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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Obama and FISA: Another Flip-Flop

I cannot agree with your correspondent, James Tocco (Letters, July 11, 2008), that Senator Obama's yea vote on the FISA amendment act and Senator Clinton's war vote in November 2002 are similar in their motivation: to avoid being thought soft on terrorism.

Mr. Obama may well have voted for that reason; but the case of Mrs. Clinton is quite different. The war vote in November 2002 was a magnificent piece of realpolitik. The passage of the war vote led to Saddam Hussein allowing the Weapons Inspectors back into Iraq. Our tragic error was not taking the null findings of those inspectors seriously and pulling the President back from his misguided war in February 2003. She also has a second excuse for her vote (explained by your columnist Frank Rich on November 27th. 2005): the President knew that the intelligence on WMD and on the Al-Qaeda links was very weak; he did not pass that information along to the Senators.

Unlike your other correspondent, Bryan Erickson, I still support Mr. Obama; the alternative, four more years of a Republican administration is too awful to contemplate.

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