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Nader-Gonzalez Campaign Opposes Senate FISA Vote

Wednesday, July 9, 2008 at 12:00:00 AM

News Release
Contact: Chris Driscoll, 202-360-3273, chris@votenader.org

Nader Blasts Obama's Vote

A Nader/Gonzalez Campaign Statement from Ralph Nader on the Senate's passage of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) reform granting immunity to telecoms.

WASHINGTON, Wednesday July 9, 2008----In the wake of today's Senate vote reforming FISA to grant immunity to telecoms that violate the law, Ralph Nader condemned Sen. John McCain's and Sen. Barack Obama's support of domestic spying and urged voters to reject the idea that corporations should be held above the law. The following was Mr. Nader's verbatim reaction to the debate in the U.S. Senate:

I'm listening now to the debate on the Senate floor over legislation that will give President Bush new warrant-less eavesdropping powers.

The bill will also grant immunity to telecom companies for cooperating with Mr. Bush in his illegal warrant-less wiretapping on Americans--on any one of you.

We were taught as young children that in our democracy, under our system of justice, nobody is above the law-- nobody.

But this bill puts the President and the telecom companies above the law.

It also conveniently assures a cover-up of Mr. Bush's past crimes in this area--of wiretapping and surveillance.

On the Senate floor, Senator Feingold has just warned his colleagues that the Senate "will regret that we passed this legislation."

As my home state Senator, Christopher Dodd, said:

"If we pass this legislation, the Senate will ratify a domestic spying regime that has already concentrated far too much unaccountable power in the President's hands and will place the telecommunications companies above the law."

What does it say that Senators Dodd, Feingold, Harry Reid, and Patrick Leahy have led the valiant fight against this bill, but Senator Obama has said he will vote for it?

Again, this bill gives the President vast new warrant-less eavesdropping powers and allows the government - for the first time ever - to tap into America's telecommunications networks with no judicial warrant requirement.

President Bush and the Democrats who support him argue that the telecommunications companies were only doing what they were told by the President and were acting as "patriotic corporate citizens."

This is pure hogwash.

First of all, corporations aren't citizens.

Second, the President can't order anyone--citizens or corporations--to break the law.

This legislation, which the Senate is debating right now, sets up a double standard of justice.

Break the law as a citizen, go to jail.

Break the law as a corporation, go to Washington and get immunity.

Remember, there were telecom companies, such as Qwest, that refused to follow President Bush's illegal wiretap orders and chose instead to obey the laws of the land.

The Senate is now poised to bury the rule of law.

For a full list of topics Obama and McCain have taken "off the table." that Nader/Gonzalez have put "on the table" see: VoteNader.org