Republican National Committee: Obama's FISA Fallout? - Will Obama Complete His Reversal On Critical National Security Legislatio

WASHINGTON , July 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being issued by the Republican National Committee:

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Obama Recently Said He Would Support Legislation Updating The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA):

In A Statement Issued On His Website Last Week, Obama Reiterated His Support For The FISA Compromise Legislation. Obama: "The ability to monitor and track individuals who want to attack the United States is a vital counter-terrorism tool, and I'm persuaded that it is necessary to keep the American people safe -- particularly since certain electronic surveillance orders will begin to expire later this summer. Given the choice between voting for an improved yet imperfect bill, and losing important surveillance tools, I've chosen to support the current compromise." (Obama For America Website,, Accessed 7/9/08)

But During The Primaries, Obama Pledged To Filibuster Any Bill That Contained Immunity For Telecommunications Companies Involved In Electronic Surveillance:

In October, The Obama Campaign Pledged He Would Filibuster "Any Bill That Includes Retroactive Immunity For Telecommunications Companies." Obama Spokesman Bill Burton : "To be clear: Barack will support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies." ( Greg Sargent , "Obama Camp Says It: He'll Support Filibuster Of Any Bill Containing Telecom Immunity," Talking Points Memo's "Election Central" Blog,, 10/24/07)

In December, Obama's Office Said He "Unequivocally Opposes Giving Retroactive Immunity To Telecommunications Companies." "Senator Obama unequivocally opposes giving retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies and has cosponsored Senator's efforts to remove that provision from the FISA bill. ... Senator Obama supports a filibuster of this bill, and strongly urges others to do the same." (Sen. Barack Obama , "Statement From Senator Obama's Office On The FISA Bill," Press Release, 12/17/07)

In February, Obama Voted Against FISA Legislation That Contained Retroactive Immunity. "Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the bill that would amend the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to authorize warrantless surveillance of foreign targets, even if they are communicating with someone in the United States . It would give the FISA court authority to approve several aspects of how such surveillance is conducted. It also would grant retroactive legal immunity to telecommunications companies alleged to have participated in the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance program." (S. 2248, CQ Vote #19: Motion Agreed To 69-19: R 48-0; D 20-28; I 1-1, 2/12/08, Obama Voted Nay)

Obama's "Politically Expedient" Shift Noted In The Media:

Obama's Shift Seen As "Politically Expedient." "His support for a government surveillance bill that offers retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies -- a bill that he vowed last year to filibuster -- angered liberal Internet activists who felt betrayed by what they saw as a politically expedient move designed to inoculate himself against GOP charges that he's weak on national security." ( Kenneth P. Vogel , "Obama: Change Agent Goes Conventional," The Politico, 6/27/08)

The Washington Post's Charles Krauthammer : "'To be clear: Barack will support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies.'-- Obama spokesman Bill Burton , Oct. 24, 2007 . That was then: Democratic primaries to be won, netroot lefties to be seduced. With all that (and Hillary Clinton ) out of the way, Obama now says he'll vote in favor of the new FISA bill that gives the telecom companies blanket immunity for post- Sept. 11 eavesdropping." ( Charles Krauthammer , Op-Ed, "The Ever-Malleable Mr. Obama," The Washington Post, 6/27/08)

"Senator Barack Obama Vowed In January (When He Was Still Fighting For The Democratic Nomination) That He Would Filibuster Against Immunity. Now He Says He Will Vote For An 'Imperfect' Bill And Fix It If He Wins. Sound Familiar?" (Editorial, "Compromising The Constitution," The New York Times, 7/8/08)

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SOURCE Republican National Committee