WASHINGTON - The lone Democrat on a White House privacy board has abruptly resigned, citing disagreements with the Bush administration over the board's role in protecting civil liberties.
Lanny Davis, a lawyer and former Clinton White House counsel, said this week that he no longer believed the five-member board was sufficiently independent to provide robust oversight of government surveillance programs.
Leaders of the Sept. 11 commission criticized the board last week for not doing its job and questioned many of the findings in the board's 49-page annual report to Congress.
In letters Monday to President Bush and to other board members, Davis said he agreed with the commission's leaders, former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean and former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D., Ind.), that the board should investigate allegations of illegal detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The board maintains it cannot do so because the incidents did not occur on U.S. soil.