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