Senator Wyden Calls For Hearings Over Intelligence Officials Lying To Congress

from the about-time dept

We've discussed in great detail how the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, lied to Congress concerning NSA surveillance and why he should face the consequences of such lies. What hasn't been noted as much is that NSA boss Keith Alexander more or less told the same lies to Congress a few months earlier, in a letter responding to some of Senator Wyden's questions.

Now Wyden is pointing out that this is unacceptable and calling for hearings on the claims of the intelligence community to Congress:
“One of the most important responsibilities a Senator has is oversight of the intelligence community. This job cannot be done responsibly if Senators aren’t getting straight answers to direct questions. When NSA Director Alexander failed to clarify previous public statements about domestic surveillance, 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. After the hearing was over my staff and I gave his office a chance to amend his answer. Now public hearings are needed to address the recent disclosures and the American people have the right to expect straight answers from the intelligence leadership to the questions asked by their representatives.”
The specifics here are important, because last week, Clapper suggested that his answer was about whether or not the NSA collected emails from millions of Americans, even though Wyden's direct question concerned "any type of data." Now we know that (1) Clapper had this question ahead of time and (2) was later given a chance to clarify his answer. And he still stood by his "no" answer -- which he now calls "the least untruthful" answer. But we can drop the "least" part of that. It was untruthful. Extremely untruthful in light of the evidence that the NSA is collecting all phone records from at least Verizon and AT&T, but likely from others as well.

Update: For clarification purposes, it appears that the hearings Wyden is requesting are about the data collection program, not specifically Clapper and Alexander's statements. Though, I would imagine that those hearings may turn up more evidence that the earlier statements were, in fact, false.
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Filed Under: james clapper, keith alexander, lying to congress, nsa, nsa surveillance, ron wyden


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  1. icon
    Rapnel (profile), 11 Jun 2013 @ 4:31pm

    Re:

    Hm. You're essentially saying that Congress, the people's portion of government, has been marginalized by the executive and we have an executive branch, inclusive of military and police thus prison and war industrial complexes, coup in progress? Did I forget something? Oh, corporate, I forgot corporate.

    I'd say we're pretty much fucked right about now unless A LOT of people can do A LOT of moving and shaking.

    Now about those mass bullet purchases and assault arms and capacity magazine restrictions. Talk about a nutter.

    I think the folks in charge, you know, dumb asses, the people, you and me, do not demand we right this ship right now we risk a much more difficult confrontation, one with rocks that bite.

    Step 1. Issue subpoenas and commence the hearings.
    Step 2. Draft, immediately, a digital bill of rights
    Step 3. Fix that into law
    Step 4. Address Mr. Snowden and the breakdown of security protocol.
    (personal step 5. Forever hope that there will always be a Mr. Snowden, dedicated from a people's perspective, to the founding documents, he too swore to protect it and from my view at 100k feet, I'll be damned if he didn't keep it)

    And then address health, military, and corporate vacuums and multiple wars that bleed the well being of the people.

    Well, it's a good plan anyway, so I'm sticking to it, Congress should too.

    Pro Tips:
    Heave ho on those reigns you've got there Congress. Them're big horses you've got under those straps. I reckon that there are handful of barred rooms that should have new occupants. Maybe swap places with some non-violent drug offenders and such.

    Oh and the Judicial can now feel free to stop throwing down on secrecy. It appears they now have a bit of reality to deal with. Fantastic. Every little bit helps.\r

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