Clapper Explains His Lie

You may recall that Director of National Intelligence blatantly lied to the Senate Intelligence Committee in March when he was asked if the NSA was collecting any data at all on millions of Americans. He flatly said no, weeks before the new revelations of NSA spying. And his explanations for that lie seem to be evolving on their own. First he said that he said that because it was the “least untruthful” answer. Now he says he just forgot:

In the full letter, Clapper attempted to explain the false testimony by saying that his recollection failed him. “I simply didn’t think of Section 215 of the Patriot Act,” he wrote to committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (Democrat, California) on 21 June, referring to the legal provision cited to justify the mass collection of Americans’ phone data, first disclosed by the Guardian.

Clapper is under intense pressure from legislators displeased by his March testimony to the Senate intelligence committee’s Ron Wyden (Democrat, Oregon) that the NSA did “not wittingly” collect, as Wyden put it, “any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.”

In his newly released letter, Clapper told Feinstein that his remarks were “clearly erroneous,” and he issued them because he was thinking instead of a different aspect of surveillance, the internet content collection of persons NSA believes to be foreigners outside of the United States.

“I apologize,” Clapper wrote. “While my staff acknowledged the error to Senator Wyden’s staff soon after the hearing, I can now openly correct it because the existence of the metadata program has been declassified.”

In statements for the past month, Wyden and his staff have said they told Clapper before the fateful hearing that he would face the question, and contacted his staff afterward to correct the record.

“The ODNI [Office of the Director of National Intelligence] acknowledged that the statement was inaccurate but refused to correct the public record when given the opportunity. Senator Wyden’s staff informed the ODNI that this was a serious concern,” Wyden spokesman Tom Caiazza said on Monday.

Yeah, he just forgot about the massive, clearly unconstitutional data mining program. What? It happens. He had a lot on his mind that day. He was thinking about where all those Iraqi WMD had gone after being transported to Syria, as he falsely claimed in 2003. He wasn’t lying and how totally unfair of you to think so.

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  • I’m rather surprised he doesn’t do what so many Republicans have successfully done, just shrug and say, “I wasn’t under oath, so I did nothing wrong.”

  • Randomfactor

    It was not intended as a factual statement.

  • Chiroptera

    Ha ha ha ha!

    When I first saw a similar title on another news site I thought to myself as a joke, “What did he say? ‘I forgot’?”

  • skinnercitycyclist

    So, was he under oath or not? Are perjury charges an option?

  • Obviously, he forgot that it was NOT the least untruthful answer.

  • maddog1129

    The dog ate his homework.

  • jolly

    Good thing he wasn’t under oath because that would be perjury.


  • uzza

    Well hey, these things happen. Just like on my tax form I simply didn’t think about my half million dollars revenue from illicit drug sales, so I wrote ‘no’ under ‘other income’. Naturally, when the IRS found out about it they simply LOL’d and forgot the matter.

  • dingojack

    Maybe Mr Crapper had one too many Twinkies or his gloves didn’t fit* or ‘sumpin’.



    * relatively, believable explanations, with the emphasis on relatively

  • doublereed

    It depends on what the definition of “is” is.

  • Don Williams

    1) Hmmm. A few factoids seem to be eluding the Sherlocks here. One of which is that President Obama –the Leader of the Democratic Party — SUPPORTED Clapper’s lies. By remaining silent even when he knew Clapper was lying to Congress.

    2) Item two is that Congress and the American People discovered Clapper’s lies only because Snowden was disgusted enough to snitch. Which raises the question of how we can believe ANYTHING Obama or his subordinates say about the benign nature of these programs.

    3) Item three is that CONGRESS itself is responsible for this state of affaires. It does NOT have the power or ability or personnel to oversee what is going on in the massive Executive Branch — so it obviously should allow common citizens working on these programs to report wrongdoing to their members of Congress — the right to petition for redress of grievances. Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter tried to get a law passed allowing that back in 1998 –when he was on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. But he was overruled by President Bill Clinton.

    4) INSTEAD, Clinton joined with Republicans like Porter Goss to pass the Orwellian-named Intelligence Whistleblowers Protection Act of 1999 –which does the OPPOSITE of protecting whistleblowers.

    That law stripped Snowden of his Constitutional right to report fraud and wrongdoing to his Congressional Representative and Senators. Instead, it mandated that any cleared employee with concerns must only talk to the Intelligence Committees –who can blow off the whistleblower because they are not in his district and are not accountable to him in the next election. PLUS, the whistleblower must tell the Executive Branch –30 days in advance — that he is going to snitch. Which destroys his career and plunges him and his family into poverty.

    The dick-licking whores in the Washington News Media KNOW this –but cover it up and do not report the state of affairs to the American People. Because they exist solely to lie to us –not to inform us.

    5) Note also that Snowden is fleeing to the ends of the Earth for warning the American People –whereas Clapper is in no fear of arrest much less imprisonment for lying to the American People and Congress.

    Our Ruling Elites tell us this is all necessary to protect us from the Enemy. But the problem is that our Ruling Elites are themselves the real Enemy.

  • Don Williams

    And let’s not forget who those moral demigods are on the Intelligence Committees:

    People like Randy Cunningham — sent up the river for 8+ years for bribery and corruption:

  • slc1

    Re Don Williams @ #12

    Arlen Specter? The blogs resident Bolshevik has something positive to say about someone of his ethnic background. Tsk, tsk.

    By the way, I am not quite the admirer of Specter that ole Don is. He is responsible for the totally unnecessary abortion in the Warren Commission Report known as the infamous one bullet hypothesis. The amount of ink spilled by the critics of the Warren report over this theory has led to any number of conspiracy theories that rival the ones that ole Don regularly regales us with.

  • Don Williams

    1) Let a hillbilly from Appalachia explain the first rule of conspiracy to you, Slc:

    “Still got the shovel” heh heh

  • Don Williams

    Of course, Jacob Rubenstein didn’t need no shovel to tie off one of the strings.

  • =8)-DX

    The dick-licking whores in the Washington News Media

    This analogy does not compute. In what way are journalists in the WNM similar to women performing highly pleasurable sexual acts for money? There need be nothing fraudulent, shameful or dishonest about licking penises or about two consenting adults agreeing to exchange cash for services.

    Next time, use better metaphors.

  • Dear Dr. X:

    I think it’s safe to say (seein’s how I ain’t got no medical license to lose) that Ol’ Ding-Don has a serious woodie* just thinkin’ about “The dick-licking whores in the Washington News Media”. What self-respecting conspiracy theorist wouldn’t have a wet dream imagining himself pleasured by those very persons who mock his ignorance, paranoia and illogic?


    “Arlen Specter? The blogs resident Bolshevik has something positive to say about someone of his ethnic background.”

    Well, he did revert to type:

    “Of course, Jacob Rubenstein didn’t need no shovel to tie off one of the strings.”

    shortly thereafter.

    * Well, as serious as a limpdick like him is capable of gettin’.

  • slc1

    Re Don Williams @ #16

    Jack Ruby is an interesting case which has spanned numerous conspiracy theories, independently of the one bullet hypothesis. The critics like to raise the question as to how Ruby got access to the area inside the Dallas police station where Oswald was been brought if police officers were not part of the assassination conspiracy.

    The answer is obvious to anyone with a knowledge of police buffs, of which Ruby was one. Buffs are individuals who are fascinated with police activities and hang around police stations and interact with police officers. How do I know this? Because a cousin of my dad owned a pawnshop on Hollywood Blvd in LA County where police officers and sheriff’s tended to hang out. In addition, he was a fishing buddy of the LAPD’s Chief of Detectives, Tad Brown at the time. Similarly, police officers used to hang out at Ruby’s strip club so he was a familiar face to them. Thus, he was a familiar face at the DPD and was the original invisible man. That was how he was able to gain access to the aforementioned area.

  • slc1

    Re #19

    That should read sheriff’s deputies.

  • unemployedphilosopher

    @doublereed: This is actually one of my pet peeves, so bear with me. There are, it turns out, three meanings of “is”. There’s the “is” of attribution: “That stop sign is red.”. Which is different from the “is” of identity: “Mark Twain is Sam Clemens.” Which is still different from the “is” of constitution: “Twice two is four”.

    English is kinda screwed up sometimes. (Ha! I didn’t even mean to do that.)

  • Don Williams

    Re SLC at 19:

    1) I don’t have any opinion re what happened in Dallas, lacking any facts to refute the official story. Oswald and Ruby were probably just random actors thrown up on the public stage by chance.

    2) There are a number of anomalies, however.

    a) As a Marine, Oswald should have known that one shot out of the blue would leave everyone puzzled as to the source –but 3 shots would pinpoint his location. So why three?

    b) Why wasn’t the Texas Book Depository sealed off immediately –instead of Oswald having several minutes in which to escape?

    c) What possible escape plan could Oswald have had? I could think of no country on earth –including the Soviet Union — that would have accepted him.

    d) What was Oswald’s goal? Instead of yelling Sic Semper Tyrannis he steadfastly denied being the assassin.

    e) If Oswald was part of a conspiracy, then he needed to be killed immediately. But that would have been accomplished mostly simply by having a corrupt cop shoot him for “trying to escape”. Although I have wondered if that was Officer Tippit’s job and Oswald got the drop on him.

    f) If that was Tippit’s job then Jack Ruby could have been plan B after Oswald shot Tippit. It seems strange that grandstanding J Edgar Hoover did not seize Oswald immediately and that greater measures were not taken to secure the one lead to a potential conspiracy that had murdered a President.

    g) What is hilarious is that LOTS of people in Washington had strong motive to see Oswald dead even if they

    were innocent in Kennedy’s death. For fear that Oswald would falsely finger them as being in on it.

    Few careers would have survived that accusation even if it was false.

    h) The meta-structure is interesting. The basic fact about any conspiracy is that there would have to be a sacrifice to give to the public — that there would be tremendous public pressure to identify and PUNISH /execute someone for Kennedy’s death.

    But that there would be much less public pressure to identify and punish Oswald’s killer.

    Ruby filed appeals for 3 years , had his original conviction overturned and was about to stand trial

    again when he died of of an embolism related to his lung cancer.

  • slc1

    Re Don Williams @ #22

    The answer as to why Oswald fired more then one shot is that he could not be sure that the shot that hit Kennedy in the back of the neck was a fatal shot, regardless whether one accepts the Specter one bullet hypothesis or the Houts/Helpern two bullet hypothesis. In fact, it is quite possible that the neck wound would would not have been fatal.

    Relative to the Tippit killing, Oswald got off several shots, hitting Tippit more then once. His gun was either empty or it jammed when he was cornered and arrested in a movie theater some 15 minutes after the Tippit killing. He could have been easily killed in the theater as he pointed the gun at the arresting officers and pulled the trigger. Fortunately, the gun was either empty or misfired and apparently, the order was to take him alive if at all possible.

    The evidence against Oswald for the killing of Tippit was open and shut. Six witnesses identified Oswald as the shooter and ballistic tests showed that the gun that Oswald had in his possession was the murder weapon. Had there been a trial, the jury would have convicted him without leaving the jury box.

    The evidence against him for the shooting of Kennedy and Connelly was more circumstantial. The gun found on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository was shown by ballistic tests to have fired the bullet recovered from one of the stretchers on which Kennedy and Connelly were brought into Parkland Memorial Hospital. Oswald’s palm print was found on the rifle and there was a photograph found showing Oswald holding a rifle of the same make as the murder gun. A Dallas police officer identified Oswald as a man he passed headed down a stairway while he was headed up. Other witnesses testified that Oswald was seen in the building before the assassination.

    A major boo boo on the part of the investigators was the assignment of physicians to perform the autopsy on Kennedy. Two of the three men were hospital pathologists who had no training or expertise in forensic pathology or gunshot wounds while the third, Navy physician Captain Finck, had conducted a grand total of 5 autopsies involving gun shot wounds. This led to immense confusion as the examiners were confused as to whether the entry to the neck wound was in the back of the neck or in the front. Any competent board certified forensic pathologist would have had no difficulty in making such a determination. The best medical examiner in the country should have been assigned to at least observe the autopsy (New York City Chief Medical Examiner Milton Helpern who had examined thousands of gunshot wounds in his career for example).

  • slc1

    Re Don Williams @ #23

    The confusion of the medical examiners who performed the autopsy on Kennedy as to whether the wound on the back of Kennedy’s neck was an entry or an exit wound was the source of many conspiracy theories by the critics (e.g.. Harold Weisberg and Mark Lane) who claimed that there was a gunman on the railroad overpass that was downstream of the Kennedy limousine. However, 8 board certified forensic pathologist including Michael Baden and Cyril Wecht examined the autopsy photographs during an investigation in the late 1970s and concluded that the wound on the back of Kennedy’s neck was an entry wound, although Wecht, who is a critic of the Warren Report, thought that comparison of the entry and exit wounds seemed to indicate to him that the trajectory of the shot was somewhat lower then would have been the case if it had been fired from the 6th floor of the Texas School Book Depository. Of course the reaction of the critics was that the autopsy photos were fakes.

    This is the attitude of critics of the Warren Report. Any evidence that seems to point to Oswald or to one shooter is faked, which is why I have no confidence in the likes of Weisberg and Lane.

    Of course, the jury is still out as to whether others were in cahoots with Oswald. One of the funniest conspiracy theories that has been bandied about is that the Mafia paid Oswald to perform the assassination. The notion that organized crime would procure the services of someone like Oswald who was totally unknown to them and had no experience with such activities to do the hit is ludicrous.

    One of the most outrageous miscarriages of justice was the prosecution of Clay Shaw by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, portrayed in the infamous film by Oliver Stone, an asshole from assholeville. Kevin Costner should be ashamed of himself for starring in this abortion. There was not a lick of credible evidence against Shaw and the jury acquitted him after deliberating for less then an hour. This is the textbook case of a malicious prosecution by an out of control prosecutor that rivals Mike Nifong’s phony case against the Duke Lacrosse players. This is the smoking gun against any attempt to take Stone seriously as a critic of anything.

  • Don Williams

    Re SLC at 23:

    1) Suborning one or two policemen is possible –suborning a significant percentage of the police force would be highly unlikely.

    2) At first glance, it seems unlikely Ruby was acting on anyone’s behalf. A policeman who shot Oswald on any one of several pretences would , at worse, be dismissed from the force. No problem if there is a hidden fortune waiting for him. No real pressure for the police to investigate further, either.

    Ruby, in contrast, was faced with the death penalty and might have cracked under the pressure/ threat of that.

    3) Where it gets interesting is if one considers a corrupt policeman who refused to shoot Oswald himself

    but was willing to let someone into the garage to do the job. And the intense time pressure a conspiracy would have been under.

    All speculation anyway. Although technology has advanced.

  • aluchko

    “While my staff acknowledged the error to Senator Wyden’s staff soon after the hearing, I can now openly correct it because the existence of the metadata program has been declassified.”

    So I assume there’s a record of his staff acknowledging the error before the leaks became public (late May/early June) ?

  • slc1

    Re Don Williams @ #25

    Technology has certainly advanced, particular the advent of DNA fingerprinting.

    It is interesting to speculate what would have happened if PCR had been available in 1963. The blood and flesh on the bullet that was recovered could have been analyzed to determine whose it matched. If the Specter one bullet hypothesis is correct, then DNA from both Kennedy and Connolly would have been expected to have been found on the bullet while if the Houts/Helpern two bullet hypothesis is correct, only Kennedy’s DNA would have been expected to have been found via PCR. Too late now.

    One of the interesting titbits that came out of the entire episode was a conversation between President Lyndon Johnson and Carl Rowen, as reported by the latter. Rowen quotes Johnson as confiding in him that he was deathly afraid that the investigation would inculpate Fidel Castro, which would put Johnson under pressure to do something about him, presumably by an invasion of Cuba. Considering that Johnson was then in the process of escalating the Vietnam War, he was in no position to get involved in an action down in Cuba, which might involve the former Soviet Union, at the same time.

  • Don Williams

    SLC at 27:

    1) If you look at it in terms of Cui Bono?, Kennedy would probably have pulled us out of Vietnam whereas Johnson went all in. Some people made a lot of money out of that decision.

    2) Just as some people made a ton of money from the sabotage of the Eisenhower-Khrushchev summit.

    By sending U2 pilot Francis Gary Powers on a flight over the USSR a week or so before the summit.

    I always wondered if that explosion was actually from a Soviet missile, heh heh.

    3) Francis Gary was from the same coal mining town I grew up in.

    His life after his return from Russia shows how control is kept over someone.

  • slc1

    Re Don Williams @ #28

    Boy, 2 conspiracy theories in 1 comment. Ole Don is on his game tonight.

  • dingojack

    Every real savant knows the real reason Kennedy was assassinated was to prevent him from revealing actual thinking behind the shooting down of Gary Powers and the U2. Not just as a method to sabotage the Eisenhower-Khrushchev summit, which was only a cover operation after all, but to allow the Lizard-men Illuminati Masons from the Vatican/UN-controlled Trilateral Commission to keep control of the West Virginian coalfields as outlined (in invisible ink naturally) in the Agenda 21 Document (super-secret version), right Don?


  • Don Williams

    Hey, dingo, brushing up on that Mandarin?

    Or, in your case, pointee-talkee?

    After all, how hard can it be to translate “My sista –two dolla” ?

  • slc1

    Re Dingojack @ #30

    Actually, the entire affair was dreamed up at the Council on Foreign Relations at the behest of the Illuminati, the Masons, and the Bilderbergers.

  • dingojack & slc1, you forgot the papists and the Girl Guides.

  • Don Williams

    I don’t think the Australia which produced Rupert Murdoch as a journalist is in a

    great position to talk about conspiracy theorists.

  • slc1

    Re Don Williams @ #34

    Australia also produced Ken Ham.

  • dingojack

    So Donnikens you think Rupert is best known for conspiracy theories?

    Guess anyone (in any place) that speaks Italian, French, English or Greek can’t speak about conspiracy theories either, right Donnikens? What’s the Klingon for ‘conspiracy theory’ then ‘sooper genius’?


  • Don Williams

    SLC at 35:

    Yes, amazing number of bullshitters for such a tiny nation. It is like they are a Mad Cow virus reservoir when it comes to public discourse.