FISA Passes

The FISA extension with immunity for telecoms that assist in terrorism surveillance passed overwhelmingly Wednesday. After promising to vote against and even fillibuster the bill if it included the immunity provision, Obama voted in favor of the bill. The netroots are going nuts, even on Obama’s own website. When the spell of messianic perfection is broken, it is really shattered, I suppose. The New York Times fumed:

Senator Barack Obama, who had once promised to filibuster against immunity for the telecommunications companies, executed a deeply distressing pivot in recent weeks, hewing to the “best we could do” line that was adopted by many Democrats. Today, he voted to cut off debate on the bill, and then voted for its final passage. Fortunately, Mr. Obama seemed to have no influence over Democrats who opposed the bill. None of them joined him in changing their positions.

But aside from that, let’s review what Obama did. He and his Democratic colleagues opposed, objected and delayed passage of a FISA extension for months. This left a void, a gap, in intelligence collection. Whatever communications we didn’t catch are lost and whatever data we could have used to protect Americans is gone. The terrorists aren’t going to be calling back to recap their communications over the last few months.

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FISA Passes

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