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Commentary: On the board created to protect the privacy of Americans

An excerpt from recent editorials in newspapers in the United States:

From The Associated Press

On the board created to protect the privacy of Americans:

Suppose Congress created a board to protect the privacy of Americans and no one showed up. That's the bizarre reality of the five-member Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, all of whose five seats have been vacant since 2008. Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., is pressing the Obama administration to fill the vacancies. In doing so, the president should choose individu-als of sufficient experience and stature to act as watchdogs over the intelligence community and the Justice Department.

The board was originally established by Congress in 2004 and was raised to the status of an independent agency within the executive branch in 2007. Its mandate is to advise the admini-stration when anti-terrorism policies threaten to trample civil liberties, and it has access to both public and classified information ...

Stung by criticism of its inaction, the administration insists that it is considering candidates for the three Democratic seats on the board and expects congressional Republicans to recom-mend nominees for the other two seats soon. Better late than never, but the empty seats at the table more than a year into the Obama administration are an embarrassment.

-- Los Angeles Times