To: Sen. Barack Obama
Sen. Evan Bayh
Subj: Democratic Capitulation on Unconstitutional FISA Extension
The House bill passed Friday was passed with 24 hours of introduction. Not even time enough for members to pretend to have read it. One business day later, here is the bill in the Senate, so Senators can pretend they have read it.
And, as in the case of the so oxymoronically named Patriot Act, the Senate apparently is ready to cave and grant what is fundamentally unconstitutional retroactive immunity to the telecoms, who have been pouring millions of dollars into the pockets of both houses of Congress to buy this legislation.
Of course Bush will be thrilled, since this illegal act not only will prevent public scrutiny in court of the multiple illegal acts of warrantless surveillance they started putting in place even before 9/11; this act expands permissions to ignore the Civil Liberties of the American people, and sets up an absurd secret police structure in which the Department of Justice gets to communicate secretly with a different court, and tell the court essentially what to do whenever the DOJ chooses.
As for the candidacy of Sen. Obama for President?
I actually stood in the audience in front of the stage when he appeared here in Bloomington, IN, at Assembly Hall. After almost giving up on politicians, I actually dared believe his words::
“I have studied the Constitution. I have taught the Constitution. And as President, I will uphold and obey the Constitution.”
Apparently those words did not mean what I thought they meant, in light of Sen. Obama’s rather pathetic waffling statement on the passage of the House bill last Friday. George W. Bush could have written that statement, and no one would have known the difference.
Once again, the Democrats adopt the position that because we are afraid of some shadowy group of terrorists, it is perfectly acceptable to gut the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the rule of law, and continue to support the notion that the President can do anything he wants, illegal or not, including waging war, spying, kidnapping, and torture, and there are no consequences.
The founders of this nation would be cringing in disgust at this notion. The Constitution is not optional. The Bill of Rights is not optional.
Uphold your oath of office. Filibuster this obscene bill. Stop this madness, and start acting like you mean it when you say you want to return America to the rule of law, and away from the lawlessness of the past seven years.
We do not see how we can continue contributing to the campaign of Sen. Obama (to date $150, after $200 to Edwards before he withdrew), if this is how Sen. Obama betrays principle. We also support MoveOn.Org, donate to it, and worked for it in the last election cycle doing GOTV. We had already committed to doing the same for Obama. We will have to reconsider, it appears.
The above post was faxed to Sen. Bayh and Sen. Obama Monday morning, June 23.