Video You Won’t See in Media: Senator Obama Debates President Obama on Surveillance

Sometimes, video can really clarify things like nothing else. You'll likely agree after watching the video below featuring presidential candidate and inexperienced Illiniois Senator Barack Obama discuss the issue of surveillance as practiced by the George W. Bush Administration compared to what now-president Obama has to say about the same subject matter.

Beyond the legality of the spying that's been conducted for years on behalf of Obama by the National Security Agency, it is transparently obvious that Barack Obama has violated his campaign promises on this issue. Naturally, we don't expect this video to get much play from the Obama-adoring media:

Below you can find the relevant text of the 2007 speech from candidate Obama which is quoted in the video. The entire speech, of which the excerpt below is just a portion, can be found here.

This brings me to the fourth step in my strategy: I will make clear that the days of compromising our values are over.

Major General Paul Eaton had a long and distinguished career serving this country. It included training the Iraqi Army. After Abu Ghraib, his senior Iraqi advisor came into his office and said: “You have no idea how this will play out on the streets of Baghdad and the rest of the Arab world. How can this be?” This was not the America he had looked up to.

As the counter-insurgency manual reminds us, we cannot win a war unless we maintain the high ground and keep the people on our side. But because the Administration decided to take the low road, our troops have more enemies. Because the Administration cast aside international norms that reflect American values, we are less able to promote our values. When I am President, America will reject torture without exception.America is the country that stood against that kind of behavior, and we will do so again.

I also will reject a legal framework that does not work. There has been only one conviction at Guantanamo. It was for a guilty plea on material support for terrorism. The sentence was 9 months. There has not been one conviction of a terrorist act. I have faith in America’s courts, and I have faith in our JAGs. As President, I will close Guantanamo, reject the Military Commissions Act, and adhere to the Geneva Conventions. Our Constitution and our Uniform Code of Military Justice provide a framework for dealing with the terrorists.

This Administration also puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we demand. I will provide our intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to track and take out the terrorists without undermining our Constitution and our freedom.

That means no more illegal wire-tapping of American citizens. No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. No more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war. No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient. That is not who we are. And it is not what is necessary to defeat the terrorists. The FISA court works. The separation of powers works. Our Constitution works. We will again set an example for the world that the law is not subject to the whims of stubborn rulers, and that justice is not arbitrary.

This Administration acts like violating civil liberties is the way to enhance our security. It is not.

Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013