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.
June 26, 2008 12:52 PM
Posted by Ryan Blethen
The U.S. Senate has wrapped up its long debate about a surveillance program used to spy on Americans. This means the Senate will soon, possibly today, vote on the bill, which the House passed last week.
The bill would give immunity to the telecommunications companies that worked with the Bush administration to spy on U.S. citizens. These companies should not have immunity and should have to defend themselves in court for their actions.
Last week presidential candidate Barack Obama disappointed by taking the same position of supporting the bill as the presumptive Republican nominee John McCain. Obama said that the bill is needed to help fight terrorism. A tired explanation from somebody purporting to be the voice of change in Washington, D.C.
If Obama wanted real change in this arena he would buck the Democrats, who have for no good explainable reason rolled over for the administration, and denounce domestic spying. By not doing so he has lost a chance to elevate the terrorism debate out of the language of fear.
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