Right Before Snowden Leaks, President Obama Fired Nearly All Members On Key Intelligence Advisory Board
from the this-is-where-we-were-headed-all-along? dept
Right, so a few people pointed out that President Obama already has an independent group that's supposed to do that thing: called the President's Intelligence Advisory Board (PIAB). There's just one tiny, tiny problem in all of this. It now appears that, back in May, just before all the Snowden stuff started coming out, it appears that the administration basically kicked nearly everyone off of the PIAB board. It went from 14 members down to just four. And those members were basically asked to leave:
“They kicked me off,” said former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.). “I was on it a long time under Bush and under Obama. They wanted to make some changes.”Hamilton's ouster is particularly interesting, given that just a month ago, he wrote an oped piece about how the NSA's surveillance efforts have gone too far. Seems like he'd be handy to have on this committee reviewing the NSA surveillance, no? So, forgive us for, once again, finding it difficult (or laughable) to believe President Obama's claims that he had a serious revamp of the NSA's surveillance activity in his priorities before the Snowden leaks happened. It seems clear that things were going in the other direction: ramping up the spying, while cutting back on the oversight and review.
“I don’t know anything about whether they’ve brought in new members. They thanked me and that’s about all I know,” added Hamilton, widely known for his service as vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission.
[....] Philip Zelikow, who served as executive director of the 9/11 Commission and later as a top aide to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, was also asked recently to step off the PIAB.
“I’ve resigned from the Board, one of ten of the fourteen earlier members who have done so,” Zelikow said via email. “Four of the earlier members have remained, pending a reconstitution of the Board at some point for the balance of the President’s second term. The White House website displays the current situation, pending that.”