Another emasculation of oversight. The Intelligence Oversight Board (IOB) is a civilian intelligence oversight panel created in 1976 with the purpose of notifying the President and the Attorney General of intelligence activities which it deems to be illegal. During the first two years of the Bush Administration, the board was vacant. During the first 5 1/2 years (2001-2006), the board made no notifications –this was while the FBI was playing fast and loose with NSLs, the CIA was engaged in torture and black prisons, and the NSA was conducting massive warrantless wiretapping.
In a February 29, 2008 Executive Order the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB) of which the IOB is a special committee was renamed the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board (PIAB). The independent function of the IOB was gutted. It is still tasked with reporting illegal activities to the President but its ability to find such activities has been effectively removed. It can no longer mount its own investigations but is dependent on information supplied to it by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Gone too is its power to inform the Attorney General directly of wrongdoing. This also must pass through the DNI. It no longer has the task of monitoring the effectiveness of Inspector Generals in spotting illegal activities (This may be a consequence from when the CIA IG looked into CIA torture and got the wrath of CIA Director Michael Hayden visited upon him. See item 261.) and of the agencies’ internal procedures for doing so. The overall result seems to be to take away what few functions a defanged IOB had and vest them with the DNI. The current DNI is, of course, the truth averse Bush henchman Mike McConnell if that makes you feel any better.