Sunday, June 29, 2008

An Open Letter To Senator Obama: Please Vote NO On Telecom Immunity - Get FISA Right

Senator Obama, you've asked of your supporters to believe not just in your ability to bring about change in Washington, but to believe in our ability to do the same, as concerned and caring American citizens who love our country.

I hear your clarion call. And I believe that the American people, in this crucial time for the future of our country, are coming together to change its direction and to stand up for our freedoms.

The people who support you and who believe in you are speaking loudly and clearly. I believe you will hear them and will uphold your promise to oppose any FISA bill which includes immunity for the telecommunications companies which unlawfully went along with President George W. Bush's program of warrantless wiretapping of ordinary American citizens.

It is at times like these, with our country on the brink of losing some of the greatest attributes that define us as a nation, that we must step up to the crucial role that destiny has handed us.

This is a defining moment in the history of our country. Do we let ourselves be taken into an age of fear, mistrust, and paranoia, forever feeling that we are being watched and that everyone is a spy?

Or do we hold our heads up, unafraid, and as Americans declare that enough is enough?

We don't want any more of the paranoid culture of fear that is seemingly the Bush administration's meager vision of our future. We are tired of being told that as Americans we must mistrust and be afraid.

We must stand, tall and united, against those who seek to turn the United States into a surveillance society. We must stand up and say "NO!" to those who would turn us into a nation of fearful, isolated citizens, fearing each other, fearing the government, fearing the massive technological complex which has been turned to the ignoble end of monitoring our every word in some misguided attempt to provide an illusory security at the very real cost of our highest ideals.

A government which operates on the basic belief that it must keep its citizens silent and fearful through some sort of all-seeing, all-hearing intelligence apparatus is a government which has already destroyed that which it seeks to defend.

If we forsake our highest ideals of liberty in the name of defending ourselves from a foreign enemy which seeks to take our freedom, then we have already handed them the victory which they seek. For in so doing we have indeed allowed them to destroy our greatness and our freedom by intimidating us into doing their work for them.

A proud group of your supporters who believe in your call for hope and a new kind of politics, and who also realize the importance of the FISA telecom immunity issue, has come together and organized themselves on your website. We are among your most loyal and enthusiastic supporters. Our group has already grown to more than 5,000 members in just a few days, and it continues to grow as I write this. Right now, it is ranked as the fifth largest group on

Please, Senator Obama, reject the politics of fear on national security, vote against this bill and lead other Democrats to do the same!

A proud supporter,
Steve Elliott
Kingston, WA

To Those Who Want To Join The Group 'Senator Obama - Please Vote NO on Telecom Immunity - Get FISA Right'

In just three days, this has become the biggest Obama group centered around a specific issue, and the only group challenging one of Obama's positions.

If you already have an account at, just click on "Join Group" on the upper left portion of the page.

If you don't have an account, it's quick and easy to get one! Just click on "New Account" on the lower left portion of the page.

"That means no more illegal wire-tapping of American citizens... 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. This Administration acts like violating civil liberties is the way to enhance our security. It is not. There are no short-cuts to protecting America..."

~ Senator Barack Obama, August 1, 2007

What Else Can You Do?

Click Here to learn what else you can do in the fight against telecom immunity provisions in FISA.

EFF Supports Senator Bingaman's Immunity Amendment: Congress Should Know What It is Immunizing

The Nation: Obama Network Organizes and Revolts Over Spying


Johnny G. said...

Preach on, brother. I do hope that Obama hears this cry from his internet progressive constituency - I have to believe that we are going to become a stronger and stronger voice in elections as the years go on.

I've written a little on the topic of freedom/liberty vs. security in America on my own blog - check it out if you get a chance, I would love to hear your thoughts.

dfletcher said...

Read more about the history of government spying here

doswheeler said...

I think NOTHING should come before FREEDOM. Its how the fore fathers wanted it!


Vin said...

Tell it like it is!!! Our man needs to heed the words of his supporters. Even the most die-hard among us don't really know what to say when you ask them why our man wants the power to spy on us all just like that traitor Bush already does!

Hunter T said...

Shouldn't your beef be with the Bush administration who legitimized the wiretapping. The telecom companies didn't exactly have a choice but to comply with the law of the land.
Your proposal sets a dangerous precedent of telling corporations that they can and should pick and choose which laws to follow. I know you are trying to fight for justice, but you really ought to consider the implications of what you are asking for.
The government is responsible for this reprehensible surveillance. Corporations do what they're told.

Joseph B said...

I joined the partybuilder on I started writing a comment to one ofBarracks posts. It wasnt a nice comment at all. Then my computer frezzes up. I reboot, go into my rouiter, look at my logs, and a port scan had been done from the IP address of as well as 4 IP addresses registered to youreally think Barrack supports immunity.....

FlawlessWalrus said...

If Obama lets the telecoms slide on this, it will be my first major disappointment with him. As a professor of Constitutional Law, I would hope we would realize the ramifications of this and vote against retroactive immunity for as-yet-unrevealed crimes against the American people.

☮~alapoet~☠ said...

@ hunter t:

Where does it say that "my beef" has to be either with the Bush administration or with the telecom companies?

It's not either/or. My beef is with BOTH of them.

Bush broke the law in asking the telecoms to spy on their own customers without warrants.

The telecoms broke the law in agreeing to do so.

What do you mean "the telecoms didn't have a choice but to comply with the law of the land"??

You are confusing the President with the law. The President is NOT the law. Just like anyone else, he is accountable TO the law. And that means when the President breaks the law, he is to be punished.

That's what it means by the saying "we are a nation of laws, not of men."

Corporations are NOT obligated to "do what they're told" when they are asked to break the law. It doesn't matter if it's me, you, or the President who asks them. They don't have to do it. The President's request to break the laws doesn't carry any more authority than mine, yours, or Aunt Ethel's. And that's the way it should be.

Corporations do NOT get to pick what laws they do and do not follow. There is a law against eavesdropping on phone conversations without a warrant. The telecom companies BROKE that law. They are not above they law, and they should not be granted immunity to prosecution when they break it.

You are the one who is advocating that the law not be applied equally, across the board.

The law applies to me and you, to corporations, and to the President.

Ensino Man said...

Enough is enough! I have had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane!

PS: democrats are gay :)


☮~alapoet~☠ said...

@ "Ensino Man":

If Democrats are "gay," what does that make Republicans? They're the ones who came up with this fascist idea to begin with. The whole program was conceived and executed by the Bush/Cheney administration with getting the legal clearance to do so.

By the way, your use of "gay" as a pejorative only serves to highlight your ignorance.

You also seem to be a little challenged in the spelling department. It's "Encino,' not "Ensino," you dumb shit.

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