After the uproar over his plan to appoint Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to head his intelligence review board, President Obama promised to pack the group with “outside experts.”
News of the names of board members reveals that the president’s definition of “outside” comes from somewhere outside the dictionary.
The five men tapped to lead the panel known officially as the Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies are Richard A. Clarke (shown), Michael Morell, Cass Sunstein, Geoffrey Stone, and Peter Swire.
It would be challenging to assemble a group more “inside” the government.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s response to the announcement of the board members sums up the situation exactly. Said EFF: "A task force led by General Clapper full of insiders — and not directed to look at the extensive abuse — will never get at the bottom of the unconstitutional spying."
In a statement to The Verge, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) expressed similar concerns as to the independent status of the group. “It's a distinguished group of people to be sure, but I don't know if it satisfies the test of being independent and objective," EPIC's Marc Rotenberg observed. "I'm not going to quite bash it as a group of Washington insiders … but I think the White House could have done a better job in getting fresh eyes to look at some of the problems.”
What Rotenberg wouldn’t do, Politico did. In an article reporting on the group, Tony Romm wrote:
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