“We have also concluded that George W. Bush is the best President ever and all five of us would marry him if we could.”
A White House privacy board has determined that two of the Bush administration’s controversial surveillance programs â€“ electronic eavesdropping and financial tracking â€“ do not violate citizens’ civil liberties.
After operating mostly in secret for a year, the five-member Privacy and Civil Liberties Board is preparing to release its first report to Congress next week.
The report finds that both the National Security Agency’s warrantless eavesdropping program and the Treasury Department’s monitoring of international banking transactions have sufficient privacy protections, three board members told The Associated Press in telephone interviews.
â€œWe looked at the program, we visited NSA and met with the top people all the way down to those doing the hands-on work,â€ said Carol Dinkins, a Houston lawyer and former Reagan administration assistant attorney general who chairs the board.
â€œThe program is structured and implemented in a way that is properly protective and attentive to civil liberties,â€ she said.
Bush appointed Dinkins, a Republican, to chair the board. A longtime friend of the Bush family, she was treasurer of Bush’s first campaign for governor of Texas, and she is a longtime partner in the law firm of Vinson & Elkins, where Gonzales was once a partner.
The panel’s other GOP members are vice chairman Alan Raul, a Washington attorney, and former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson. Former Ambassador Francis Taylor is an independent.
Ms. Dinkins has a history of being a lay down for the Bush Administration.