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, 13 Sep 2013 @ 11:47am

    Yes, except the matter was raised at an unclassified public hearing where what Clapper could say was severely constrained.


    Clapper knew going in, what questions would be asked. He had plenty of time to come up with answers or flat out say in the session he couldn't speak of it in a public hearing. Believe it not it's been done before by others.

    Clapper purposely chose to lie. It was a choice he chose at a place where he could have rectified it. He could have simply dodged the question as so many countless politicians do all the time or could have offered to answer the question in a more controlled environment.

    It's not just that Clapper lied here. It's that at every turn the whole group trying to justify the NSA's acts have either spoken without knowledge or purposely attempted to hide or misdirect understanding. At no point has anyone just come up and been honest with so much as 'We screwed up' where it is so blatant in violations that even the average citizen understands this is wrong. Trying to make right what is wrong isn't happening.

    Nor is this debate happening. Remember Obama saying he welcomed a debate? That was just to get him off the hook. That debate hasn't occurred. Same with Clapper, stating it's welcome and it actually happening in public are two different animals. Given his credibility gap, no one believes him.

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