Campaign Promises

Other/Miscellaneous -> Appointments -> Privacy/Civil Liberties Board

Privacy/Civil Liberties BoardGrade
The Promise: "Support efforts to strengthen the Privacy and Civil Liberties Board with subpoena powers and reporting responsibilities. Give the Board a robust mandate designed to protect American civil liberties and demand transparency from the Board to ensure accountability."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan "Strengthening Homeland Security" dated 10/17/08
Status:This promise could have been filed under Homeland Security (HS), but the key tenet pertains to White House level appointments.

As a result of a 9/11 Commission Report recommendation dated 07/22/04 (formally referred to as the "Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States"), former President Bush selected three Republicans and one Democrat to serve on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB). Only the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson required Senate confirmation at the time and this was accomplished in 02/06.

In 01/07, Congress decided that this Board should be reorganized as an independent agency with each member subject to Senate confirmation.

In 01/08 the PCLOB, as originally structured, ceased to operate. It would remain nonfunctional for over four years.

In early-08/12, the Senate confirmed four of the PCLOB's five members -- two Republicans and two Democrats -- but failed to confirm its chairman, Democrat David Medine, who worked at the Securities and Exchange Commission. In 01/13, the White House re-nominated Mr. Medine as chair and the Senate confirmed him on 05/07/13. On 07/09/13, the Board held its first public workshop followed by its first substantive hearing on 11/04/13.

As of late-CY2016, the Board may request in writing that the Attorney General subpoena on the Board's behalf parties outside of the executive branch to produce relevant information. Thus the Board itself has no subpoena powers.

This promise was not fulfilled.