USA Today conducted an investigation into the oversight of civil liberties at the federal level during the Bush administration.
The three agencies under the most scrutiny were the Departments of Defense, State and Health and Human services. According to the investigation, all three failed to meet a legal requirement to appoint civil liberties protection officers. They also did not meet legal standards for regular reports to Congress on the effectiveness of their programs to secure civil liberties for the American public.
At the center of the report is the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, an independent commission created in 2006 to ensure civil-liberties compliance. As of today, the board has no members.
Caroline Fredrickson, legislative director at the ACLU, said that civil liberties violations such as erroneously placing people on the terrorist watch list and misusing administrative warrants “might have been dealt with much sooner if we had … cops on the beat to make sure there are standards that are being upheld.”