NSA

Surveillance Review Board Slammed Over Insider Control

Packed with Beltway cronies

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President Barack Obama pledged he'd appoint "outside experts" to review the country's surveillance practices, but he's since tapped largely insiders for the key posts.

The group, formed to examine the policies and procedures at the National Security Agency as it tracks terrorism suspects' digital communications, is composed mostly of Washington types, many with connections to the very intelligence establishment they're now tasked with scrutinizing in the wake of Edward Snowden's leaks.

There's Michael Morell, a CIA veteran who once led the agency on an interim basis; Richard Clarke, a top counter-terrorism official in the Clinton and Bush administrations; and Cass Sunstein, a well-known academic who did regulatory work for the Obama White House and is married to United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power. The panel also includes Peter Swire, a former Clinton administration privacy expert, and Geoffrey Stone, a top professor at the University of Chicago Law School who knows the president.