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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Intelligence Chief Clapper Apologizes For Lying To Senate By Lying About His Lie

Arrogance, Pure Arrogance!

 During a March 12 Senate hearing  Director of National Intelligence James Clapper gave an answer in response to a question by Senator Ron Wyden, which the NSA scandal proved to be a lie.  In early June he "fessed up" on national TV and now after almost four months he has gotten around to apologizing to the committee to which he lied.

In senate hearing on March 12, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked Director of National Intelligence James Clapper,

“Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” Clapper replied, “No sir … not wittingly.”
After Edward Snowden's first leak about the NSA phone and internet operation it became very apparent clapper was lying.  NBC’s Andrea Mitchell interviewed Clapper and asked him why he answered Wyden the way he did. He replied:
“I thought, though in retrospect, I was asked [a] ‘when are you going to … stop beating your wife’ kind of question, which is … not answerable necessarily by a simple yes or no. So I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful, manner by saying, ‘No.’ ”
Translating that answer into English it is believed he said I found the most truthful lie possible. 

One would think if a director of National Security was stunned with a question he didn't feel comfortable answering in public he would answer with a "this is not the most appropriate place to answer that question," especially when you consider that as a member of the Panel, Wyden was already briefed on the NSA programs Clapper was lying about.

The week after the interview by Mitchel Senator Wyden issued a statement which said in part that he told Clapper he was going to ask the question the day before the hearing and gave the Intelligence Chief an opportunity to fix the lie afterwards...but to no avail.

Finally four months after his lie, Clapper apologized in a letter (embedded below) to Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein that was posted Tuesday on the website of Clapper's office.

Clapper said in the June 21 letter that his answer was "clearly erroneous," which is political diplo-talk for "I lied." He said in the letter he thought Wyden was talking about another program.  Look at the question Wyden asked againL

Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?

But Wyden had given him the question before the hearing:
it was necessary to put the question to the Director of National Intelligence.  So that he would be prepared to answer, I sent the question to Director Clapper’s office a day in advance.
Senator Wyden didn't ask about a specific program, he asked "Does the NSA collect any type of data at all" Which means that Clapper's letter to Feinstein is a lie about a lie.

There will be no investigation of Clapper's lie, nor will he be punished. His false testimony and the follow-up lie is a Senate matter and the Senate is controlled by the Democrats who put party before Country.This incident is a prime example of the pure arrogance of this administration. They lie because they know they can get away with anything


Robert said...

He should have said, "No, sir, we don't actually DO anything at all. We're federal workers!"

Richard Forty said...

If he was woried about not revealing classified info, a truthful answer could have been "The parameters of the NSA program are classified. In order to avoid revealing classified info I will respectfully ask that this question be answered only in the closed session".
Of curse that might have tipped off people that there was some secret to hide, but at least it would not have revealed it, and would have been a truthful answer.