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June 11, 2013

Clapper Lied to Congress Despite Being Given the Question in Advance, and Despite Being Given the Opportunity to Revise His Remarks Thereafter

I gotta tell you I think maybe we're getting a little snookered on this NSA story but Clapper still gave a false answer to Congress.

And he was given the question in advance, so he can't plead he didn't consider his words. He did. And he was given an opportunity immediately after giving the answer to, erm, bring it into conformance with the truth. And he refused.

He now claims his answer, while untruthful, was the "least untruthful" answer he could have given.

Which I think should be the slogan, going forward, for the entire Obama Chicago Machine.

Ron Wyden issued this statement:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) issued the following statement regarding statements made by the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper about collection on Americans. Wyden is a senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

“One of the most important responsibilities a Senator has is oversight of the intelligence community. This job cannot be done responsibly if Senators aren’t getting straight answers to direct questions. When NSA Director Alexander failed to clarify previous public statements about domestic surveillance, it was necessary to put the question to the Director of National Intelligence. So that he would be prepared to answer, I sent the question to Director Clapper’s office a day in advance. After the hearing was over my staff and I gave his office a chance to amend his answer. Now public hearings are needed to address the recent disclosures and the American people have the right to expect straight answers from the intelligence leadership to the questions asked by their representatives.”

Clapper now claims that his answer is truthful depending on how you define "collecting" emails. If you mean "collecting" as in "collecting," well then he perjured himself in front of Congress. But if you mean "collecting" in some fashion that no one on earth uses, then his answer may be the "least untruthful" way to answer the non-trick question.

“I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful, manner by saying ‘no,’” Clapper told NBC News on Sunday.

...

Last week, Clapper said his “no” meant that NSA analysts don’t read Americans’ emails. Some have noted that could explain his earlier answer because “collect” has a precise meaning in intelligence-gathering circles, and it’s along those lines.

On Sunday, Clapper elaborated: “This has to do with of course somewhat of a semantic, perhaps some would say too cute by half. But it is—there are honest differences on the semantics of what—when someone says ‘collection’ to me, that has a specific meaning, which may have a different meaning to him.”

Here's what Charles Krauthammer has to say about that: "Give me a break."


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posted by Ace at 07:56 PM

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