Wednesday, July 09, 2008

‘Yes, we can’ tap your phones
The new FISA bill that Obama supports vests new categories of warrantless eavesdropping powers in the President, and allows the Government, for the first time, to tap physically into U.S. telecommunications networks inside our country with no individual warrant requirement. To claim that this new bill creates “an independent monitor [to] watch the watchers to prevent abuses and to protect the civil liberties of the American people” is truly misleading, since the new FISA bill actually does the opposite — it frees the Government from exactly that monitoring in all sorts of broad categories.

Tacking toward the center in a general election is as common as kissing babies in a campaign, and lord knows the Democrats need to expand their coalition.

But Senator Obama is not just tacking gently toward the center. He’s lurching right when it suits him, and he’s zigging with the kind of reckless abandon that’s guaranteed to cause disillusion, if not whiplash.

The word that you keep seeing in columns and posts about Obama’s recent reversals is “lurch.” In fact, lurch is the wrong word to describe what has been happening. The entire process has had much more of the feel of a stage magician using misdirection to make you see things that aren’t real and ignore those that are.

Certainly, Obama’s supporters have to believe that what he has been doing recently has been for “political reasons,” unless he would like them to believe that he wants to trample on the Fourth Amendment.

What is more disturbing than all of this is the willingness of his cult followers supporters to believe his latest statements, even though they might directly contradict something he said not very long before.

On his ‘reality on the ground’ plan to weasel out of quitting Iraq
Which you know he’ll use

As Joshua and Alexander Cockburn note he doesn’t want to get out of the empire business; he wants to run the American empire ‘more efficiently’.

The candidate who wanted to return to being a peaceful republic was frozen out.

And on Israel
God forbid the President of the United States put other geopolitcal considerations ahead of the supposed interests of a small Mediterranean ally.
Serbia: anti-Western, anti-Kosovo independence ≠ pro-Miloševič

Interventionism: feeding dependence

From Daniel Larison.

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