James Clapper Admits That The Debate Snowden Created 'Needed To Happen'

from the then-why-didn't-it-happen dept

Director of National Intelligence and confessed liar to Congress, James Clapper, has now admitted that the debate over what the intelligence community has been doing, brought on by Ed Snowden's leaks, "needed to happen."
"I think it's clear that some of the conversations this has generated, some of the debate, actually needed to happen," Clapper told a defense and intelligence contractor trade group. "If there's a good side to this, maybe that's it."
Well, isn't that interesting? Of course, considering that he was the Director of National Intelligence and that the oversight committee, which is supposed to keep him in line, tried to start that debate a few months ago and Clapper's response was to flat-out lie to them, it seems worth questioning why it appears that he did everything possible to avoid having that debate? It also raises the question of why he's still in a job (and not facing charges).

Clapper also admits that he knows that the leaks aren't done:
"Unfortunately, there is more to come," he said.
Seeing as the existing leaks helped push forward a debate that "needed to happen," I don't see what's so unfortunate about that.

Clapper also insisted that those awful journalists covering the story have been letting their minds run wild:
Journalists examining the surveillance programs that Snowden disclosed "go to the deepest darkest place they can and make the most conspiratorial case for what the intelligence community is doing."
Two things about that. First, so far what we've seen after pretty much every leak is that Clapper's office or others in the administration make a statement that includes a bunch of weasel words that are redefined to mean something different than what the public actually thinks -- and those "non-lie lies" are then exposed in later revelations from the leaks. Given that, is it really any surprise that people have little trust in what the intelligence community is saying?

Second, you know how you avoid having journalists take the details of the program and "going to the deepest darkest place and making the most conspiratorial case for what the intelligence community is doing"? It's called being more open and transparent and actually having the debate that you're now running from.

Besides, considering some of the existing leaks about rampant abuses (some not defined as abuses), dreadful coverups, the inability to know what Snowden took or how he took it, the economic espionage, the finding internal informants to help get around encryption and a variety of other very questionable things, is it any wonder that people don't trust the NSA?

Filed Under: debate, ed snowden, intelligence community, james clapper, nsa, nsa surveillance


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The First Word

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  1. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), 17 Sep 2013 @ 2:51pm

    Re:

    Clapper was in an untenable position, as you might appreciate if you ever held a classified information clearance.

    Oh fuck off. Whether or not I've had clearance is meaningless for this discussion. It's an obnoxious pedantic statement -- similar to others you state -- as an appeal to authority when none is needed. Plenty of people who have had security clearance agree with me as well. So, seriously, give it a rest.

    Imagine at a public hearing a question such as "Is your agency doing anything involving splitting or fusing atoms?" being posed to Leslie Groves. An absolutely extreme hypo to be sure, but it is worthwhile to reflect on it.

    Sure, except that's a totally different situation. The splitting of atoms was, in fact, classified. Whether or not the NSA is spying on Americans is NOT. Yes, the specific program being used is, but the fact that millions of Americans have some data captured by the NSA is NOT CLASSIFIED. But, even given your stupid hypo, Groves could state, quite easily: "We do not discuss tactics used in unclassified hearings, as you know, and we'd be happy to discuss your questions in a classified session." That does not reveal anything.

    Clapper could have done so, as he's done in the past.

    You're wrong. As explained to you a dozen times above. Get over it. You're WRONG.

    BTW, patents and copyrights are without the slightest doubt property, but then you already know that...;)


    Uh yeah. Whatever, dude.

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