US civil liberties panel yet to meet after eight months

US civil liberties panel yet to meet after eight months

[JURIST] An civil liberties oversight panel created by Congress last year in response to a recommendation by the 9/11 Commission [official website] has yet to meet almost eight months after its inception. The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board [CRS backgrounder, PDF] was created as part of an intelligence reform law [PDF] passed in December 2004 [JURIST report]. But after a six-month delay, President Bush has nominated [ABA report] only five members [White House press release]. Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT) [official website] says the board is "not a priority for the administration". Richard Ben-Veniste, a member of the 9/11 Commission has also criticized the board as being "watered-down" and lacking "credibility and authority". Congress has already doubled the amount of money earmarked for the board from the White House's $750,000 to $1.5 million. Reuters has more.