Could this be any clearer?
March 2013 – Hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee (Oxymoron)
Senator Wyden: “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?”
Clapper: “No, sir.”
James Clapper knowingly LIED to Congress because he never thought his lie would be revealed by Edward Snowden. Clapper is now attempting to weasel out of his lies. The scumbags in Congress are calling Snowden a traitor, but not a peep about Clapper committing a crime. In case you were wondering if it is a crime to lie before Congress, here is your answer:
TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 47 > § 1001
§ 1001. Statements or entries generally
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully—
(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;
(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or
(3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;
shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both.
(c) With respect to any matter within the jurisdiction of the legislative branch, subsection (a) shall apply only to—
(1) administrative matters, including a claim for payment, a matter related to the procurement of property or services, personnel or employment practices, or support services, or a document required by law, rule, or regulation to be submitted to the Congress or any office or officer within the legislative branch; or
(2) any investigation or review, conducted pursuant to the authority of any committee, subcommittee, commission or office of the Congress, consistent with applicable rules of the House or Senate.
Why isn’t James Clapper in a jail cell? He has clearly and unequivocally committed a crime. And Justice For All American Style.
Wyden: I gave Clapper that question a day in advance of his untruthful answer
posted at 12:01 pm on June 11, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
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.”
Wyden suggests strongly that he will pursue an investigation into possible perjury and/or obstruction, perhaps involving both Clapper and Keith Alexander, based on Alexander’s similar denial given the year before. Clapper tried to defend himself yesterday, but if this is the best he can do, he’s going to need a really good attorney:
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper is really struggling to explain why he told Congress in March (see video above) that the National Security Agency does not intentionally collect any kind of data on millions of Americans. His latest take: It’s an unfair question, he said, like “When are you going to stop beating your wife?” And it seems to depend on the meaning of “collect.”
“I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful, manner by saying ‘no,’” Clapper told NBC News on Sunday.
A newly revealed NSA program, however, in which the agency secretly vacuumed up the telephone records of millions of Verizon customers seems to fit the definition of both “data” and “millions of Americans.”
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.”
Frankly, that’s bunk. Wyden’s question was plain, and the meaning clear — and Clapper had a 24-hour head start to clarify the meaning of any terms used. That appears to be the point of Wyden’s statement today. Clapper could just as easily have said, “That question touches on NSA capabilities that should be discussed in closed session, and I would be glad to answer your questions at that point.” Eric Holder managed to give that answer to Mark Kirk on an unrelated manner, and even though it raised eyebrows, it didn’t amount to lying to Congress — which is still a felony even if no oath was taken at the testimony.
Wyden has also joined a bipartisan coterie of Senators proposing a new law that forces FISA court decisions to be released publicly, in order for Americans to have some check on the surveillance state:
Today, Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley and Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), accompanied by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dean Heller (R-NV), Mark Begich (D-AK), Al Franken (D-MN), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Ron Wyden (D-OR), introduced a bill that would put an end to the “secret law” governing controversial government surveillance programs. This bill would require the Attorney General to declassify significant Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) opinions, allowing Americans to know how broad of a legal authority the government is claiming to spy on Americans under the PATRIOT Act and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
“Americans deserve to know how much information about their private communications the government believes it’s allowed to take under the law,” Merkley said. “There is plenty of room to have this debate without compromising our surveillance sources or methods or tipping our hand to our enemies. We can’t have a serious debate about how much surveillance of Americans’ communications should be permitted without ending secret law.”
“This bipartisan amendment establishes a cautious and reasonable process for declassification consistent with the rule of law,” Lee said. “It will help ensure that the government makes sensitive decisions related to surveillance by applying legal standards that are known to the public. Particularly where our civil liberties are at stake, we must demand no less of our government.” …
“It is impossible for the American people to have an informed public debate about laws that are interpreted, enforced, and adjudicated in complete secrecy,” Wyden said. ”When talking about the laws governing Intelligence operations, the process has little to no transparency. Declassifying FISA Court opinions in a form that does not put sources and methods at risk will give the American people insight into what government officials believe the law allows them to do.”
Especially when high-ranking executive branch officials lie to Congress about their activities.
Spy chief Clapper denies misleading Congress about spying on Americans
It certainly looks bad. The revelation that the NSA secretly vacuumed up the telephone records of millions of Verizon customers would seem to fit the definition of “data” and “millions of Americans.”
Clapper is denying that he misled anyone, telling the National Journal in a telephone interview: “What I said was, the NSA does not voyeuristically pore through U.S. citizens’ e-mails. I stand by that.”
That may have been what Clapper meant. But it wasn’t what he said. And it certainly wasn’t what he was asked.
Here’s the word-for-word exchange in the March hearing of the relevant Senate Intelligence Committee.
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.—who has long warned about excessive government surveillance of Americans, though in veiled terms because the information is classified—had just one question for Clapper. The especially important parts are in bold.
Wyden: “And this is for you, Director Clapper, again on the surveillance front. And I hope we can do this in just a yes or no answer, because I know Sen. Feinstein wants to move on.
“Last summer the NSA director was at a conference and he was asked a question about the NSA surveillance of Americans. He replied, and I quote here, ‘… the story that we have millions or hundreds of millions of dossiers on people is completely false.’
“The reason I’m asking the question is, having served on the committee now for a dozen years, I don’t really know what a dossier is in this context. So what I wanted to see is if you could give me a yes or no answer to the question: Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?”
Clapper: “No, sir.”
Wyden: “It does not.”
Clapper: “Not wittingly. There are cases where they could inadvertently perhaps collect, but not wittingly.”
Wyden: “All right. Thank you. I’ll have additional questions to give you in writing on that point, but I thank you for the answer.”