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. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2013 @ 12:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    People express opinions with which you disagree, and your response is to proclaim them wrong and uninformed, resort to degrading comments, and then assert your unshakeable belief in the correctness of your opinions.

    When someone proffers verifiable information that does not comport with your opinions, the information is in far too many instances cast aside and given nary a thought.

    Orin notes that things are not as clear as you would have others believe, and yet you continue to proclaim anyone who mentions this lack of clarity is simply wrong. Apparently, I and Orin simply lack the ability to recognize the rightness of your opinion and the wrongness of ours.

    Marc makes the same general observations, and yet you readily dismiss him as well because for some unknown reason his being the messenger is more important a factor than his message. Given your reaction to him, I am glad I passed up adding comments by Stewart Baker.

    Based upon your series of comments, my take away from this thread is that you are right and those of us who hold a more nuanced opinion are wrong. Those of us who regularly deal with classified information are apparently not up to the task of determining when a statement is likely problematic and when it is not. On a more personal note, I have come to learn that I am childish, buffoonish, pathological, insane, an idiot, possess a mental block, and a host of other pejorative terms. Perhaps they make you feel good and look "tough" to your readers, but they do nothing to address the merits of an opinion that may contradict yours.

    I find nothing short of sad your obvious inclination to surround yourself with people with whom you agree, and eschew similar intimate and respectful engagement with people with whom you disagree. I say sad because it represents a missed opportunity. In my case it is fair to say that I learn far more from the arguments of those with whom I disagree than from those with whom I agree. The latter merely restate what I already know. The former challenge me to understand what they have to say and to incorporate new thoughts and ideas into my knowledge base.

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