S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Former Senators will again step up to the plate for the good of their nation.

From the New York Times (10/29/09) we learned that President Obama has reversed a number of Bush administration actions regarding the Intelligence Oversight Board.  The board will once again be able to forward information to the Attorney General, that would report intelligence activities that may break federal laws or go against presidential orders, leading to possible criminal investigations.  To quote:
President Obama has strengthened the authority and independence of an espionage oversight board made up of private citizens with top-level security clearances and a mandate to uncover illegal spying.
In an executive order released Thursday by the White House, Mr. Obama rolled back several changes made by the Bush administration that had weakened the Intelligence Oversight Board, a panel that helps presidents make sure spy agencies are obeying federal laws and presidential directives.
Mr. Obama’s order also makes it clear that the Intelligence Oversight Board will once again determine for itself what information and assistance the spy agencies must furnish for the panel to do its job.
Mr. Obama has not yet announced whom he will appoint to serve on the body. But on Wednesday, he appointed Chuck Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska, and David L. Boren, a former Democratic senator from Oklahoma, to be co-chairmen of the Intelligence Advisory Board, which focuses on making spy agencies more effective. The oversight board is a component of the advisory panel.
This is very good news for the protection of the rule of law, civil liberties and other areas where the intelligence community may have gotten out of hand, for whatever reason.  The appointments of former senators Chuck Hagel and David Boren to the Intelligence Oversight Board is a stroke of genius.  Both have good credentials and lots of valuable experience.  Filling the remaining empty seats is the next order of business for President Obama.   

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