Rep. Peter King Says It's A Disgrace To Call Out James Clapper For Lying To Congress

from the interesting-moral-barometer dept

Rep. Peter King’s willingness to continually go to bat for the surveillance state, no matter how ridiculous he looks, is quite impressive. As you recall, King used to be a major terrorist supporter — when those terrorists were his friends in the IRA — but now acts as if the government should toss out the Constitution if it means some minor advantage in the war against terrorists from a different part of the world with slightly darker skin. King has argued that reporters ought to be prosecuted for reporting on government leaks, even if those leaks revealed unconstitutional programs. He flat out lied about Glenn Greenwald, and then argued that Greenwald should be arrested. He’s claimed that calling the NSA’s snooping and spying “snooping” and “spying” is a form of slander.

And now, it appears he’s directly attacking others in Congress who see the world a bit differently. We pointed out that some in Congress are finally getting much more aggressive in calling for action of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lying to Congress. Recently, Senator Rand Paul made a claim that is perfectly valid: that James Clapper’s lying to Congress was more damaging than anything Ed Snowden did.

“That Clapper is lying to Congress is probably more injurious to our intelligent capabilities than anything Snowden did,” Paul said on CNN. “Clapper has damaged the credibility of the entire intelligence apparatus and I’m not sure what to believe anymore when they come to Congress.”

So, how did King respond to this statement from someone in his own party? He went ballistic. He claimed that Senator Paul “disgraced his office” by calling out Clapper for lying to Congress.

“He disgraced his office and he owes Gen. Clapper an apology immediately.”

Huh? Clapper himself has flat out admitted that he lied. Pete King appears to be telling everyone that it’s okay to lie to Congress. Yes, the same guy who wants to prosecute journalists.

In all of this, I think there are a few people who have “disgraced his office,” but Rand Paul is not one of them.

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Comments on “Rep. Peter King Says It's A Disgrace To Call Out James Clapper For Lying To Congress”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Q: “how the hell do these people ever get elected into public offices?”

A: Low voter turnout

And with voter turnout below 40% the “winner”, who gets barely 21% of registered voters, declares they have received a mandate – this is beyond stupid, this is douche bag territory. Representative government my ass.

Anonymous Coward says:

Mr. King’s choice of words was not “optimal” (much like Phil), but the sentiment behind his comments is not without merit. I saw at least two of Mr. Paul’s interviews, and because of my familiarity with this matter it quickly became apparent that Mr. Paul’s understanding of the relevant facts was significantly incomplete. While Mr. Paul’s concern about the NSA given recent revelations is certainly understandable, his comments concerning Mr. Clapper are quite flawed. For example, he never mentioned that the public hearing at which this matter arose was preceded by prior classified meetings at which the question was posed and answered. Since Mr. Clapper apparently provides accurate answers to question involving classified information at classified meetings, one is shooting from the hip generalizing that testimony by Mr. Clapper to Congress cannot be trusted.

As for the comment re Snowden and Clapper, at least Clapper attempted to honor his obligations respecting classified information, whereas Snowden did quite the opposite…serving as a one man arbiter about what needed to be disclosed. It is disappointing that Mr. Paul does not appear to recognize the distinction.

Anonymous Coward says:

“Was it the least truthfull answer there as well, or did he just flat out lie there as well?”

There has not been a single statement, suggestion, complaint,or other characterization that Mr. Clapper was not truthful when briefing the committee in the classified setting where the matter was discussed. The issue here arose only because Mr. Wyden chose to use a public setting in an attempt to force public disclosure of classified information. BTW, the classified information Mr. Wyden attempted to force into the public was that a broad data gathering program in fact existed and was being practiced. Separate and apart from the existence of the program (the existence of which was what Mr. Clapper was asked to confirm) were the particulars of what the program comprised. The existence of the program and its particulars at the time were classified.

I have criticized Mr. Wyden because he attempted to use a public setting to try and force a third party to disclose classified information, placing that person in a position of conflicting legal obligations that in either case have associated criminal sanctions). I have not criticized him for his concern about what he learned in private and the opinion he formed about what he learned, i.e., in his opinion what was being done under the program raised significant legal concerns that needed to be publicly disclosed. I have, however, criticized him for not pursuing avenues available to him (e.g., introduce legislation that did not disclose the program’s existence and scope that if passed would have effectively truncated the program to the extent it was “off the reservation”, or perhaps even attempt to rely upon Congressional immunity concerning statements made on the floor of the House and Senate while they are in session).

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