Countdown – Special Comment, FISA and Barack Obama
Congratulations, Glenn Greenwald. Glenn Greenwald challenged both Barack Obama and Keith Olbermann over this FISA legislation. The bottom line, as Glenn pointed out, was that Barack Obama stood firmly against immunity for the telecom companies during the primaries. Now that he is one step away from the White House, he appears to be playing politics, and backing off from this pledge.
Keith Olbermann did his homework, or rather, he had John Dean do his homework for him. Over the weekend, John Dean not only read the FISA legislation also looked at related statutes. He concluded that the telecom companies would be immune from civil lawsuits but not from criminal prosecution. Therefore, Barack Obama can vote for the FISA legislation and still pledge to prosecute any criminal activity of the telephone companies. This would be something. But for me, I would like to see Barack Obama say no telecom immunity. No! Then, follow up with a pledge that if criminal wrongdoing is found he would instruct the attorney general to prosecute.
With John McCain cranking up the rhetoric on Barack Obama’s campaign-finance “flip-flop,” I think it is important that he (Obama) takes a stand on principle. The Republicans are going to do what they’re going to do (lie and distort). Therefore, it is critical for Barack Obama to decide where he’s going to stand in this election.
Congratulations to Glenn Greenwald (Glenn’s Olbermann posts – here and here. Glenn’s original post on FISA and Obama here.) It is rare for a blogger to have any influence of the world on which he blogs. Glenn’s arguments are thoughtful and well researched. It is very hard to argue with Glenn… and win.