During his press conference President Barack Obama promised to appoint an “independent group” of “outside experts” to review the government’s surveillance programs.
Today it was announced that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper would be leading
the Review Group to ensure that the U.S. “employs its technical
collection capabilities in a manner that optimally protects our national
security and advances our foreign policy while appropriately accounting
for other policy considerations, such as the risk of unauthorized
disclosure and our need to maintain the public trust.”
In senate hearing on March 12, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked Director of National Intelligence James Clapper,
“Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds
of millions of Americans?” Clapper replied, “No sir … not wittingly.”
After Edward Snowden’s first leak about the NSA phone and internet
operation it became very apparent clapper was lying. NBC’s Andrea
Mitchell interviewed Clapper and asked him why he answered Wyden the way he did. He replied:
“I thought, though in retrospect, I was asked [a] ‘when are you going
to … stop beating your wife’ kind of question, which is … not
answerable necessarily by a simple yes or no. So I responded in what I
thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful, manner by saying,
Translating that answer into English it is believed he said I found the most truthful lie possible.
One would think if a director of National Security was stunned with a
question he didn’t feel comfortable answering in public he would answer
with a “this is not the most appropriate place to answer that
question,” especially when you consider that as a member of the Panel,
Wyden was already briefed on the NSA programs Clapper was lying about.
The week after the interview by Mitchel Senator Wyden issued a statement
which said in part that he told Clapper he was going to ask the
question the day before the hearing and gave the Intelligence Chief an
opportunity to fix the lie afterwards…but to no avail.
Four months after his lie, Clapper apologized in a letter which stated his answer was “clearly
erroneous,” which is political diplo-talk for “I lied.”
This is the man who is going to investigate the NSA programs? The man who lied to congress denying the programs existed? How do we know any report he provides wont also be a lie? Even if we had confidence in the man’s honesty, there is something wrong about an “independent” investigation where its basically the NSA investigating the NSA.
This is another example of Obama arrogance, announcing an investigation which turns out to be a SHAM! This would be like announcing an investigation of the Department of Justice led by the Department of Justice….oh wait…Obama did that also.