In a sign that the president not only holds us in utter contempt, but that he is now gleefully rubbing our noses in it, he wasted no time pivoting away from promising an "independent review" at Friday's press conference into cynically subcontracting the whole shebang to Booz Allen & Friends. Appointing James Clapper to investigate his own agency is like appointing Lloyd Blankfein to investigate Goldman Sachs, and then inviting him over to the White House for lunch to discuss how to starve retirees via Chained CPI. Oh wait... that actually did happen. Lying to Congress with impunity has its privileges.
But anyway, Obama made the newest announcement in true Orwellian gobbledygook:
Technological advances have brought with them both great opportunities and significant risks for our Intelligence Community. I believe it is important to take stock of how these technological advances alter the environment in which we conduct our intelligence mission. The Review Group will assess whether, in light of advancements in communications technologies, the United States employs its technical collection capabilities in a manner that optimally protects our national security and advances our foreign policy while appropriately accounting for other policy considerations, such as the risk of unauthorized disclosure and our need to maintain the public trust.Translation: Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.
Obama is leaving it up to Clapper to appoint members of the secret panel, which will secretly report to Clapper who will then secretly report to Obama, just in time for Christmas, at which time the government shut-down and all the other theatrical fiscal disaster Glass Debt Ceiling machinations perpetrated by the Duopoly will be in full swing, making the 315 million terror suspects, otherwise known as the American public, forget all about Edward Snowden and human rights.
As Marcy Wheeler points out, neither Obama nor any Congressional oversight committees will be allowed to question the Secret Panel of Invisible Sworn Whisperers. They will submit their report directly to Clapper, who no doubt will submit the least untruthful version of what they allegedly oversaw.
In one of his classic rants, the late George Carlin noted "there is just enough bullshit to hold things together in this country." But judging from yesterday's joke of a Task Force announcement, the off-brand Obamian adhesive has reached a state of dilution that renders it about as effective as water -- the kind of dirty, exploding-in-your-face water that you can only get from a toxic fracked well.
*Update, 8/14: Stung by criticism that he is appointing the fox to guard the henhouse, the Obama administration has used more weasel words with which to backpedal Clapper's assignment to investigate his own abusive agency. He is now only "coordinating" the task force, not heading it. This probably involves leading with his ass instead of with his shiny bald pate, as well as facilitating, mentoring, nudging in the right direction and hovering in the room at all times as the very embodiment of impending doom to ensure that the assignees don't leave the room with sensitive documents. H/T AnneEnigma. More here.