We learned a lot in the wake of 9/11. We had multiple hearings on various aspects of that attack and our failures, including the famed 9/11 report. In response, we passed bills which improved our ability to catch the terrorists not in the act, but before the act.
In some cases, our executive branch requested the services of American telecommunications companies in protecting our country and it's people from terrorist attacks. These patriotic companies joined in the fight against terror. Whether you agree or disagree with the administration actions (I agree with them), it is clear the companies were doing their part in good faith to protect the citizens of this country.
But rather than praise these companies for looking out for American interests, some want to punish those companies. So the new anti-terror bill included protection for this companies. A broad bipartisan majority agreed to this protection. But Obama voted to punish these American companies. From the Wall Street Journal, "Obama's Wiretap Votes":
Now and then sanity prevails, even in Washington. So it did yesterday as the Senate passed a warrantless wiretap bill for overseas terrorists while killing most of the Lilliputian attempts to tie down our war fighters.
"We lost every single battle we had on this bill," conceded Chris Dodd, which ought to tell the Connecticut Senator something about the logic of what he was proposing. His own amendment -- to deny immunity from lawsuits to telecom companies that cooperated with the government after 9/11 -- didn't even get a third of the Senate. It lost 67-31, though notably among the 31 was possible Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama. (Hillary Clinton was absent, while John McCain voted in favor.)
The WSJ rightly criticizes Obama for this vote, and asks what this tells us of his naivete when it comes to protecting our country from the very real terror threat:
It says something about his national security world view, or his callowness, that Mr. Obama would vote to punish private companies that even the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee said had "acted in good faith." Had Senator Obama prevailed, a President Obama might well have been told "no way" when he asked private Americans to help his Administration fight terrorists. Mr. Obama also voted against the overall bill, putting him in MoveOn.org territory.
It is clear that a large number of Democrats don't mind attacking American companies who are doing their best to help protect America. Those Democrats will be happy to vote for someone like Obama who will vote to make those companies pay for their service with lawsuits.
But I hope the large portion of the American electorate who care about this country and about protection from a terror attack will not support a Presidential candidate who does not share their views. I was hoping they would make up a majority of the Democratic voters, but it appears now that Obama is, inconceivably, being considered the party's choice for President. It may be too late for me to help get a more sane candidate from the Democratic party.