Obama Picks Soros Crony to Lead NSA Probe
When President Obama needs help, he can always turn to one of the Soros inner circle. In a speech on Jan. 17, Obama announced that his new Presidential Counsel John Podesta will lead a "comprehensive review of Big Data and privacy," following the NSA privacy scandal that has dogged his administration.
What he didn't mention was that Podesta is the founder of the liberal Center for American Progress. CAP has gotten $7.3 million from liberal billionaire George Soros since 2000 and was one of the keystone liberal think tanks founded after the Democrats lost the 2004 election.
Podesta was to have focused on the health care law and climate change issues, according to a Dec. 9, New York Times article.
According to Obama, Podesta will work with a group of government officials and the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, as well as reaching out to "privacy experts, technologists and business leaders," to "look at how the challenges inherent in big data are being confronted by both the public and private sectors." Podesta will also examine how government can "continue to promote the free flow of information in ways that are consistent with both privacy and security." This will be done to address the ongoing NSA spying scandal that came to light in June 2013.
Podesta has a long history with Democrats. He co-chaired the transition team when Obama first came into office. He was also White House chief of staff under Clinton. Neera Tanden, who has worked for both Obama and Hillary Clinton, currently runs CAP.
CAP is an influential liberal policy writing and advocacy organization, complete with its own media outlet. Not only has CAP received more than $7.3 million from George Soros, it also has a membership program for corporations to be part of the discussion. Recently, CAP partnered with NBC Special anchor (and former wife of Arnold Schwarzenegger) Maria Shriver on a report which NBC News promoted without qualification.
CAP was part of coalition of liberal groups in March of 2012 who targeted the pro-free market American Legislative Exchange Council for having corporate donors and promoting policy initiatives not in line with liberal goals. This attack resulted in several of ALEC's corporate members pulling out. A similar attack was launched by some of the same groups against the State Policy Network.
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â€” Mike Ciandella is MRC Business Senior Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Mike Ciandella on Twitter.