What we'd like to hear from Senator Obama

The Get FISA Right group has asked Senator Obama to schedule floor time and speak on the floor on Tuesday; and we would also like to see him make another statement to the group at the Huffington Post or elsewhere. What do we hope that he'll say? Let's split things into two prongs, one on telecom immunity (where we're in agreement with him) and one on the bill as a whole. We'll do our best to get him and his staff this link, so he can see the discussions.

There's no good way to share email discussions with others, so as much as possible, please discuss onthe discussion forum. Senator Obama, if you happen to read this, the comments there are worth checking out as well!

Telecom immunity

  • speak to the fundamental importance of the rule of law -- and why telecom immunity doesn't help national security
  • a statement of intent that as Senator and as President, even if this measure passes, he will attempt to uncover the truth of what happened, and ensure that those who have broken the law are held accountable
  • This is not about lawsuits - this is about accountability, honesty, and protection of millions of ordinary American citizens - many of whom do not even realize that the government is engaging in widespread and unwarranted surveillance of their phone and email.

The bill as a whole

Obama has repeated his intention to vote for the bill, whether or not telecom immunity is stripped. We continue to ask him to reconsider. If he doesn't, we hope at a minimum his speech will address

  • how he squares the further expansion of government surveillance powers, including continued warrantless surveillance, with his view of the Fourth Amendment and our ability to live in a free society
  • why he thinks the additional safeguards (that many organizations have derided as insignificant) are enough -- and/or, also:
  • more detailed elaboration of the major flaws he agrees still need to be addressed in the long-run
  • if telecom immunity hasn't been stripped, his view of why he is voting for a bill which undermines the rule of law
  • a discussion of the importance of checks and balances in government, especially the role of the legislative branch and the caution necessary before granting such extensive powers to the executive branch
  • his firm commitment, if elected, for a comprehensive review of this and all domestic surveillance programs (including National Security Letters), with a goal of significant reform to remove the excesses as a priority matter early in his administration

Engagement with your supporters

  • to signal your opposition to telecom immunity and desire to get FISA right, you've decided to join our group on my.barackobama.com (we strongly recommend setting the email options to digest!) and on Facebook

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