Gjelten's statements about FISA and Obama are misleading. Of Obama Gjelten states,
"he's advised on intelligence matters by John Brennan, the former director of the National Counterterrorism Center. Like many intelligence professionals, Brennan says the FISA program is essential to the fight against terrorism - by adopting Brennan's view, Obama improves his standing with the intelligence community. For someone looking ahead to a presidential administration, that's important."When Gjelten refers to Brennan and "many intelligence professionals" saying that "the FISA program is essential to the fight against terrorism" he is continuing to cloud the issue, implying that Obama's original stand against unconstitutional and illegal disregard for FISA (which is what the Bush administration has done) was a stand against FISA. FISA has never expired, and the government has had and continues to have the lawful means under FISA for intercepting suspected terrorist emails, phonecalls, etc. What Obama is now supporting is the Orwellian Protect America Act amendments to FISA, and as Glenn Greenwald so cogently explains,
"What Barack Obama did here was wrong and destructive. He's supporting a bill that is a full-scale assault on our Constitution and an endorsement of the premise that our laws can be broken by the political and corporate elite whenever the scary specter of The Terrorists can be invoked to justify it."It is also worth noting that Gjelten fails to mention that Brennan is also in the intelligence profiteering business; he's the president and CEO of The Analysis Corporation - and so would have a vested interest in getting Obama to back more invasive surveillance and immunity to lawbreaking telecoms.