Clapper Lies About His Lie. Again.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has now given us a second lie about why he lied to the Senate and the American public about not collecting data on millions of Americans. The first dishonest excuse was that he gave the “least untruthful” answer to the question. Now he says he misunderstood the question.

Clapper told The Daily Beast that he simply misunderstood Wyden’s question. At the time of the hearing last March, Congress had just finished consideration of a bill to renew the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Section 702 of that legislation gives the National Security Agency the authority to collect the electronic communications of non-U.S. persons. In his question, Wyden asked initially if the United States had collected “dossiers” on American citizens and referred to an answer to this question by then NSA director, Keith Alexander.

“I was not even thinking of what he was asking about, which is of course we now all know as section 215 of the Patriot Act governing the acquisition and storage of telephony business records metadata,” Clapper said.

Here’s the exact question Wyden asked him:

SENATOR RON WYDEN: Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?


SENATOR WYDEN: It does not?

GENERAL CLAPPER: Not wittingly. There are cases where they could, inadvertently perhaps, collect—but not wittingly.

His first attempt to distort his own words was this:

“What I said was, the NSA does not voyeuristically pore through U.S. citizens’ e-mails. I stand by that.”

But that wasn’t what he asked and it wasn’t what he said. Then we got the “least untruthful” excuse. Now he “misunderstood the question.” Lies about lies about lies.

"As someone who thoroughly rejects moral relativism I'm calling foul on the evangelicals here."

Pastor: Moore Liked Young Girls Because ..."
"There's a right-wing comment. Blocked."

Trump Upset that He Can’t Control ..."
"So what? Welcome to the era of honesty. People are people and we don't all ..."

Lively: Gay Judges Can’t Be Impartial

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Gregory in Seattle

    Seriously, who needs fascist Republicans when we have Democrats like this?

  • eric

    A former NSA employee friend of mine tells me they are now coming out with new shirts:

    “The NSA – the only part of the government that really listens to you.”

  • colnago80

    Why hasn’t Clapper been cited for perjury?

  • doublereed

    And they talk about Snowden doing damage to America? How about they lock this traitor up?

  • brianwestley

    the NSA does not voyeuristically pore through U.S. citizens’ e-mails

    Note that the NSA could pore through U.S. citizens’ e-mails without making the above statement false, if the motive is not voyeurism.

  • howardhershey

    Perhaps his testimony is a reflection on the level of the “National Intelligence” he is Director of if he thinks he can say these things without it being obvious that they are lies..

  • caseloweraz

    James Clapper now says he misunderstood Ron Wyden’s perfectly straightforward question? To take that at face value would make it equivalent to the level of intelligence that thinks a red light at an intersection means “go.”

  • Marcus Ranum

    Why hasn’t Clapper been cited for perjury?

    No jizz-covered dress.