July 11th, 2008
01:15 PM ET
10 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. LOL @ PUMA

    so tell me why did a republican found PUMA? and donate to John McCain well before Hillary dropped out of the election? If she was a hillary supporter why didn't she donate to Hillary's campaign?

    July 11, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  2. Oh Well!!!!

    Lisa-- I can't take this anymore please someone save us from this disaster that's about to happen..........It's too late for you....You are BEYOND repair!!!!

    July 11, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  3. Chuck, Democrats United We Stand

    If any one has read the new bill and really listened to Obama's reasoning for supporting it would understand and have faith that Obama will continue to reshape the bill. I do not agree with the unwarranted evesdropping, however, I will trust Obama to deal with it when he is in office and there are more democrats in the house and senate.

    July 11, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  4. Lyle

    Mr. Obama is the candidate of “change”, so it is no surprise that he changes his mind and his position from minute to minute. As a candidate he has been a disaster and as a president (God help us) he would be a complete failure. Flippity…Floppy the flip-flopper is on his way….

    July 11, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  5. twister49 - oklahoma

    Everytime that I come closer to supporting O he flips-flops and or says something – to make me change my mind again.... I wish it was HIllary up there, CNN and the other media outlets- this is your fault for this mess, your love affair and bias reporting did this.........

    HIllary 08 – – – – not too late

    July 11, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  6. Realistic

    Everyone let's work together to send Obama back to his community organizing back in Chicago! This man should never have made it this far and his inexperience is shouting loud and clear!

    July 11, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  7. LBowie

    I do not agree with this bill either, however, I am going to trust my next commander in chief. I believe in his integrity and feel that there had to be a logical reason as to why he changed his position on this issue. I will go even further and give the current administration the benefit of doubt that the only reason why this "spying " took place was for the security of our nation. The govenment have been doing questionable things unbeknown to the general public for years. Some of those things were unconstitutional and some were good and bad. So my vote is still with BO..

    July 11, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  8. Jim

    People, people, people...don't you realize that both Obama & McCain are POLITICIANS?! They will say or do ANYTHING to get your vote!

    Fact, Obama is the most Liberal Senator in the Nation.

    Fact, Obama will expand this country's wealth distribution practices.

    Fact, Obama will raise ALL of your taxes.

    Fact, Obama will further weaken our country's ability to defend itself.

    Fact, Obama will put Liberal Judges on the Supreme Court that will further support the so-called rights of criminals, hence jeopardizing ALL of our safety & security.

    Fact, Obama will enact Foreign Policies that will weaken our Global power and economy.

    Fact, Obama is NOT "for America", Obama is for OBAMA!!!

    Fact, Obama would pick the Devil himself as Vice President if he thought it would help him get elected!

    I am NOT a huge McCain supporter. He has his numerous faults too, but is this really news worthy?! So, Nancy Reagan half-heartedly endorsed McCain. So what! So, he is divorced. So what! So was Ronald Reagan. And further more, rumors contend that numerous Presidents had pre, during, & post-presidential affairs: Kennedy & Clinton (to name a couple).

    It IS a shame that these two are the best that this country could come up with! We must end business as usual in Washington! We need to vote for the candidate that best represents are beliefs, NOT for just the Party.

    July 11, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  9. Scott, NY NY

    Sorry Obama but I won't be voting for you in November. I only support politicians who support the Constitution. I won't be voting for McCain either.

    July 11, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  10. Whining Tommy Hussein in St. Louis

    Obama has taken a very practical view of this issue and shows that he has the ability to understand both sides of it. He has stated that he plans to supervise the execution of surveillance as president, which indicates to me that if he were not running, then he would have voted against it.

    July 11, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  11. Lili, FL

    Where is the "Change"... same BS from a typical politician!

    Hillay '12

    July 11, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  12. Sue

    People need to sit back and think.....this is a revised bill with compromises. We can not have another president in the whitehouse that is unwilling to make compromises. He has promised all along that he will work with everyone and that is just what he is doing....
    Sounds like a good president to me.

    July 11, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  13. jen

    There you go again CNN. I am sure Obama is really concerned that the "progressives will vote for McCain. By the way CNN did you hear about McCains lie when he said he supported the new GI Bill. Of course you did, you simply have chosen not to report it.

    July 11, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  14. slimshady

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

    July 11, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  15. Rachel

    Why are people shocked? The only thing I am shocked about is that he actually voted. I am glad Hillary voted no. In the end with a heavy heart I will probably vote for Obama not because I think he is the best but because he maybe the lesser of the two evils, and I am tired of my choices of canidates beign between bad and worse.

    July 11, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  16. John Smith

    I think the 18 million "bitter" Hillary supporters should just shut-up, vote for McCain, and pray for the best of a 3rd Bush and probably 4th term. This is the ONLY chance the Dems have to win the White House and it is theirs to screw it up as they have done in the past.

    Thanks to Obama, he has shown that this nation can move beyond "crowing" of the old guard. Let us all be "cry babies" when MCain gets into office. So, Obama supporters should NOT in any way encourage the bitter Hillary supporters; let them sell their souls and the nation to McCain, Bush and the Republicans. No Dem will have a chance in 2012.

    If 18 million love Hillary, then we can conclude that:
    18 million other Dems hate Hillary,
    12 million Independents hate Hillary, and
    20 million plus more even hate Hillary. So, Hillary simply does not have a chance now or in the future!

    July 11, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  17. Kandi

    This was extremely disappointing to me as an Obama supporter. It makes me feel edgy almost. But I can tell you this for certain: While I may feel edgy about Obama making this vote...I feel scared out of my skin to think of McCain being my president. I can deal.

    July 11, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  18. Well Informed Voter

    The federal surveillance law was modified that is the reason he changed his vote to yes. CNN knows better.

    July 11, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  19. Ex-mod-GOP for Obama

    C'mon, people! Bills change as they move through committees. It's entirely possible that it was a bad bill before but good enough now to go forward. Accusing Obama of a flip-flop here betrays a poor understanding of how our government works.

    July 11, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  20. Jay Graham, Dallas, TX

    That was expected from Barak moment he got his nomination from core democrats sealed. He is just the same Washington breed.

    July 11, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  21. Tim

    For those who are knocking Senator Obama's vote, you are talking our of misinformation. Take the time to find out the facts unstead of allowing a few paid RCN (Real Crazy Nuts) bloggers to get you all fired up for nothing.

    Senator Obama made the right decision. The decision was to leave the law as it is and let the warrantless wiretaps continue, or update the law so that at least SOME degree of the fourth amendment is protected. This changes now require a warrent to allow domestic surveillance.

    So get your heads out, read for yourselves and stop being led around by your noses. In case you didn't know, this was a vote for change:)

    Obama 08/12!!! Yes we can!!!

    July 11, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  22. mike

    So the Rock had to compromise on his Liberal ideals in order to provide for the security of our nation. Once again Obama opts for common sense. Thats a compromise I can live with.

    July 11, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  23. Disheartened in FL!

    Just one more example of the politicians and government moving further and further away from the people. We're all just ATMs and theyre all on vacation spending us dry.

    July 11, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  24. arc, Lugano CH

    Vince & Surly Scholar:

    Good points. The majority of these vile Hillary Supporters didn't even bother to do any research before regurgitating their filth.

    July 11, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  25. Michelle, PA

    There is a difference between "flip-flopping" for pandering's sake and changing position based on new information or circumstances – in this case, changes to the bill including a crucial (and previously lacking) requirement for judicial oversight.

    What a lot of people – including often the media – overlook is that legislative progress is usually incremental and based on compromises. That said, the changes made to this bill are not ideal but are a step in the right direction. I can't fault Obama for voting for it.

    If you are so disgusted with a leader changing his or her mind or accepting a compromise position that is less than ideal, just look at the current occupant of the White House. The last 7 years are a prime example of what you get when a stubborn fool sticks to his guns no matter what. Decide now if you want more of the same, because unfortunately we tend to get what we ask for.

    July 11, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
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