July 11th, 2008
01:15 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama's surveillance vote spurs blogging backlash

Sen. Barack Obama said he voted for the surveillance bill because it will help protect the nation.
Sen. Barack Obama said he voted for the surveillance bill because it will help protect the nation.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. Barack Obama's vote for a federal surveillance law that he had previously opposed has sparked a backlash from his online advocates, who had energized his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

In October, Obama had vowed to help filibuster an update of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that gave telecommunication companies that had cooperated with President Bush's warrantless wiretapping program immunity from lawsuits.

After 9/11, Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop, without the mandated warrant from a federal court, on electronic communication involving terrorist suspects.

Critics said Bush's Terrorist Surveillance Program was a violation of civil liberties.

The Senate voted Wednesday on the bill updating FISA - which had a provision to shield telecommunications companies that had cooperated in the surveillance. Obama joined the 68 other senators who voted to send the bill to the president's desk.

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soundoff (225 Responses)
  1. Just Say Nobama

    So by "Change" you mean change your mind whenever you like?
    Bah! What a phony! Typical old politics as usual.

    July 11, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  2. Kiah

    Well isn't that news CNN. It seems you're well caught-up with late-breaking information now aren't you.

    Obama '08!

    July 11, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  3. ryand.

    We have to protect this NATION OF WHINERS, so says the McCain camp.

    Obama 08'

    July 11, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  4. Really

    Moving to center to try to get more in line with the majority/independant voters. Politics as usual.

    July 11, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  5. Mike - Texas

    Another FLIP – FLOP how original.

    Obama now stands on multiple sides of so many issues, does anyone know where he really stands???

    Will the REAL Barack Obama please stand up.....

    July 11, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  6. Donna

    BO
    You lost me on this one. I don't agree with your stance on this issue, as well as the "gun" issue as well as the abortion issue. What's happened. Oh, BTW I sent you my monthly $25 but I won't be contributing to help HRC reduce her campaign debt.

    July 11, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  7. luis

    I am starting to wonder how in the world Obama is going to sell his "CHANGE" Washington mantra. He’s just another phony. Hold on to your hats we are going to loose this one. I am so disappointed.

    July 11, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  8. fella from Chicago

    Oh no you didn't Barack. You are so showing that it's business as usual with you. You're nothing more than the typical politician we've all come to know and loathe. Another flip-flop vote. For better or worse at least we know what we're getting with John McCain. Who are you really, sir?

    July 11, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  9. rightytighty

    Barack Hussien OBush!?

    July 11, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  10. Alberto, Seattle

    Elect Obama and you're guaranteed to see alot more of this kind of stuff. Like it or not, at least President Bush has stuck to his guns throughout his terms. John McCain offers the stability needed to make good, tough decisions. Obama doesn't.

    July 11, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Most would call this a "flip-flop", and so would I if that juvenile phrase were part of my vocabulary. But, I think he made the right choice. This was a voting balancing act of the lesser of two evils.

    The surveillance is needed now, a most critical time. But, while the phone companies could be prosecuted, the government contacts behind it all are the real culprits who NEED to be prosecuted. Besides, look at the timing of the WTC attacks. Each came during the first year of a new president. He's looking ahead. He could still prosecute anyone he wants should he win the White House.

    July 11, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  12. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Once he is president, we can get a Democratic Congress to overturn this fascist piece of legislation...

    July 11, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  13. Mark

    This is absolutely insane. How can anything that the new coming of Christ, Barak Obama, do that is wrong. He is God on earth, and anythinng that he does, no matter what it is, is only the best that it can be. If anyone thinks that this note is NOT scarasm, you need a life.

    July 11, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  14. slm, Ity

    The lefties are the real whiners of America too bad for them Obama is for all Americans and not only for the extreme left.
    Obama 2008..........

    July 11, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  15. Toni

    Fortunately, I support Obama, but do not idolize him. I expect both candidates to change their minds and don't criticize them as "flip floppers (soooo tired of that stupid term). There was a great "Economist.com" article about Obama's change of support and the way Americans' hearts just break over such issues. I'm not heppy about his FISA change, but he's a far better totality than McCain. This is still very simple, folks: Keep a tally of both candidates' issues (YES, they may change). Look them over and decide if you want that one or the other guy ... and grow up!

    July 11, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  16. Susan

    First time I have been dissapointed in Obama. I just hope this failure to protect the 4th ammendment will be overturned by the courts. Bush has taken to much of our freedom away already, and McCain will continue to do so. One good thing is that at least O had the courage to vote, unlike McBush who hid from this and the GI bill vote.

    July 11, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  17. The democrats blew it again!

    Well, if Obama supporters are okay with the idea that the government can perform wiretaps without warrants, and Obama helped make that possible, than I guess sure! vote him in....

    who cares about the Constitution, right?

    At least McCain didn't vote on this one!

    McCain 08

    July 11, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  18. Travis Johns

    Should have been Hillary!! Incase anyone is wondering, she stuck to her word and voted NO!
    Hillary 08 or McCain 08

    You know, its NEVER too late for those delegates to change their mind.

    July 11, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  19. Tim

    I agree with Senator Obama. There are enough safeguards in the new bill to protect individual rights. Also he voted to remove immunity for the telecom companies what participated, but it was defeated. He make a sound choice that will help keep out country safe.

    July 11, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  20. Marc

    Sen. Flip-Flop is at it again. The problem with this guy is no one knows what he stands for. All I know is that he said what you left-wing nutjobs wanted to hear to win the primaries, and now, in typical washington-insider fashion, has moved to the center to grab even more votes. He's a political opportunist. This charade about him standing for a new kind of politics has got to stop. Will the real Barack Obama please stand up?

    July 11, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  21. chris

    Typical same ol politician nothing new here.......so much for change..

    July 11, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  22. Independent in Iowa

    Typical polician. He's been flipping on a lot of things lately. Just as predicted – he's all talk with no substance. A lot of empty promises, folks.

    I was coming around to voting for him but I don't think I can bring myself to do it. I might just sit this one out this year for the first time ever.

    And that traitor Bill Richardson can take a hike. I have no respect for that man.

    July 11, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  23. 5pink

    "After 9/11, Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop, without the mandated warrant from a federal court, on electronic communication involving terrorist suspects."

    The eavesdropping started in February, 8 months before 9/11, and included innocent Americans. Way to report all the facts.

    July 11, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  24. Garry

    I agree NOBAMA, I guess now that he is "in" he can do as he likes eh?
    Flip Flop Obama, just another TYPICAL politician, say one thing to get the vote, get the vote, change your mind...NO THANK YOU OBAMA!
    I guess next thing he will change his mind on his affiliation with Rev Racist Wright? But I guess you so called "followers" of his will just say, thats ok...we still love him, he stands for "change", he will lead us to the promised land, yep, the land of lies and distrust and pure political BS that we are so used to.

    July 11, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  25. MikeH

    According to John Dean, the original FISA bill is so badly written, it doesn't provide immunity to federal prosecution, only civil liability.

    While it may seem a sell-out by Obama, this is about something that has already happened. I say expose what was done that was not legal and move on. I will get angry if violations are allowed to continue.

    July 11, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
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