"I'm afraid the administration hasn't given us the authority necessary to order in Chinese."
For more than a year, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board has been the most invisible office in the White House. Created by Congress in December 2004 as a result of the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, the board has never hired a staff or even held a meeting. Next week, NEWSWEEK has learned, that is due to finally change when the board's five members are slated to be sworn in at the White House and convene their first session. Board members tell NEWSWEEK the panel intends to immediately tackle contentious issues like the president's domestic wiretapping program, the Patriot Act and Pentagon data mining.
Wonderful! We're sure things'll be quite different around here now that this Oversight Board's getting started. Little more Oversight, that's what we need! And who better to Oversee than a Board?
Alex Conant, a spokesman for the Office of Management and Budget, denied to NEWSWEEK the White House was trying to kill the panel by starving it of funds. "It will be fully funded," he said, explaining that the board wasn't in the budget this year because officials decided not to itemize funding levels for particular offices within the White House. When a reporter pointed out that funding for other White House offices such as the National Security Council were listed in the budget, Conant said: "I have no explanation."
Jesus Christ, they're too lazy to even come up with plausible lies anymore.
We're guessing these guys will be given about as much authority and funding as the nascent "Giving a Shit About Poor People Oversight Board."