James Clapper Lies to Congress; Congress Says ‘That’s Cool’
July 12, 2013 by Ben Bullard
Back in March, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied when asked by Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) whether the National Security Agency (NSA) was collecting “any type of data at all on millions, or hundreds of millions, of Americans” by saying, “Not wittingly. There are cases where they could inadvertently, perhaps, collect, but not willingly.”
That was before the NSA PRISM scandal broke and exposed the obvious lie.
Clapper spent the next couple of months getting beat up by mostly-conservative online media before issuing a ridiculous apology last week in which he claimed, when answering Wyden, he “simply didn’t think of” the Patriot Act and its broad authorizations (and expansions upon its original powers) that either permit or forgive almost any warrantless spying the Federal government undertakes.
But as the scandal has turned into a circus, it appears the threat of perjury some GOP Congressmen had rhetorically threatened has fallen by the wayside. Wyden and other members of the Senate Intelligence Committee appear to have taken the side of Big Brother in vilifying leaker Edward Snowden, while closing ranks in giving both Clapper and the NSA a pass.
Ben Shapiro of Breitbart wrote Friday:
Both parties in Congress have declined to do anything about Clapper’s possible perjury. Sen. Wyden and Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) did not call for his removal; Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), and Reps. Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-CA) have all declined to comment. “This administration views [NSA leaker Edward] Snowden as the problem, not Gen. Clapper,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA).
Spying on millions of Americans and lying about it to Congressional overseers? Hey, we’re all friends. Go home; relax.
Allegedly lying to Congress about getting an extra spring in your step while you played a silly children’s game with a bat and ball? Indictment.
Ben Bullard Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.