No Real Changes Will Happen With NSA Surveillance Until Clapper And Alexander Are Fired

from the there-needs-to-be-punishment-for-lying dept

We've been arguing for months now that with James Clapper having admitted to blatantly lying to Congress (after trying to lie about the lie) that it's insane that the man still has a job. If there is to be any accountability or trust going forward, he should lose his job (and potentially face charges). Instead, nothing is happening and no one seems to have any interest in doing anything. We've raised the question as to how anyone could possibly ever trust statements coming from the Intelligence Community again.

Once again: the director of the intelligence community flat out lied to Congress about it, admitted it, and there have been no consequences at all. What that teaches Clapper and others is that they can continue to lie, and, in fact, that they are effectively encouraged to lie, because there's no downside risk in doing so.

It's good to see we're not the only ones who think so. James Goodale, a prominent First Amendment lawyer, and former General Counsel for the NY Times has written a stinging critique in the Guardian about all of the lies (noting that they go way beyond Clapper to Congress, but also include Clapper and Alexander both to the public and to the FISA court which is in charge of oversight):

The Director of National Intelligence James R Clapper admitted he lied to Congress about the NSA metadata collection program. He said the NSA had no such program – and then added that that was the least "untruthful" remark he could make. General Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency, lied in 2012 that the NSA does not hold data on US citizens, and repeated similar misstatements, under oath, to Congress about the program:

We're not authorized to do it [data collection on US citizens], nor do we do it.

NSA lawyers lied to secret Fisa court Judges John D Bates and Reggie B Walton. In recently released opinions, Bates said he had been lied to on three separate occasions and Walton said he had been lied to several times also.

Then he notes that there's been no punishment at all for these guys, which is absolutely true. He further calls out the Justice Department for refusing to investigate the lies to the FISA court, and notes that if President Obama actually wants to rebuild trust in the government and the intelligence community it must include punishing those who lied to Congress and to the FISA court. Otherwise, it is guaranteed that they will do so again.
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, nsa, nsa surveillance, trust


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2013 @ 10:49am

    I made this point yesterday that nothing will change nor will there be any drive to change unless heads roll at NSA. Gen. Alexander is the reason that the NSA so often willingly and hunts methods to make it sound as if it's all legal. Clapper has known creditability gaps and it has damaged his ability to do his job properly with the trust of government and the public. I see neither as acceptable to continue in their present duties and should be removed the soonest.

    Above someone makes mention about 9/11. Under most circumstances I am not much of a conspiracy tin foil hat wearer but on this one I very much believe it to be a false flag operation as there are too many unanswered questions, not to mention circumstances, added to the fact of how convenient it was for Bush who was chomping at the bit for war.

    In recent court news from the UK I bring this little tidbit.

    http://topinfopost.com/2013/04/28/uk-man-wins-court-case-against-bbc-for-911-cover-up

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.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Essential Reading
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.