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.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: james clapper, keith alexander, lying to congress, nsa, nsa surveillance, ron wyden


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. icon
    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), 11 Jun 2013 @ 2:39pm

    Re:

    So? It's not like you're any more special than all the other trolls. You don't even have long term troll cred like ootb. You're barely worth mocking.

    My advice, either go somewhere that doesn't eat noobs like you for breakfast or plan on a long wait before anyone cares what you have to say.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.