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Ray McGovern's Response to Obama's FISA Explanation

It's a Deal Breaker for This Intelligence Officer
Submitted by Ray McGovern on July 3, 2008 - 11:11pm.

Dear Senator Obama,

I speak from 30 years of experience in intelligence work. I don't know who actually briefed you on the eavesdropping legislation, but the bill is unnecessary for intelligence collection and POISON for our civil liberties—not even to mention the unconscionable retroactive immunity provision.

You have made a big mistake, Senator, in indicating you intend to vote for it. There is still time to change your mind. That's what big people do.

Your penultimate paragraph seals it for me. What you are saying relies not on principle—and still less on respect for the law, or respect for our Constitutional rights.

What I hear you saying is an all too familiar refrain: "Tough s___, progressive voter. You know you've got nowhere else to go. You want McCain in there?"

A painful reminder that the Republicans have no corner on arrogance. You think you have us over a barrel. Well let me tell you something those suits from K Street haven't told you; you need our active support, and you are about to blow it.

Your "explanation" was unworthy of one who has sworn to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States (including the Fourth Amendment).

And your attitude is not that of a person I THOUGHT was different—and would be genuinely for change I could believe in.

We live just a couple of miles from where George Mason is buried. (As you may remember, professor of the Constitution that you have been, Mason actually refused to approve the Constitution—although he and fellow Virginian James Madison had pretty much drafted it—BECAUSE IT LACKED THE BILL OF RIGHTS).

Well, the air is still this evening. Our windows are open and George Mason can be heard tossing and turning in his grave, loudly moaning. Yes, moaning.

I went over to his grave; between the moans he explained that he had just heard of your plan to play fast and loose with his beloved Bill of Rights. "Hard to enjoy the Fourth tomorrow with the Constitution being shredded Right and Left," he whispered.

Remember, Senator, what Emerson said about those unable to change their "little" minds. Beware the K Street hobgoblins!

Again: Dissing us by the "So-you-want-McCain?" riposte is unworthy. Not only is it clear that you are "mis-underestimating" us but, frankly, I find it insulting.

Please get back on track.


Ray McGovern
US Army Infantry/Intelligence Officer: 1962-64
CIA Analyst, 1964-1990
Co-Founder, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

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Hits the nail on the head! You are as eloquent as you are wise, Mr. McGovern.

A 30 year intelligence veteran, or a freshman senator who could not possibly have become a presidential nominee without sending the unequivocal signal that he's willing to spew the corporate schtick that only perpetuates a hopelessly broken American political system?

ENOUGH with the ridiculous sports mentality of trying to game the election so you can say you voted for the guy who won. There is FAR TOO MUCH AT STAKE for that nonsense.

Ross Perot got 19% of the presidential vote in 1992. Exit polls that year indicated that if everyone who thought he was the best choice had actually voted for him, his take would have been 40%. When those who wanted to vote for him but didn't were asked why, the response was that they didn't think he had a chance to win. Of course, he DID have a chance. But the people blew it.

If we blow it this time, it might be the last time.

Obama and McCain merely represent different factions of the same corporate-controlled party.

Turn off the TV and do some real homework. Libertarian, Green, Nader, whatever...Find the answer that works for you and give your vote to someone with a real plan and real respect for our Constitution.

P.S. - And don't forget about Congress. All 435 House seats and a third of the Senate are on the line in this election. We actually can bring real change this year. We just need to remember that country must always come before party.

Unfiltered Video Commentary:
Phone:202-225-5126 Fax:202-225-0072

I attended a modest anti-war, pro-impeachment event this Thrusday.

I was dismayed at all the "Obama for President" signs being waved.

When I got home, I did a little research and put this together:

Then posted a link on the Miami-4-peace yahoo group site.

It's never been more critical that John's point be gotten across.

It's never been more imperative that as voters, we fulfill our civil obligation to serve as the cumulative judge of the candidates. We must all do our part by making conscientious judgements. Not bet-placing decisions.

As voters we are not part of the competition--- we are the competition's judge.

Small wonder, the absence of judgement's current results.

The arrogance McGovern alludes to can only stem from the confidence of the two "...different factions of the same corporate-controlled party." that voters will be too cowardly to refrain from merely choosing between them.

The "winner" prepared to take care of the "loser". And the "loser" assured of a comfortable second place finish.

It's time to understand the nature of the sameness of the Rep/Dems and understand that choosing between them accomplishes nothing.

Matters are such now that, as John points out, regardless of your political inclinations, you must see how nothing can fix this country without breaking the Republican party and breaking the Democratic party.

"Libertarian, Green, Nader, whatever...Find the answer that works for you and give your vote to someone with a real plan and real respect for our Constitution."

I would add the Christian theocrat Constitution Party to the mix.

And while you're on John's "homework" (actually, it's a lot more serious than that) assignment, note how all these diverse candidates seem to agree with each other on war, FISA, impeachment, etc.

While the dissonance between McCain and Obama are at best sniping over minutae. And how on serious matters, the two Senators don't really disagree at all, accept with us.

---The Bikemessenger

Several people, including member of NoVA PDA asked me how to get word of their disapproval of Barack Obama's reversal on FISA. I don't know. Please post something you know that doesn't just lead you to site asking for money. I don't know if it is a myspace site, or facebook site, but I haven't found it yet and want to help people even less (if you can believe it) less techno savvy than I am. Thanks much. R.

Let Obama know how it feels to be betrayed.
He pledged to vote against a FISA bill w/immunity and to support a filibuster and reversed.
Pledge to contribute to his campaign and back out citing his flip on FISA.

David sends copies of checks made out to candidates of the people to candidate of the corporations like Obama. Write "for rule of law" "for checks and balances" on top.

Two amendments are at stake. 4th re. the privacy and search issue and re. immunity, our 1st amendment right to petition the courts.

Congress knows the law is unconstitutional and now attempt to deny the courts their rights to rule on the law by saying no one can sue the telcoms.

The courts are part of our checks and balances. They are not stupid and I predict they will still hear pending suits based on our first amendment right to petition our government for a redress of grievances.

After all...the bill of rights makes it perfectly clear that Congress CAN NOT pass any law to restrict our right to go to court to test the legality of the laws they pass.

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