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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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Sep 2013 @ 6:44am

    Re: Re:

    Kerr was cited as an example among many. Another individual was also cited as an example, but he was summarily dismissed because of who he is and not what he had to say. To say I found "one" is not accurate at all. Moreover, I mentioned Orin's comments precisely because just days earlier you had spoken well of him as knowledgeable in this area, going so far as to suggest his being a member of an independent panel to review NDA activities. I have no reason the believe you have changed your mind regarding Orin, so it seems rather strange you would dismiss his comments concerning the choices presented to Clapper.

    Yes, you provided a possible response, and both my comments and those by Kerr pointed out why such a response would be problematic. Why this would be so would be more apparent to persons such as yourself if you worked in an environment requiring access to classified information, and especially very high level classified information.

    The Groves hypo was solely for the purpose of trying to convey an extreme situation where it would be hard to deny that an answer along the lines of what you insist Clapper should have given would have been problematic. No reasonable person should doubt that such an answer would have conveyed useful information to select third parties. Yet, you have chosen to double down once more that you are right and those who may hold different views, articulating why your approach presents problems in and of itself, are simply unable to recognize your rightness from their wrongness.

    Turning to Wyden, he already knew the answer...as did everyone else on the Senate committee. It has been reported by many sources that the question had been asked and answered in classified briefings. What he did was try and force the movement of classified information into the public eye. While I do not view it as such, there are several who have publicly opined on this matter who advocate that Wyden's actions here were an open invitation for others having knowledge of the information at issue to ignore their obligations and disclose such information publicly.

    I will not waste any more time trying secure at least a grudging acceptance that perhaps things are not so black and white as then may seem. It is clear that your suspicion of the NSA and other agencies who have been engaging is the types of activities about which you are writing simply will not admit to any such possibility. I can accept that in some situations your proposal may be non-problematic, but to elevate it to a universal rule devoid of nuance and potential problems is somewhat na´ve.

    More succinctly, this is one matter on which we will have to agree to disagree.

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