Obama confounds civil libertarians


Count me in the crowd of Civil Libertarians who are perplexed by Barack Obama’s move to the center and rejection of basic civil liberties. He has come out in favor of a bill on wiretapping proposed by the Bush Administration that gives telephone companies retroactive immunity.

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I’ll be watching Obama’s stances much more closely. This is a worrying trend.

“Under this compromise legislation, an important tool in the fight against terrorism will continue, but the president’s illegal program of warrant-less surveillance will be over,” Obama said after the House passed the proposal.

Yet several senior Democrats starkly differ with Obama’s positive assessment of the wiretaps deal, which the Senate is slated to take up this week.

Three liberal senators allied with Obama – Patrick Leahy, Russell Feingold, and Chris Dodd – already have condemned the bill for its immunity grant to telecom corporations as well as other controversial provisions.

The Guardian, 23 Jun 2008

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