1077 days ago, Barack Obama took his Oath of Office as President of the United States of America, solemnly swearing to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” As President, one of the ways that Barack Obama is supposed to do that is to nominate five members of a Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. That board is tasked with using its subpoena power to review the search and surveillance activities of the U.S. Government, to report on violations of Americans’ constitutional rights to Congress and the public, and to coordinate government action in a manner designed to prevent civil liberties violations in the future. Barack Obama not only should do this — according to federal law he must do this.
For 1060 days, President Obama didn’t do this. Until December 15 of 2011, Obama had only nominated two people to sit on the board. By federal law, three members are required for the board to meet. Until President Obama nominated a third member, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board could not have possibly functioned.
On December 15 2011, three years into his four-year term, Barack Obama finally nominated the other three members of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.
Thank you, Barack Obama. It’s about time.