Where are the Liberals with a backbone?

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

You know, I’m tired. I’m tired of liberals acting like conservatives. Now, as I flipped through the liberal handbook I can’t find anywhere where supporting spying on Americans is a liberal ideal. So, can somebody explain to me, why this new FISA legislation is good for us, liberals, or good for the country. There is so much about its domestic spying program that we know nothing about.

Remember back in 2006/2007 the Bush administration blocked all of our efforts to investigate this program. The Office of Professional Responsibility in the Department of Justice began an internal investigation which was thwarted by the Bush administration. This office was denied security clearance which meant that their investigation ground to a halt. How does this legislation help us investigate what happened?

Over the last three years a number of liberal senators have stood up and denounced the domestic spying program including Senator Jay Rockefeller, Senator Chuck Schumer and Senator Patrick Leahy. These three senators have been in the Senate and public service for a long time. Where are they now? Senator Rockefeller has gone out of his way to support this FISA legislation. Why? What is he seeing in this legislation that we aren’t or is he playing politics? All of our so-called liberal Democratic senators need to stand up and tell us where they stand on this issue and why.

I have avoided criticizing Barack Obama. But now both he and Hillary Clinton need to be taken to the woodshed. Barack Obama has spoken out strongly against domestic spying in the past but yet he is going to support this legislation which does nothing to protect our civil liberties. Hillary Clinton, who has nothing to lose, and everything to gain from opposing this legislation, has been completely and totally silent on this issue.

I’m sorry, I do not buy the argument that you are soft on terrorism just because you don’t want the president to listen in on every one of your conversations. I understand that this is an issue that does not raise the ire of the American public but there are principles. Long-standing principles against unnecessary government intervention (I thought that Republicans wanted a hands-off government — I guess it depends) should be upheld. We cannot depend on winning the White House in November or advancing our majorities in the House and the Senate. None of that may happen.

There’s no better time than the present to stand up against telecom immunity and a bill that is deeply flawed. It is time for progressives to stand up and support the Constitution and support the American people. We need to find out what happened (where’s Alberto Gonzales and why isn’t he in jail for something). We need to find out what laws were violated. We need to clip the wings of the unitary executive. None of this can wait until November.

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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