Earlier this month, the Obama Administration said it was convening a “high level group of outside experts” to review intelligence operations and conduct a meaningful review on the American surveillance infrastructure.
But a new report published late Wednesday from ABC News reveals that four of the panelists have longstanding ties to government and intelligence infrastructure, leading some legal scholars outside government to question how independent it actually will be. (It’s not known if the panel will have more members beyond the named four.) Thursday’s White House press conference aboard Air Force One did not address the issue. ABC added that the White House is expected to formally announce members of that panel on Thursday, and so far, the government has not denied ABC’s report.
The panel is supposed to present initial findings to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper by November 2013, with its final recommendations due before the end of the year. According to ABC News, the group consists of four names: Michael Morrell, Richard Clarke, Peter Swire, and Cass Sunstein.