Obama 'sold out' liberty on FISA compromise

For Immediate Release Monday, June 23, 2008

Party disappointed with Obama backpedaling on FISA

The Libertarian Party condemned Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama for recently stating he does not oppose the Bush administration’s program of illegally spying on U.S. citizens. “Obama has sold out liberty in his refusal to stand up to Republicans on FISA,” says Libertarian Party spokesperson Andrew Davis.

“We have come to expect Republicans to hold a contempt for basic protections of civil liberties,” says Davis. “To see this same type of reckless disregard for the Constitution from Democrats–especially their presidential nominee–is extremely unfortunate. Democrats were given a chance to stand up to Republicans after the 2006 election, but they have failed to do so time and time again ever since. Obama’s refusal to state a clear opposition to the President’s illegal program of domestic surveillance is just one more example of how both Republicans and Democrats have failed the American people.”

In an interview last week with ABC News’ Senior National Correspondent Jack Tapper, Obama stated, “I haven’t opposed, for example, the national security surveillance program, the NSA program,” adding that he believed the program could be done without violating the Constitution.

“Perhaps it is in Obama’s nature as a big-government liberal to trust the government with unchecked power,” Davis adds, “but supporting a proposal to give the government blanket permission to spy on American citizens should give voters an idea of how much Obama respects the Constitution and privacy rights.”

The Libertarian Party has called repeatedly to reject any amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that empowers the government to spy on U.S. citizens, which includes the most recent “compromise” by Republicans and Democrats. Additionally, Libertarian Party candidate for president Bob Barr recently issued a video that blasted supporters of the recent FISA amendments.

The Libertarian Party is America’s third largest political party, founded in 1971 as an alternative to the two main political parties. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party by visiting www.LP.org . The Libertarian Party proudly stands for smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom.

For more information on this issue, or to arrange a media interview, please call Andrew Davis at (202) 731-0002.