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And, yes, I DO take it personally: So much for the so-called "independence" of the Privacy Board
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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

So much for the so-called "independence" of the Privacy Board

if independence was anything other than a mere word to be used as a smokescreen, this wouldn't be happening...
The Bush administration made more than 200 revisions to the first report of a civilian board that oversees government protection of personal privacy, including the deletion of a passage on anti-terrorism programs that intelligence officials deemed "potentially problematic" intrusions on civil liberties, according to a draft of the report obtained by The Washington Post.

the draft report was issued under unanimous consent of all the board members...
The changes came after the congressionally created Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board had unanimously approved the final draft of its first report to lawmakers, renewing an internal debate over the board's independence and investigative power.

and of course we have the usual administration b.s...
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino called the editing "standard operating procedure," saying it was appropriate because the board remains legally under the supervision of the Executive Office of the President.

appearances are everything... for the privacy board to truly BE independent, it has to APPEAR independent, and what's described here APPEARS entirely the opposite... but dana perino is 100% correct... for the bush administration, it IS "standard operating procedure" to say one thing and do another... and at least one board member has the courage of his convictions...
[One of the panel's five members, Democrat Lanny J. Davis'] resignation letter cited "the extensive redlining of the board's report to Congress by administration officials and the majority of the board's willingness to accept most" of the changes.

that last statement, "the board's willingness to accept most" of the changes, strikes me as peculiar... if they're willing to accept most of the changes, does that mean that they don't see themselves as independent, that they see the white house as a more accurate source of information than those available to the board, or that the changes themselves were insignificant...? all of the above...? regardless, as a member of a so-called "independent" board, i would be extremely annoyed to have 200 changes made to the final draft of a report that was passed unanimously no matter WHAT the nature of the changes were...

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