No Real Changes Will Happen With NSA Surveillance Until Clapper And Alexander Are Fired
from the there-needs-to-be-punishment-for-lying dept
We’ve been arguing for months now that with James Clapper having admitted to blatantly lying to Congress (after trying to lie about the lie) that it’s insane that the man still has a job. If there is to be any accountability or trust going forward, he should lose his job (and potentially face charges). Instead, nothing is happening and no one seems to have any interest in doing anything. We’ve raised the question as to how anyone could possibly ever trust statements coming from the Intelligence Community again.
Once again: the director of the intelligence community flat out lied to Congress about it, admitted it, and there have been no consequences at all. What that teaches Clapper and others is that they can continue to lie, and, in fact, that they are effectively encouraged to lie, because there’s no downside risk in doing so.
It’s good to see we’re not the only ones who think so. James Goodale, a prominent First Amendment lawyer, and former General Counsel for the NY Times has written a stinging critique in the Guardian about all of the lies (noting that they go way beyond Clapper to Congress, but also include Clapper and Alexander both to the public and to the FISA court which is in charge of oversight):
The Director of National Intelligence James R Clapper admitted he lied to Congress about the NSA metadata collection program. He said the NSA had no such program – and then added that that was the least “untruthful” remark he could make. General Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency, lied in 2012 that the NSA does not hold data on US citizens, and repeated similar misstatements, under oath, to Congress about the program:
We’re not authorized to do it [data collection on US citizens], nor do we do it.
NSA lawyers lied to secret Fisa court Judges John D Bates and Reggie B Walton. In recently released opinions, Bates said he had been lied to on three separate occasions and Walton said he had been lied to several times also.
Then he notes that there’s been no punishment at all for these guys, which is absolutely true. He further calls out the Justice Department for refusing to investigate the lies to the FISA court, and notes that if President Obama actually wants to rebuild trust in the government and the intelligence community it must include punishing those who lied to Congress and to the FISA court. Otherwise, it is guaranteed that they will do so again.