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by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

June 11, 2013 - 7:28 am

The Democratic senator who was told by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper in a March 12 hearing that the National Security Agency does “not wittingly” collecting data on millions of Americans isn’t satisfied with Clapper’s clarifications.

Clapper told MSNBC that when collection “errors are detected… which in all cases that I’m familiar with, were innocent and unintended, they are immediately corrected. And any of the ill begotten collection is destroyed.”

“There are also, of course, people very, very concerned about civil liberties and privacy, among whom is, for example, Senator Wyden, whom I have great respect for. And he is passionate about civil liberties and privacy, and he is averse to …so-called ‘secret law,’” Clapper added.

This morning, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) responded.

“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,” Wyden said in a statement.

“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.”

He added “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.”

President Obama said in a Friday defense of the surveillance programs that they “are secret in the sense that they’re classified, but they’re not secret in the sense that, when it comes to telephone calls, every member of Congress has been briefed on this program.”

Only congressional leadership and the intelligence committees, though, are traditionally briefed on sensitive intelligence matters. Wyden asked Clapper about the programs at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, and still didn’t get a straight answer.

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
No, truth in the Obama W/H is an enemy to be defeated, except in those rare instances when it can be used as a weapon.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Again ... watch the words that are used. THis stuff isn't JUST abour friggin' "phone calls" and it's not JUST about Verizon either. Obama has put together a an organisation that is DEDICATED to collecting as much data as possible on American citizens. This organisation needs to be outed along with every member and everyone who is privy to the information. This is a deliberate and very methodical plan to use data against anyone that dissents with WH. Check out the military guys that are being villified for reading "conservative" (terrorist) books. This PRISM stuff is HUGE and the implications are a nightmare. Obama is directly responsible for this one and he can't get out of it ... unless the threay level is increased and the wagons are forming a thousand circles around him. NOBODY is even asking Carney the right questions. There are Republican and Democrat members of Congress that have been briefed on exactly what Obama's doing; but only the ones that are 100% behind it ... the rest are clueless. Boehner calling the whistle blower a "traitor" is a good indication that he's in on the PRISM stuff ... so is McCain. This stuff is nauseating!!!
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (14)
All Comments   (14)
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Clinton, Holder, Clapper, Miller, Shulman et al go before Congress and commit perjury........ and......nothing.....ever.....happens. Methinks its time to bring back water boarding.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
The GOP could vote to impeach any of the wrongdoers in DC today. It only takes a majority vote and politicians with male anatomy. If you don't undertsand that making the geldings in DC do the right thing is the first necessary step to doing anything else you are just engaging in political self-pleasure. Until Boehner and the other RINOs are more afraid of you than of The Left there will be no change. Stop being so freaking passive and polite and take a lesson from union thugs and Black Panthers. Being nice means easy to ignore.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Believing Clapper is to believe in the tooth fairy, and all sorts of fairy tales to boot. Therefore, when all is said and done, many will have to go to jail to clear through all the stench permeating Obama Inc. But if Obama Inc was held to account, from the get go, this discussion would be moot - http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/10/07/when-authentic-revolutionaries-hold-the-reins-of-american-power-centers-via-the-most-radical-regime-in-u-s-history-commentary-by-adina-kutnicki/

The fish stinks from the head up and must be dealt with under this paradigm of thinking. Faster...faster...

Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
That is what happens when the foxes are guarding the hen house. There is no reason why Senators should not do business in their home state where the people can keep an eye on them. Drain the swamp that is DC.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
We want the truth, the whole truth, and NOTHING but the truth. Why is lying so prevailent in the Obama Hussein Era?!! Where is the punishment for these types of false responses to questions. Congress has NO control over a Federal Govt. gone wild. It scares me.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
John Boehner is as big a threat to this country and our Constitution as obama is!
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
All you had to do was watch the man's body language during the hearing to know he was LYING out his a**.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
You guys are so sure that a member of Congress would never lie about his knowledge of the program. I have seen this game of gotcha played out by members of both parties. They are told about a secret program in closed session, then pop the question in an open hearing and then yell foul when the official denies the existance of the program in open session. Ever think that the members who are so outraged are the very people who knew about Prism the longest?
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Seems as if Obama appointees have only a passing acquaintance with the truth.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Again ... watch the words that are used. THis stuff isn't JUST abour friggin' "phone calls" and it's not JUST about Verizon either. Obama has put together a an organisation that is DEDICATED to collecting as much data as possible on American citizens. This organisation needs to be outed along with every member and everyone who is privy to the information. This is a deliberate and very methodical plan to use data against anyone that dissents with WH. Check out the military guys that are being villified for reading "conservative" (terrorist) books. This PRISM stuff is HUGE and the implications are a nightmare. Obama is directly responsible for this one and he can't get out of it ... unless the threay level is increased and the wagons are forming a thousand circles around him. NOBODY is even asking Carney the right questions. There are Republican and Democrat members of Congress that have been briefed on exactly what Obama's doing; but only the ones that are 100% behind it ... the rest are clueless. Boehner calling the whistle blower a "traitor" is a good indication that he's in on the PRISM stuff ... so is McCain. This stuff is nauseating!!!
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
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