11 posted on 06/21/2008 5:21:54 PM PDT by Pearls Before Swine (Is /sarc really necessary?)
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To: lil'bit
If they filed a lawsuit it's a public record. You could go to findlaw and search under “FISA” and see what you could come up with.
12 posted on 06/21/2008 5:23:58 PM PDT by mojito
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To: The_Republican

If you’re calling to the Afgan-Pakistan border several times a week, I would hope that someone in our government would be taking an interest.


13 posted on 06/21/2008 5:26:17 PM PDT by mojito
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To: The_Republican

The IDIOT with many many faces.


14 posted on 06/21/2008 5:29:14 PM PDT by TribalPrincess2U
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To: The_Republican
but said he would try to strip a provision granting immunity to telecommunication companies when the bill comes to a vote in the Senate next week.

Thats it mental midget, remove the one element that makes the surveillance program work. Only a muslim who in intent upon destroying this country would make such an attempt to cripple our ability to defend ourselves.

When one looks at the 1st biracial candidate, almost every position he has on issues in in contradiction to what is best for the country.

15 posted on 06/21/2008 5:38:22 PM PDT by Born In America (Will vote only for the NON-CLIMATE CHANGE CANDIDATE, irrespective of party affiliation....)
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To: Born In America

When I read his statement, I thought, “Why would he say a stupid thing like that?” You answered my question. Thank you.


16 posted on 06/21/2008 5:56:32 PM PDT by abclily
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To: The_Republican
Dumbobama wants to destroy the free market through litigation and
soon will announce he wants to nationalize all the energy companies
in America. Does he even f-n know what country he's in? He thinks he running for a dictatorship.
BAH!
17 posted on 06/21/2008 6:08:33 PM PDT by MaxMax (I'll welcome death when God calls me. Until then, the fight is on)
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To: The_Republican
This is good to know. Why doesn't he just announce: "I'm in the back pockets of the trial lawyers!"
18 posted on 06/21/2008 6:30:42 PM PDT by norwaypinesavage (Planting trees to offset carbon emissions is like drinking water to offset rising ocean levels)
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To: The_Republican
Are we sure the guy isn't muslim? He is sure hell bent to provide aid and comfort to America's Enemy...


19 posted on 06/21/2008 7:20:30 PM PDT by darkwing104 (Lets get dangerous)
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To: The_Republican

This guy is nuttier than McGovern.

McCain should handle this guy with ease. I hope somebody is keeping a log of all these issues.


20 posted on 06/21/2008 7:40:32 PM PDT by Finalapproach29er (Democrats still want to Impeach Pres. Bush and/or VP Cheney; keep your eye on these House hearings.)
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To: All
Let me get this right,
So lets say he gets elected President.
He is made aware of a serious new terrorist threat to our country,
He calls up the heads of the various Telcom
companies (who thanks to him and some other liberal Senators, are in the midst of a multimillion dollar multi- year litigation)
and asks for their help with monitoring terrorists. communications??????????

Question: What kind of Presidential candidate goes out of his way to make it more difficult for the next president to defend us?
Answer One who has no plan and no interest in protecting us, obviously.

21 posted on 06/21/2008 7:47:52 PM PDT by Jonah Johansen ("Coming soon to a neighborhood near you")
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To: SandRat

22 posted on 06/21/2008 8:02:14 PM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: BenLurkin

23 posted on 06/21/2008 8:49:07 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country! What else needs said?)
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To: BenLurkin

It did come up.

Funny how these posters visually strike me as Commie Propaganda posters.


24 posted on 06/21/2008 8:50:51 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country! What else needs said?)
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To: The_Republican

Lawyers are scum. Scum who always look out for the well-being of other lawyers’ wallets.


25 posted on 06/21/2008 8:53:16 PM PDT by ccmay (Too much Law; not enough Order.)
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To: allmost
Who gains from his plan?

Filthy greedy scum-sucking trial lawyers, of course.

26 posted on 06/21/2008 8:53:55 PM PDT by ccmay (Too much Law; not enough Order.)
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To: lil'bit
Some 40 lawsuits have been filed against the telecommunications companies by groups and individuals...

In this you have an answer to the question of why Obama and the Democrats don't want the FISA law to move forward.

The trial lawyers sense a big payday...

It has nothing to do with national security or any "right of privacy".

27 posted on 06/21/2008 8:56:07 PM PDT by okie01 (THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA: Ignorance on Parade)
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To: The_Republican

if O gets the provision stripped... who’s he going to blame should terrorist thugs strike U.S. soil again?


28 posted on 06/21/2008 11:03:48 PM PDT by Trajan88 (www.bullittclub.com)
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