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Daily Democracy

Ryan Blethen discusses the press, media and democracy. Daily Democracy is part of the Democracy Papers, a series of articles, essays and editorial opinion examining threats to our freedoms of speech and the press.

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June 21, 2008 8:14 AM

Having it both ways

Posted by Ryan Blethen

Given the grave threats that we face, our national security agencies must have the capability to gather intelligence and track down terrorists before they strike, while respecting the rule of law and the privacy and civil liberties of the American people. There is also little doubt that the Bush Administration, with the cooperation of major telecommunications companies, has abused that authority and undermined the Constitution by intercepting the communications of innocent Americans without their knowledge or the required court orders.

This is how Sen. Barack Obama's statement on his support of the amnesty for telecos bill begins. Wired's Threat Level again has the story.

Obama had opposed amnesty for the telecos that helped the Bush administration spy on Americans. Now he supports this bill, which is a victory for Bush. His statement reads like a presidential candidate trying to talk to two divergent groups. In doing so, which is common in a campaign, Obama comes off as phony.

Funny how a politicians positions change once the White House in in sight. I hope this is not a sign of things to come from Obama. A big part of his appeal is his fresh perspective. In supporting amnesty he jumps on board with all the other Democrats who a couple years ago made a stink about domestic spying but have now caved.

Obama has been good on issues important here at Daily Democracy, that is until now. The shine will really come off of him if he flips on issues like net neutrality and media consolidation. Sen. John McCain, the Republican candidate for president, is on the wrong side of all these issues, and supports amnesty.

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