Firebrand liberal Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) joined a handful of Republicans on Monday in calling on President Obama to fire Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
The letter sent to Obama urges the administration “to take immediate and effective safeguards to rein in federal surveillance programs and articulate workable, consistent standards to limit access to, and collection of, American citizens’ personal information.”
Though the members of Congress “eagerly listened” for Obama’s assessment of his intelligence review board in his Jan. 17 speech on surveillance reforms, “your instructions fall short of the Administration’s promises of substantial transparency and reform.”
Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Ted Poe (R-Texas), Paul Broun (R-Ga.), Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Walt Jones (R-N.C.) and Grayson urge “concrete reforms and overdue transparency.”
“Internet Freedom is indispensible, and reports regarding the government’s treatment of encryption protocols underscore the need to provide leadership and clarity beyond the collection of telephone records,” the six members wrote. “We must ensure that loopholes to unwarranted and wholly unjustified collection of data are closed and that our intelligence community has consistent standards to adhere to under the rule of law.”
“The continued role of James Clapper as Director of National Intelligence is incompatible with the goal of restoring trust in our security programs and ensuring the highest level of transparency,” added the lawmakers. “Director Clapper continues to hold his position despite lying to Congress, under oath, about the existence of bulk data collection programs in March 2013.”
Asking Clapper and other federal officials who “misrepresented programs to Congress” to report progress in intelligence reforms to the White House is “not a credible solution.”