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“The few, the proud, the Marines” and “The majority, the lemmings, the Democrats.”

— Two bumper stickers spotted on the same car by Inside the Beltway reader Robert Bubniak, in Annandale


Certainly “The Review Group” would make a good title for a novel, perhaps the kind that Brad Thor writes. But this is the real review. President Obama quietly has met with a five-man “Review Group,” with a big capital R and G.

They are “a high-level group of experts to review our intelligence and communications technologies,” White House press secretary Jay Carney reports in an exquisitely worded statement, this following ongoing hubbub over NSA surveillance practices, metadata and other matters.

The new team consists of Richard Clarke, former national security adviser to former presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush; Michael J. Morell, former acting director of the CIA; Geoffrey Stone, University of Chicago law professor and author; Cass Sunstein, Harvard University law professor and former administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs; and Peter Swire, Georgia Institute of Technology business professor who also served as chief counselor for privacy in the Office of Management and Budget during the Clinton administration

They bring “immense experience in national security, intelligence, oversight, privacy and civil liberties,” explains Mr. Carney, adding that the team will advise Mr. Obama how to employ “technical collection capabilities in a way that optimally protects our national security and advances our foreign policy while respecting our commitment to privacy and civil liberties.” The due date for the Review Group’s review: Dec. 15.


For rent: Two-bedroom, 1-bath apartment, West 109th Street, New York City. Hardwood floors, exposed brick, high ceilings, walk-in closet. Third floor walk-up. $2,495 a month. Historic information: “Was Barack Obama’s home during his junior year at Columbia University the future president lived in the pre-war home with a roommate, sharing a monthly rent of just $360.” The listing agent is Citi Habitats; more information at, under “Eye Candy.”


65 percent of Americans say the U.S. should not send military troops to “aid rebels in Syria.”

49 percent say the U.S. should not provide weapons to Syrian rebels.

41 percent say the U.S. military should not stage any airstrikes to aid Syrian rebels.

39 percent say the U.S. government does not have a responsibility to prevent Syria from using chemical weapons; 31 percent say the U.S. has a responsibility; 31 percent are unsure.

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