Obama Statement on FISA
U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) today released the following statement on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Earlier today, Senator Obama voted in favor of the Dodd-Feingold amendment to repeal retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies (S. Amdt. 3907). He also supported other amendments to improve the bill, including the Feingold-Webb-Tester amendment to protect Americans from unwarranted surveillance (S. Amdt. 3979), and the Feingold amendment to protect Americans from the bulk collection of communications (S. Amdt. 3912).
"I am proud to stand with Senator Dodd, Senator Feingold and a grassroots movement of Americans who are refusing to let President Bush put protections for special interests ahead of our security and our liberty. There is no reason why telephone companies should be given blanket immunity to cover violations of the rights of the American people - we must reaffirm that no one in this country is above the law.
"We can give our intelligence and law enforcement community the powers they need to track down and take out terrorists without undermining our commitment to the rule of law, or our basic rights and liberties. That is why I am proud to cosponsor several amendments that protect our privacy while making sure we have the power to track down and take out terrorists.
"This Administration continues to use a politics of fear to advance a political agenda. It is time for this politics of fear to end. We are trying to protect the American people, not special interests like the telecommunications industry. We are trying to ensure that we don't sacrifice our liberty in pursuit of security, and it is past time for the Administration to join us in that effort."