Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Obama Wiretap Vote Would Punish Private Companies, Weaken Security

In recent posts (here and here), I've made the case that a Democratic victory in November would send American foreign policy into a disastrous surrender to the world correlation of forces now arrayed against the United States and its allies.

There's more news to that effect this morning with reports on the Senate's vote yesterday on the administration's surveillance bill, which would grant telecom immunity for companies assisting government intelligence-gathering efforts.

For example,
this morning's Wall Street Journal discusses Barack Obama's vote against the wiretap legislation:

Now and then sanity prevails, even in Washington. So it did yesterday as the Senate passed a warrantless wiretap bill for overseas terrorists while killing most of the Lilliputian attempts to tie down our war fighters.

"We lost every single battle we had on this bill," conceded Chris Dodd, which ought to tell the Connecticut Senator something about the logic of what he was proposing. His own amendment -- to deny immunity from lawsuits to telecom companies that cooperated with the government after 9/11 -- didn't even get a third of the Senate. It lost 67-31, though notably among the 31 was possible Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama. (Hillary Clinton was absent, while John McCain voted in favor.)

It says something about his national security world view, or his callowness, that Mr. Obama would vote to punish private companies that even the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee said had "acted in good faith." Had Senator Obama prevailed, a President Obama might well have been told "no way" when he asked private Americans to help his Administration fight terrorists. Mr. Obama also voted against the overall bill, putting him in MoveOn.org territory.

The defeat of these antiwar amendments means the legislation now moves to the House in a strong position. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is in the Dodd-Obama camp, but 21 Blue Dog Democrats have sent her a letter saying they are happy with the Senate bill. She may try to pass the restrictions that failed in the Senate, and Republicans should tell her to make their day. This is a fight Senator McCain should want to have right up through Election Day, with Democrats having to explain why they want to hamstring the best weapon -- real-time surveillance -- we have against al Qaeda.
An Obama presidency, it can be said, would be even more dangerous to American national security than a Hillary Clinton administration. While both senators are hopelessy tied to the antiwar, retreatist base of their party, Hillary's shameless pandering leaves some room that the austerity of the Oval Office could snap her back into the reality of realpolitik in international affairs.

With Obama - already untested as a novice, unheralded freshman senator - we see a genuine desire to open uncritical diplomatic arms to our enemies, placing America's hard-fought gains against the world's nihilist henchmen at risk.

The Journal editors are right: This is a fight McCain wants up through November. He'll floor his opponent on the issue - especially Obama, should he be the Democratic nominee.

1 comments:

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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