The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Huffington Post reports: "James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence Who Misled Congress, To Lead Surveillance Review Group."

MARCY WHEELER, emptywheel at, @emptywheel
A noted blogger on legal issues, Wheeler writes at She wrote Monday: "When Obama announced Friday the formation of a technical advisory group to review our SIGINT programs, I naively believed 'outside' and 'independent' meant 'outside' and 'independent.' ...

Wheeler notes that Obama said: "we're forming a high-level group of outside experts to review our entire intelligence and communications technologies. We need new thinking for a new era. ... So I am tasking this independent group to step back and review our capabilities -- particularly our surveillance technologies." [emphasis added throughout]

Wheeler writes: "I also naively believed this was an effort to take up Ron Wyden and Mark Udall's call to get an independent review of the program, which the rest of the Senate Intelligence Committee thwarted a year ago. ... Nope! In the memo Obama just released [PDF] ordering James Clapper to form such a committee, those words 'outside' and 'independent' disappear entirely: 'Within 60 days of its establishment, the Review Group will brief their interim findings to me through the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), and the Review Group will provide a final report and recommendations to me through the DNI no later than December 15, 2013.'

"And neither Obama nor the Intelligence Committees get to hear from this Group themselves. It all goes through James Clapper. What on Friday was an outside and independent group is now branded by the Director of National Intelligence as the Director of National Intelligence Group. ... It took exactly 72 hours for that good idea to fizzle into a navel gaze directed by the guy who lies to Congress."

MICHAEL FIGURA, michael at
ABC News reports: "New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city will appeal a ruling by a federal judge [Monday] that the NYPD's controversial so-called "stop-and-frisk" policy is unconstitutional."

Legal fellow at the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Figura said today: "The order in Floyd is a historic victory that will impose important reforms on the NYPD related to stop and frisk, including an independent monitor, a [test] of police-worn cameras and mandated community input. However, to ensure better policing for all New Yorkers, it will still be crucial for the New York City Council to overturn the mayor's veto on bills that expand profiling protections and establish an Inspector General for the NYPD."

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