Clapper will “facilitate” not oversee NSA review

White House delivers no reassurance and little more clarity on NSA review process

Topics: James Clapper, White House, NSA, Edward Snowden, NSA Review Group, National security, National Security Agency, Surveillance, Spying, ,

Following a healthy dose of outrage in response to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s announcement that he would be establishing a Review Group to assess his own agency’s surveillance programs, the White House has jumped in and is reassuring precisely nobody.

The Obama administration insists that there’s been some confusion and lack of clarity about the situation, (which he have well come to expect with regards to NSA spy programs). Indeed it was Clapper who told Congress that no Americans were surveilled when we no know the opposite to be true.

But, stresses the White House, Clapper will not be overseeing the review of his own agency, but simply “establishing” the review group of independent parties. Clapper’s role will be one of facilitation, not oversight, say national security spokespeople. Via the Guardian:



“The panel members are being selected by the White House, in consultation with the intelligence community,” national security council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said.

The DNI had to be involved for administrative reasons, because the panel would need security clearance and access to classified material, she added.

….She added that the panel members woul be appointed soon.

“The panel will not report to the DNI. As the DNI’s statement yesterday made clear, the review group will brief its interim findings to the president within 60 days of its establishment, and provide a final report with recommendations no later than December 15 2013.”

She added: “As we announced on Friday, the review group will be made up of independent, outside experts. The DNI’s role is one of facilitation, and the group is not under the direction of or led by the DNI.

“The members require security clearances and access to classified information so they need to be administratively connected to the government, and the DNI’s office is the right place to provide that. The review process and findings will be the group’s.”

It’s worth remembering, however, what Clapper said about the purpose of the review group he is establishing: to assess the national security efficacy of the sweeping surveillance programs, while attempting to build “public trust.” Nowhere has it been said that upholding Fourth Amendment protections, privacy and civil liberties is within the review group’s remit — whether it is merely run or simply established by Clapper.

Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 13
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Api Étoile

    Like little stars.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Calville Blanc

    World's best pie apple. Essential for Tarte Tatin. Has five prominent ribs.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Chenango Strawberry

    So pretty. So early. So ephemeral. Tastes like strawberry candy (slightly).

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Chestnut Crab

    My personal fave. Ultra-crisp. Graham cracker flavor. Should be famous. Isn't.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    D'Arcy Spice

    High flavored with notes of blood orange and allspice. Very rare.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Esopus Spitzenberg

    Jefferson's favorite. The best all-purpose American apple.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Granite Beauty

    New Hampshire's native son has a grizzled appearance and a strangely addictive curry flavor. Very, very rare.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Hewes Crab

    Makes the best hard cider in America. Soon to be famous.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Hidden Rose

    Freak seedling found in an Oregon field in the '60s has pink flesh and a fragrant strawberry snap. Makes a killer rose cider.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Knobbed Russet

    Freak city.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Newtown Pippin

    Ben Franklin's favorite. Queen Victoria's favorite. Only apple native to NYC.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Pitmaston Pineapple

    Really does taste like pineapple.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

Loading Comments...