McGeorge School of Law

Bush Names Dean Parker to Declassification Board

September 14, 2006

President George W. Bush has appointed University of the McGeorge School of Law Dean Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker to a new Public Interest Declassification Board.

The Public Interest Declassification Board was created by federal statute four years ago to promote public access to national security information and to advise the government on declassification policies and priorities. But because its members were never named, the Board has remained dormant.

Dean Parker, former General Counsel of National Security Agency and CIA, was one of five members named September 10 by the White House. The others are L. Britt Snider, former CIA General Counsel; Martin Faga, former director of the National Reconnaissance Office; Steven Garfinkel, the former director of the Information Security Oversight Office; and historian Richard N. Smith.

The House and Senate leadership is charged with naming the remaining members of the nine-person board. It is not known whether or when that may be done.

The Public Interest Declassification Board was the only surviving element of the legislative reform package recommended in 1997 by the Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy, chaired by the late Senator Daniel P. Moynihan. The Board was established in the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2001. If successfully constituted, the Board would overlap with, and may preempt, a similar proposal offered recently by Senators Trent Lott (R-Mississippi) and Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) to create an Independent National Security Classification Board (S. 2672).