Should National Intelligence Director Clapper be Charged with a Felony for Lying in Sworn Senate Testimony?

Tuesday, July 09, 2013
James Clapper

The National Security Agency (NSA) controversy as revealed by Edward Snowden has raised the question of whether the nation’s top intelligence official should face felony charges for lying before Congress.


Earlier this year, the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, testified before a Senate committee that the government was not snooping on American’s communications.


Specifically, Senator Ron Wyden (R-Oregon) asked Clapper: “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?”


Clapper’s response: “No, sir.”


Snowden’s whistleblowing exposed secret NSA programs that, in fact, were vacuuming large volumes of phone records of U.S. citizens.


Glenn Greenwald, the reporter at The Guardian who spearheaded the Snowden stories, says “Clapper fundamentally misled Congress.”


He points out that “intentionally deceiving Congress is a felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison for each offense”—crimes that Reagan administration officials were convicted of for misleading Congress as part of the Iran-Contra scandal and other controversies.


NSA director Keith Alexander also lied to Congress, telling a House of Representatives hearing that the agency he heads did not collect Americans’ cell phone conversations, Internet searches, text messages and bank records.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

James Clapper, EU Play-Acting, and Political Priorities (by Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian)

James Clapper is Still Lying to America (by David Sirota, Salon)

Lawmakers Question White House Account of an Internet Surveillance Program (by James Risen, New York Times)

What do National Intelligence Director Clapper and NSA Whistleblower Snowden Have in Common? Booz Allen Hamilton (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)

U.S. Spies Collect 3 Billion Pieces of Intelligence a Day from Computer and Telephone Networks Worldwide (by David Wallechinsky and Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Officials Repeatedly Deny NSA Spying On Americans Over The Last Year (by Andy Greenberg, Forbes)


Paul K... 10 years ago
The question as I understand it is; if a person is believed to have committed a felony, should (s)he be charged with a felony? Hum? Now that's a hard one! Could someone please repeat the question?
yarply 11 years ago
What a stupid question. If the Leaders of this country cannot abide by their own laws,,,? Lead by example?

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