James Clapper’s Double Super Secret Correction

Screen shot 2013-07-01 at 9.21.55 AMIf the Director of National Intelligence corrects a lie but nobody hears it, does it make a sound?

Greg Miller returns focus to James Clapper and Keith Alexander and President Obama’s lies that underscore why, at least for some of his leaks, Edward Snowden must count as a whistleblower. He reveals two new details about why Clapper is not headed for prison.

First, Clapper claims his staffers acknowledged to Wyden (presumably not in writing) his error after the Senator demanded a correction.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who had asked Clapper the question about information collection on Americans, said in a recent statement that the director had failed to clarify the remark promptly despite being asked to do so. Clapper disputed that in his note to the committee, saying his “staff acknowledged the error to Senator Wyden’s staff soon after the hearing.”

And then, more than two weeks after Snowden proved Clapper to be a liar (and 10 days after Wyden called for hearings for the Intelligence Committee to correct their disinformation), Clapper sent the Senate Intelligence Committee a letter apologizing for his “clearly erroneous” comment.

Acknowledging the “heated controversy” over his remark, Clapper sent a letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 21 saying that he had misunderstood the question he had been asked.

“I have thought long and hard to re-create what went through my mind at the time,” Clapper said in the previously undisclosed letter. “My response was clearly erroneous — for which I apologize.” [my emphasis]

Miller also reveals that Clapper presented yet another explanation for why his lie wasn’t really a lie.

He made a new attempt to explain the exchange in his June 21 correspondence, which included a hand-written note to Wyden saying that an attached letter was addressed to the committee chairman but that he “wanted [Wyden] to see this first.”

Clapper said he thought Wyden was referring to NSA surveillance of e-mail traffic involving overseas targets, not the separate program in which the agency is authorized to collect records of Americans’ phone calls that include the numbers and duration of calls but not individuals’ names or the contents of their calls.

Referring to his appearances before Congress over several decades, Clapper concluded by saying that “mistakes will happen, and when I make one, I correct it.”

Note, this particular lie retreats to Administration claims that they no longer collect Internet metadata, at least no via Section 702 collection, at least as far as they’lll tell us.

Of course, that’s only been true (if it is in fact true) since 2011, for what that’s worth.

One thing Miller is missing in this otherwise laudable article is one more detail from Wyden: that he gave Clapper notice he was going to ask the question.

Clapper got the question for the test before taking it, and he still — he says — misunderstood it.

But of course that’s not what happened. The way Clapper has made false statements in public and then “acknowledged errors” in secret is all part of the game by which Clapper mostly sort of tells the truth to Congress, but continues to lie to the American people.

In other news, it has now been almost a week since, caught in another lie, the NSA took down their “Section 702 Protections” document, without replacing them with an accurate description of what  protections, if any, Americans have under Section 702.

Perhaps NSA has finally decided to start telling the truth?

Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+5Email to someone

11 Responses to James Clapper’s Double Super Secret Correction

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @p2wy Can you pick a piece of art for me? Keep meaning to go in, but usu walk by with the pup. @PalatteCoffee
1mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @kennwhite Thank you! I had read some on it, but nothing that had the active link. So, I opted out. No change yet, but I will check it later
2mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Krhawkins5 Also suspect he secretly knew abt Stellar Wind when presiding over In Re Sealed. Sadly for Addington, Olson did not. @froomkin
2mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @froomkin: Silberman says he will take to his grave some of the dirt (on still living people) he saw in J. Edgar Hoover’s secret files #…
3mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel EO 12333, under which NSA conducts most of its spying? OLC ruled that "“An executive order cannot limit a President." http://t.co/Y6LHNv2mIX
10mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Another thing missing from the EO12333 discussion: How George Bush pixie dusted the order, without telling anyone. http://t.co/Y6LHNv2mIX
11mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Eclectablog Just till Saturday. It's a Halloween costume.
13mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @Eclectablog: Republican Mike Bishop, candidate in MI-08, has had a VERY bad couple of weeks http://t.co/0YL9dElpMv
22mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel <<<< turning blue holding my breath tho I was wondering what @csoghoian was having so much fun working on. @NateWessler @onekade
37mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @onekade If only some NGO can sic someone like @NateWessler on that issue.
46mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @matthewstoller Don't you say that or Chiquita's big GOP donors will take their bananas and defect to Brazi--oh wait. Too late.
48mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel DOJ IG knows how to keep GOP in his camp, releases new report showing ATF/AZ USA failures on investigation. http://t.co/AuaDNi9jHM
53mreplyretweetfavorite
July 2013
S M T W T F S
« Jun   Aug »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031