President Obama Has Funny Definition of 'Outside' Review of NSA Program


"Outside" means they are not literally inside the White House.

Probably at this point, we should have expected no less. President Barack Obama promised a panel of outside experts to review NSA procedures with its surveillance programs.

It turns out, his definition of "outside" is people who used to be part of his administration but aren't anymore. From ABC News:

A group of veteran security experts and former White House officials has been selected to conduct a full review of U.S. surveillance programs and other secret government efforts disclosed over recent months, ABC News has learned.

The recent acting head of the CIA, Michael Morell, will be among what President Obama called a "high-level group of outside experts" scrutinizing the controversial programs.

Joining Morell on the panel will be former White House officials Richard Clarke, Cass Sunstein and Peter Swire. An announcement is expected Thursday, a source with knowledge of the matter told ABC News' Jon Karl.

The group will "consider how we can maintain the trust of the people [and] how we can make sure that there absolutely is no abuse," President Obama said two weeks ago when announcing the group's formation, without identifying who would be on the panel.

Susnstein should be a recognizable name for his support of paternalistic, nanny state government "nudging." His inclusion should worry us that the administration sees all of this as a marketing and messaging issue and not a transparency and Fourth Amendment problem. Swire, though, has a history in tech privacy issues and government and was saying the NSA's wiretap program was illegal back in 2006.

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