When the Congressional Transparency Caucus was founded on May 10 2011, it published a mission statement that declared the beliefs of the caucus. Some excerpts: Transparency in government is crucial to our democracy because our government derives its power from the informed consent of the
It took President Obama three long years, but finally in December of 2011 he obeyed the law and finished putting all five nominees into consideration for appointment to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. This is an important task for Obama to have completed,
Elisebeth Collins Cook is one of only two people nominated to sit on the nation’s empty Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, the body charged with protecting Americans’ civil liberties and tracking abuses from within the executive branch. The quorum required for the board to
In this country, the judicial branch of government has a vital role to play in reviewing the actions of the other two. With the Congress retreating from its investigative and oversight role, courts are often the only means left of checking the urges of an
If you get your news from — oh, call me crazy — the news, you’d have no idea that last Wednesday the House Judiciary Committee held contentious hearings on illegal FBI surveillance of thousands of people, from everyday schmoes to American news bureaus. This hearing
The time for the “representative” part of representative democracy is past, at least in this round; either you called your senators, reached the Senate Judiciary Committee, and let others know about what’s going on, or you didn’t. In one hour, the Judiciary Committee will meet
What’s to blame for the crimes that the hearing focused on? Is it really polygamy itself, or is some other factor more fundamentally responsible for the abuse? Absolutist religious beliefs? Rural isolation? Mixture of church and state? Authoritarian attitudes in conservative families?
I urge you to read Barack Obama’s statement explaining why he supports H.R. 6304, a bill that authorizes a presidential administration to engage in electronic surveillance of communications as well as physical search of your property, all without so much as a warrant, outside meaningful