Top Democrats are now distancing themselves from President Obama’s support of the NSA seizing of millions of phone records from Verizon customers.
Back on December 31, 2012, President Obama signed into law the extension of the FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act of 2012. CBS Miami is reporting that Democratic National Committee Chairwoman and Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is now saying that “she didn’t vote for the government surveillance programs because she didn’t think they protected privacy rights enough.”
Last year, Wasserman Schultz voted against the “H.R. 5949, the FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act of 2012,” but only after she voted in favor of The PATRIOT Sunsets Extension Act of 2011, which passed the House 250 to 153. The left-leaning Daily Kos called her ‘Yea’ vote, along with the other 17 Democratic votes, “shameful.”
Wasserman Schultz, who voted against the original Patriot Act is also on record for supporting FISA wiretaps conducted within the US, not overseas. Here is Wasserman Schultz’s 2006-2011 voting record on this issue –Voted YES on extending the PATRIOT Act’s roving wiretaps. (Feb 2011)
Voted YES on requiring FISA warrants for wiretaps in US, but not abroad. (Mar 2008)
Voted YES on Veto override: Congressional oversight of CIA interrogations. (Mar 2008)
Voted NO on removing need for FISA warrant for wiretapping abroad. (Aug 2007)
Voted YES on restricting no-bid defense contracts. (Mar 2007)
Voted NO on allowing electronic surveillance without a warrant. (Sep 2006)
Voted YES on continuing intelligence gathering without civil oversight. (Apr 2006)
Throughout his Senate career, Barack Obama was a fierce critic of surveillance efforts in the Patriot Act and vowed during the 2008 presidential campaign to end “illegal wiretapping,” casting the question of liberty versus security as a “false choice.” But over his years in the White House, Mr. Obama has increasingly spoken of needing to “make some choices as a society,” as he did on Friday when he addressed revelations about data collection of phone and Internet records by the National Security Agency.- NY Times
Regardless of what he now says publicly, in all likelihood President Barack Obama has always favored unconstitutional intrusive intelligence gathering efforts by our intelligence agencies without first obtaining probable cause so long as he was the one overseeing the stepped-up monitoring of those who oppose his political agenda.