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.

Full story

soundoff (225 Responses)
  1. SlimShady

    Will the real Barack Obama please stand up.., please stand up..

    July 11, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  2. Greg Pottstown PA

    flip flop much

    July 11, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  3. Wedge

    Gee....This, the tax cuts, faith-based initiatives, reconsidering staying in Iraq... Is it me, or is BHO turning into a slightly better-spoken GWB?

    July 11, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  4. Anita from Arizona

    FYI, McCain didnt vote at all on this bill. Not at all. Isn't he for this FISA bill??? Ask your candidate why he didn't vote at all.

    July 11, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  5. RealityKing

    Now isn't it quite obviously why liberals are so easily misled...

    July 11, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  6. Change my foot

    Obama is a fraud. I sure hope people see through this guy in November and do not vote for him. There is probably no hope for all the newly registered young pea brains to see what Obama is really all about, but I hope older and wiser voters do.

    To think a perfectly viable, experienced, vetted candiate was ousted by the stupid democratic party in favor of a nobody, non-vetted, no experienced and not trustworty candiate like Obama. Down with the democratic party – I know longer belong to them.

    July 11, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  7. FLORIDA Voter for Barack Obama

    ATTENTION BLOGGERS:

    Please review the bill on Wikipedia first before you type these un-educated comments. The bill has been changed for the BETTER. It actually protects your PRIVACY more than the original bill did. The only part folks don't agree with is the immunity for the telecom companies. But please understand if the GOVERNMENT is pressuring you into helping them catch someone with wire tapping them what would YOU do? It's a very touchy situation. But he made the right call. But you have to RESEARCH before setting your opinion.

    July 11, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  8. Zoo Keeper

    All the nonsense, "You lost my vote on this one!!", is pure deception. Senator Obama never had your vote, to begin with, because you are either a Obama-Hater or a Republican. I don't agree with Senator Obama's position on this issue, but their are a great deal of issues in which I back him, 100%. So, knock-off the charade and vote for Senator " Questionable Conduct " McCain and never let me hear you complain about bad government, again. That is all you will get from another Republican, at this time in our history !!
    SUPPORT OUR TROOPS, BRING THEM HOME, ALIVE AND WHOLE. NOW.

    July 11, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  9. Joan

    I, like many other Dems, will be voting for McCain this November. The reasons are: (1.) Obama is an unknown and changes his position on major baseline issues at the drop of a hat; (2.) McCain is at least a known quantity; (3.) McCain as President will have to deal with a Democratic Congress & Senate which can keep him in line; (4.) McCain is too old to run for a second term; and (5.) In 2012, perhaps the DNC will keep out of trying to influence the Dem primary and simply let the best man/woman win...and I can vote Dem again.

    July 11, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  10. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    AGAIN, THE WHOLE STORY IS NOT BEING TOLD ABOUT WHY THIS WAS IMPORTANT THAT OBAMA VOTED YES. IT DOES NOT CONTAIN THE SAME PROVISIONS IN BUSH'S ORIGINAL BILL. PLEASE TELL THE TRUTH.

    July 11, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  11. Lessie

    Just another brick in the wall.

    Hillary, wish you were here.

    McCain 08

    July 11, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  12. Sean

    I find it pretty ridiculous that McCain and his supporters are accusing Obama of being a serial flip-flopper, or pandering for votes. Anyone remember McCain's moronic, pandering gas-tax holiday plan that would put Americans out of work, line the pockets of the oil industry, and not save the average consumer a single penny? Or how about the Bush tax cuts that McCain vehemently opposed before he recently decided to support them? Or maybe the offshore drilling that he opposed until a couple weeks ago? Or maybe how McCain's flopped on privitization of social security? And on the estate tax, and on and on and on.

    July 11, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  13. G

    I don't agree with Obama on every issue, but I sure as hell disagree with McCain on every major issue. There's only one real choice for real Americans who want a better future. Vote Democratic.

    July 11, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  14. AMERICA'S PROMISE

    Half of those complaining have no idea what the bill entails. If no one has done anything wrong, they shouldn't have anything to worry about this. It won't affect them. This would only essentially help protect us and protect telecom companies from being sued. We would be foolish to vote against Obama for this.

    Obama for President!!!

    July 11, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  15. No McCain/Bush

    Obama's support base is solid. Not to worry. This train has long since left the station!

    July 11, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  16. Ann

    Think Obama think.. to vote or not to vote for the bill..lets rephrase the question: who is next on the list of Americans I have to fool to get their votes in November? Move a bit to the right, nobody will notice, ok? And if they do, I'll give them a nice speech.

    July 11, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  17. DJ, LA, CA

    Yes but this article ignores or omits the facts. The NEW bill was a compromise legislation bill...that was more carefully worded to protect U.S. citizens. Why doesn't this article give the full story about the bill?

    July 11, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  18. Petra, Independendent from PA

    I believe that pragmaticism is sometimes necessary especially as a senator. Change can still come with pragmaticism; so long as progress is made. He still has my vote!

    July 11, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  19. Concerned teacher

    Sounds to me from reading Richardson's comments that there were changes in the bill, like judical oversight and others, that made it more acceptable to Obama to vote for. Also Obama says he will see how it is working once he is president and make necessary changes.
    Not a flip flop in my eyes. Both candidates have a right to look at new evidence and make changes. If they just stood by their stubborn first thought with out looking at new information, they would be exactly like Bush!
    Stephen Colbert once said about Bush " On Wednesday, He will stand by what he said Monday regardless of what happened on Tuesday" We don't need anymore of this.

    July 11, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  20. Walt

    Obama has us real Liberals where he wants us. We helped get him the nomination and now he doesn't care about us any more. He knows that he will likely still get our votes in November because McCain is even further right than he is turning out to be. My twice a month contributions to his campaign have stopped. My enthusiasm has stopped. My "hope" is gone. And my cynicism has kicked in again.

    McCain will never get my vote. The only decision I have to make now is whether to hold my nose in November and vote for Obama or simply stay home.

    July 11, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  21. Dixon, Des Moines Iowa

    Amazing how quickly people jump on the flip flop issue. McCain has no idea what he has voted for at times. He has many years of flip flopping and has been involved in some very sad if not illegal incidents. He is Bush II and nothing will change that sad fact. His many years did not compell him to improve the quality of care our service members receive. His years of service did not compell him to keep the tax dollars going to the soldiers and families. This while he receives the best medical care available at our expence. He was part of the group who paid Haliburton and others more than we spend on any service person. He sent our soldiers off to war with no plan, not enough equipment or soldiers and he helped Bush lie to us to get us there. No, I can't vote for this guy.

    July 11, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  22. DMAC in ID

    These are the kinds of laws that put us in the same league as the communistic regimes. It is not all about security it is about laziness so you don't have to find a judge. Mix that with the desire for FULL POWER AND CONTROL. This kind of thinking and voting is one of the reasons that I have said for months Obama and his snake oil scare me very badly and I can Not in good conscious vote for the man.

    July 11, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  23. Independent-woman-4-Obama

    OBVIOUSLY DISCERNMENT AND THINKING IS NOT ALLOWED. SINCE WHEN??????????????????????????????????????

    For the LAST 8 YEARS, WE HAVE HAD A PRESIDENT WHO REFUSES TO THINK AND CORRECT COURSE! OR LISTEN TO A DIFFERENT POINT OF VIEW!

    Now we have a nominee, who thinks for himself and who DISCERNS what is best for our nation rather than being BULLHEADED, and he is being criticized!

    PLEASE PEOPLE, TELL ME, WHICH ONE OF YOU HAS NOT CHANGED THEIR MINDS, OR CHANGED THEIR POINTS OF VIEW!
    THEN YOU CAN CAST STONES............ CHANGING ONE'S MIND IS A SIGN OF INTELLIGENCE.

    July 11, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  24. UV, New Jersey

    McCain is running low profile campaign and that will help him win this election. Obama is moving too fast towards center and making many mistakes. Obama has changed his positions atleast on three issues including this one and Iraq.

    July 11, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  25. Lisa

    Please CNN help us Obama is on a rampage and having a nervous down. He's lying to the American people again, telling them one thing and doing another. This is the same thing President Bush did to us. Obama used me to get me to vote for him thinking we were going to bring the troops home in 16 months now he's saying we may stay 100 years depending on what the generals say on the ground. I never signed up for this. Obama I believed in you, how could you do this to me?

    July 11, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
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