Did Clapper lie to Congress?

posted at 9:11 am on June 7, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Earlier, I noted that James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, offered a hasty and oddly-phrased defense of PRISM, the massive data surveillance system exposed by the Washington Post yesterday evening.  Clapper claimed that FISA courts have imposed restrictions that “ensure that only non-U.S. persons outside the U.S. are targeted, and that minimize the acquisition, retention and dissemination of incidentally acquired information about U.S. persons,” which doesn’t actually mean that the NSA isn’t accessing massive amounts of data from US persons while trying to find and target non-US persons.  In fact, there would be almost impossible to do the latter without having access to everything.

Even before the exposure of PRISM, The Hill’s Carlo Munoz wondered if Clapper hadn’t lied to Congress in testimony three months ago, when he denied that the NSA was rummaging through American e-mails.  That question may be more pertinent than Munoz thought (via Instapundit):

Testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Clapper denied allegations by panel members the NSA conducted electronic surveillance of Americans on U.S. soil.

“Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” committee member Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked Clapper during the March 12 hearing.

In response, Clapper replied quickly: “No, sir.”

“There are cases where they could inadvertently perhaps collect [intelligence on Americans], but not wittingly,” the U.S. intelligence chief told Wyden and the rest of the committee.

That said, “particularly in the case of NSA and CIA, there are structures against tracking American citizens in the United States for foreign intelligence purposes,” Clapper added.

Earlier in the day yesterday, Clapper tried to parse his denial:

On Thursday, Clapper clarified his remarks during the March hearing, telling the National Journal his comments were referring to NSA or other intelligence agencies intentionally reviewing e-mails and other electronic communications.

“What I said was, ‘the NSA does not voyeuristically pore through U.S. citizens’ e-mails.’ I stand by that,” Clapper said.

I wonder if he stands by that specific denial today?  Perhaps he’ll claim that the qualifier of voyeuristically lets him off the hook.  If PRISM accesses the entire output of nine major Internet providers for patterns to flag within content as the Washington Post reported, then the NSA does go through the e-mails of US citizens, even if they pledge to “minimize” its “acquisition, retention, and dissemination,” as Clapper claimed after the PRISM story broke.  Whether or not the agency gets a voyeuristic thrill is hardly the issue for Americans who at least had some illusions that their government wasn’t snooping on their Internet communications without having a specific reason to do so.

Now we have another of Barack Obama’s direct reports who appears to have either flat-out lied or attempted to at least mislead Congress while the legislative branch conducted its oversight responsibilities.  If one wanted to look for patterns, there seems to be one developing at the highest ranks of this administration.

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Comment pages: 1 2

No, an Obama Campaign official wouldn’t lie.

forest on June 7, 2013 at 9:13 AM

Wow, this crap is just getting plain creepy.

BigWyo on June 7, 2013 at 9:14 AM

Maybe we should ask the question this way:

When has anyone of the regimes’ luminaries – including the Dear Liar himself – ever been truthful?

Galt2009 on June 7, 2013 at 9:16 AM

Does anybody in this SADministration not lie? Cuz I don’t believe a single word anyone of ‘em says. They even lie about lying.

stukinIL4now on June 7, 2013 at 9:16 AM

This is why congressional investigations are important, to get these guys on the record lying.

They need to take some of these guys out to the woodshed and show that if you lie to congress, you go to jail.

That will make most open up and tell the truth the first time.

right2bright on June 7, 2013 at 9:16 AM

This is more clear cut than Holder’s lie.

Zaggs on June 7, 2013 at 9:18 AM

These articles, and these Headlines have become comical.

Posing this in the form of a “question” complete with a
question mark…..Ahhhhh what’s that about Bliss??

ToddPA on June 7, 2013 at 9:18 AM

Lying is the norm. A liar recruits liars to lie for him. When he lies, he speaks his native language and the truth is a stranger to him.

Suck on that, NSA

ted c on June 7, 2013 at 9:18 AM

My previous cynical theories regarding where this all ends now no longer appear to be simply cynical theories. They are being supported by evidence.

I won’t say what they are because they are banworthy.

ted c on June 7, 2013 at 9:19 AM

Did Clapper lie to Congress?

Hell YES!

And the excuse that the NSA isn’t simply listening in or reading our e-mails misses the point. Gathering phone data and computer usage of Americans on American soil is syping on Americans. That’s illegal, BTW.

Clapper needs to go.

Happy Nomad on June 7, 2013 at 9:21 AM

“What I said was, ‘the NSA does not voyeuristically pore through U.S. citizens’ e-mails.’ I stand by that,” Clapper said.

So he implies they don’t get their jiggies out of reding your emails, listening to your phone calls and scanning through your credit card charges. He doesn’t deny making a list, checking it twice, finding out who’s naughty and nice and passing it on to the IRS, HHS, EPA, ATF, etc…government out of control.

CTSherman on June 7, 2013 at 9:22 AM

Dog Eater won’t even know about this until tomorrow when he decides to watch a bit of ESPN, so don’t go blaming him you homophobes.

Bishop on June 7, 2013 at 9:22 AM

Clapper kept scratching his head…

Holder doesn’t raise his hand when he is sworn in…

Lerner refuses to answer…

Rice disappears from public sight…

Don’t listen to what they say…

Watch what they do.

singlemalt 18 on June 7, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Is water wet?

Joe Mama on June 7, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Yeah, he lied. They all are lying to us.

dogsoldier on June 7, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Perjury is becoming a feature, not a bug, with this administration.

Resist We Much on June 7, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Now we have another of Barack Obama’s direct reports who appears to have either flat-out lied or attempted to at least mislead Congress while the legislative branch conducted its oversight responsibilities.

When the executive branch has castrated the co-equal legislative branch…Why would any of us be surprised at the contempt the Apparatchiks have toward the people or their representatives (Many of which are corrupted partisan statists)

The Apparatchiks are loyal to the party…The Party is Loyal to the Tyrant…The Tyrant is Obama

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Wow, this crap is just getting plain creepy.

BigWyo on June 7, 2013 at 9:14 AM

No, this is scary. Creepy is when the NSA calls and suggests you might want to see a doctor about that rash.

The most interesting thing, so far, is that there really doesn’t seem to be much interest in the identity of the leaker. If this was such a valuable secret monitoring program you would think that there would be more curiousity about the leaker.

But maybe a government getting caught with this massive spying on its citizens in Stasi-like fashion is more of a concern right now.

Happy Nomad on June 7, 2013 at 9:25 AM

When you have a guaranteed Obama Pardon Card, you just lie and say “eff-u” Americans…

Disgusting.

hillsoftx on June 7, 2013 at 9:25 AM

“What I said was, ‘the NSA does not voyeuristically pore through U.S. citizens’ e-mails.’ I stand by that,” Clapper said.

Then why are your folks spending time poring of people’s sext messages and videos, especially the ones from the military?

( Learned of this, this morning. Kuhner mentioned it on WRKO )

I think that qualifies as voyeurism and when did you learn of it Mr. Clapper?

dogsoldier on June 7, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Yes, he lied.
This government is totally out of control. Wait two minutes though and the majority will forget about this.
Clearly there are no limits to their power and I am wondering if it is even possible to stop this freight train
What are they doing with all this shiite anyway?
Besides stimulating the economy in Utah to build their storage facilities? Oh, and gun control, and silencing their opposition, and stealing elections…………busy totalitarians aren’t they?
I guess the only thing that was truthful was Obama saying the war on terror was over. They are too busy with the war on Americans.

ORconservative on June 7, 2013 at 9:26 AM

Yes, he lied. And yes, he’s paid by the Obama Administration. But DO NOT call him a “paid liar”! You got that, Issa!

Doughboy on June 7, 2013 at 9:26 AM

Did Clapper lie?

If you have to ask the question, you’re not up on current events for the last five years.

Liam on June 7, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Executive privilege in 5….4….3….

I guess one of the requirements to be in this administration is that you are OK lying to all except to Valerie and dear leader

cmsinaz on June 7, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Somebody last night mentioned the interview with Greenwald by Piers Morgan. Well, here it is:

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2013/06/greenwald-obama-administration-has-been-very-aggressive-about-bullying-threatening-journalists-who-think-about-exposing-prism-video/

esr1951 on June 7, 2013 at 9:31 AM

Does anybody in that administration know what the truth is?

Unbelievable.

gophergirl on June 7, 2013 at 9:31 AM

Why is everything framed as a question at Hot Air?

Yes, he fu*king lied.

rrpjr on June 7, 2013 at 9:32 AM

there are structures against tracking American citizens in the United States for foreign intelligence purposes,” Clapper added.

The head of the NSA has tremendous power. Lying to Congress is just another example of our current crisis of trust.

Happy Nomad on June 7, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Lie…not lie.

Isn’t this the same guy who said the Muslim Brotherhood was a secular organization?

I tend to think he (like most of the Obama Administration) are just out and out ignorant and incompetent. The rest are malevolent and craven.

Mitoch55 on June 7, 2013 at 9:35 AM

Then

“There are cases where they could inadvertently perhaps collect [intelligence on Americans], but not wittingly,” the U.S. intelligence chief told Wyden and the rest of the committee.

Now

“What I said was, ‘the NSA does not voyeuristically pore through U.S. citizens’ e-mails.’ I stand by that,” Clapper said.

No, that’s not what you said, you f***ing liar.

RadClown on June 7, 2013 at 9:35 AM

“Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems, Some of these same voices also do their best to gum up the works; they’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices.”

The rat-eared tyrant at OSU

Where is the Congressional outrage? I’m going to repeat this question until somebody on the Hill starts demanding answer from these liars.

Happy Nomad on June 7, 2013 at 9:36 AM

If we’re the ones who are ‘paranoid’ as the Left says, why are they watching us?

Liam on June 7, 2013 at 9:37 AM

Does it matter that he lied? There isn’t any consequences what so ever for this administration actions. Look at the last election and the lies that were hurled against romney and later the president would just flat out deny. Yesterday Valerie Jaret is saying the Holder will not be going anywhere, really? Who the hell is she to be making that statement? (rhetorical) This is a rouge administration and the counterbalance in place to hold them accountable are a bunch of pussy cats.

phatfawzi on June 7, 2013 at 9:38 AM

“We didn’t voyeuristically pore through . . .”
Heh. Listen to the Clapper trying to un-ring the bell.

smellthecoffee on June 7, 2013 at 9:39 AM

Fact is, they don’t even lie well. It’s worked for so long only because the average Obama supporter and quite a few generic RINO supporters have the attention span of a gnat… with apologies to the gnats.

Now that the lid is being pried open in front of even the perpetually ignorant via the IRS and NSA revelations, their inept web of lies is disintegrating.

Congress: Continue to do your job, or lose it.

SteveInRTP on June 7, 2013 at 9:43 AM

If we’re the ones who are ‘paranoid’ as the Left says, why are they watching us?

Liam on June 7, 2013 at 9:37 AM

We are the Unruly unwashed masses…

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 9:43 AM

I’m going to wait until I get the straight scope from Jay Carney before I form my opinion.

Deano1952 on June 7, 2013 at 9:44 AM

From the Department of Rhetorical Questions, I presume. The obvious answer is of course, YES.

JimK on June 7, 2013 at 9:45 AM

We are the Unruly unwashed masses…

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 9:43 AM

If they want to see unruly and unwashed, I have to remind them of OWS. Oh, wait — those slobs are on Obama’s side! Never mind!

Liam on June 7, 2013 at 9:46 AM

All this crap coming out gives me the same feeling as going to open the garage freezer after finding out it died during an extended vacation.

I have to deal with it, but it pisses me off.

SteveInRTP on June 7, 2013 at 9:48 AM

I wonder if all these folks get together and tell their success stories about wonderfully they lied to Congress and no one can do a thing about it!!!! Do they slap each other’s backs and laugh it up?

Den of thieves.

petunia on June 7, 2013 at 9:48 AM

I was reminded of this interchange from the movie “A Clear And Present Danger“:

Felix Cortez: [referring to Jack Ryan] Whatever this man has told you is a lie. He LIES for a living!

Ernesto Escobedo: He is in the Intelligence business.

Felix Cortez: Exactly.

Ernesto Escobedo: YOU’RE in the Intelligence business!

Sounds like pretty accurate dialog now, doesn’t it?

bofh on June 7, 2013 at 9:51 AM

This is a rouge administration

phatfawzi on June 7, 2013 at 9:38 AM

As in Khmer Rouge.

Bishop on June 7, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Does anyone really believe that the REB’s campaign WAS NOT bugging Governor Romney’s entire campaign team? Phones, Email, internet activity, GPS locations, etc?

slickwillie2001 on June 7, 2013 at 9:52 AM

“Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” committee member Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked Clapper during the March 12 hearing.

In response, Clapper replied quickly: “No, sir.”

As Joe Wilson would say: LIAR!

When any government official no longer feels or fears that their testimony “could” have serious consequences, or land them in jail, trust in YOUR GOVERNMENT goes out the window. This “trust” MUST start at the very top—with the President of the United States.

That said, it is still my belief that the unprecedented targeting of conservative groups by the IRS is just as much of an assault on the American citizen as the NSA’s gross over-reach of the Patriot Act under President Obama’s watch. As our friend workingclass artist said:

Even more disturbing is even if there are watchmen watching the watchmen…would they tell the truth if put to public scrutiny?

The Responsible Authorities repeatedly lied about Fast & Furious.

The Responsible Authorities repeatedly lied about Benghazi.

What difference does it make

The Responsible Authorities lied about the IRS Targeting, Intimidation and leaking of private information to use that information against targeted political opponents.

The Responsible Authorities have lied about ammo purchases, EPA targeting of industries and red states…Federal Spending…

It’s a long list.
(emphasis mine)

If/when we can no longer trust these “Responsible Authorities”, the door to anarchy and tyranny is wide open.

Rovin on June 7, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Does it matter that he lied? There isn’t any consequences what so ever for this administration actions. Look at the last election and the lies that were hurled against romney and later the president would just flat out deny. Yesterday Valerie Jaret is saying the Holder will not be going anywhere, really? Who the hell is she to be making that statement? (rhetorical) This is a rouge administration and the counterbalance in place to hold them accountable are a bunch of pussy cats.

phatfawzi on June 7, 2013 at 9:38 AM

Obama is secure in the knowledge that he being an historical president is above reproach and irremovable from office…and so are his Appratchiki.

HHS hiring thousands more in CA to enroll citizens in Obamacare.

43% of Americans collect a paycheck for Full Time (35 Hrs/wkly) Employment.

The majority of citizens are dependent on the Gubmint for daily sustenance of some kind or another.

The only expanding industry is Big Government operated by unaccountable Unionized Apparatchiks engaged in partisan war against autonomous states and the citizenry.

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 9:53 AM

2009: “This should really enrage the Left. The FISA court will make public a ruling that validates George Bush’s warrantless surveillance on international communications, including those with one terminus in the United States… It comes a little late, years after the New York Times exposed the national security program and made it much more difficult for the US to conduct its surveillance.”

orwellian!

sesquipedalian on June 7, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Maybe the word ‘collect’ will get him off the hook about the lyin’ thingy. They only claim to be survielling every breath we take.

Kissmygrits on June 7, 2013 at 9:53 AM

NO!!!!! Not ANOTHER Obama administration official perpetrating the Felony Act of Perjury!!!! Say it ain’t so!!

The man who promised to have the most transparent administration EVAH has been exposed as having THE MOST SECRETIVE, THE MOST CORRUPT, THE MOST PERJUROUS, THE MOST SCANDALOUS — THE MOST CRIMINAL in U.s. History!

Withholding Subpoenaed documents/information/products, Perjury – lying under oath, giving weapons to foreign Drug Cartels, bypassing Congress / violating a Congressional law to fund terrorists ($1.3 Billion to the Muslim Brotherhood from Kerry), spying on/intimidating the media & the American people, abusing Govt power by using the ATF/FBI/IRS/DHS/EPA to harrass, silence, & destroy American citizens, spying on Congress…

Obama has violated every trust of the American people, has violated the Constitution, violated U.S. laws, & has violated numerous rights of the American people! He is an ENEMY OF THE STATE!

One of his biggest lies / broken promises was a promise to overturn / end any spying on the American people that infringes on American civil liberties once he became President. NOW we know that every means of electronic spying and personal data collection of the American people that can be done is being done. Every cell phone, every call, every text, every video posted, every picture posted, every credit card monitored….who you call, how often you call, how long you call, where you are when you call, what you purchase, how often you purchase it, how much you spend, how much you make, …

There is not 1 secret you have any more…your personal information is known & can be used against you…

All of this makes ’1984′ look like a childrens’ bedtime story…

easyt65 on June 7, 2013 at 9:54 AM

Has anyone noticed that the trolls have disappeared and the number of comments has slowly receded? Ed may have to get a real job is this keeps up.

Kissmygrits on June 7, 2013 at 9:55 AM

Another important key to the puzzle: Also Revealed by Verizon Leak: How the NSA and FBI Lie With Numbers

…Thanks to the Guardian’s scoop, we now know definitively just how misleading these numbers are. You see, while the feds are required to disclose the number of orders they apply for and receive (almost always the same number, by the way), they aren’t required to say how many people are targeted in each order. So a single order issued to Verizon Business Solutions in April covered metadata for every phone call made by every customer. That’s from one order out of what will probably be about 200 reported in next year’s numbers…

Each order covers many millions of customers, in fact more than customers, because it covers all calls that transit that carrier’s equipment regardless of what logo is on their phone.

slickwillie2001 on June 7, 2013 at 9:56 AM

At this point the only thing that would fix this bloody mess and return a tiny portion of trust in govt is to repeal the Patriot Act. I am sure there will be enough votes from both sides to do it.But it takes leadership for that, and that’s a non-existing ingredient in either of the two parties. On the other hand you have to be very careful how you go about it, you don’t want a whole bunch of people from an infamous agency like NSA going rogue or starting selling info and secrets to foreign powers, rogue states, or to criminal entities/organized crime of sorts. Although I am assuing sooner or later this will happen. When you create such a monster, it’s hard to control it.

jimver on June 7, 2013 at 9:57 AM

He had to lie 3 months ago. It was classified.
If he had said yes then he would have been guilty of divulging classified information.

Tough place to be.

On the other hand, he probably would have lied anyway.

TerryW on June 7, 2013 at 9:57 AM

Has anyone noticed that the trolls have disappeared and the number of comments has slowly receded?

Kissmygrits on June 7, 2013 at 9:55 AM

Their clearing their caches and browsing history of the porn sites after finding out what the NSA is doing.

Happy Nomad on June 7, 2013 at 9:58 AM

The storage facility being built to store all the information being collected on the AMERICAN PEOPLE (NOT foreigners) is 5 times the size of the U.S. Capitol. It has the capacity to store for YEARS every DAILY collected text message, every e-mail, every video, every photograph, & every credit card record of every American citizen.

Good Lord!

easyt65 on June 7, 2013 at 9:58 AM

There is not 1 secret you have any more…your personal information is known & can be used against you…

All of this makes ’1984′ look like a childrens’ bedtime story…

easyt65 on June 7, 2013 at 9:54 AM

All of your personal information will be used against you.

This is what the IRS did.

This is what the EPA has done.

This is what the DOJ has done.

This is what Legacy Media has done.

This is what the Unions and other liberal activist groups have done.

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 9:59 AM

At this point the only thing that would fix this bloody mess and return a tiny portion of trust in govt is to repeal the Patriot Act. I am sure there will be enough votes from both sides to do it.But it takes leadership for that, and that’s a non-existing ingredient in either of the two parties. On the other hand you have to be very careful how you go about it, you don’t want a whole bunch of people from an infamous agency like NSA going rogue or starting selling info and secrets to foreign powers, rogue states, or to criminal entities/organized crime of sorts. Although I am assuing sooner or later this will happen. When you create such a monster, it’s hard to control it.

jimver on June 7, 2013 at 9:57 AM

I don’t think repealing the Patriot Act would stop it. These guys are drunk on power. The whole apparatus needs to be dismantled.

TerryW on June 7, 2013 at 10:01 AM

Time to offer a qualified defense of my ex-boss again. You are quoting from open testimony. He is allowed to lie if it is necessary to protect classified information. It would be lying to Congress/Perjury only if he denied it in closed session.

jerryofva on June 7, 2013 at 10:02 AM

He had to lie 3 months ago. It was classified.
If he had said yes then he would have been guilty of divulging classified information.

Tough place to be.

On the other hand, he probably would have lied anyway.

TerryW on June 7, 2013 at 9:57 AM

He could have said that is classified and that he wasn’t at liberty under law to divulge it publicly.

Opens a can of worms…but a different can of worms.

There is no excuse for lying to congress.

None.

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 10:03 AM

Has anyone noticed that the trolls have disappeared and the number of comments has slowly receded?

Kissmygrits on June 7, 2013 at 9:55 AM

Not quite there yet, but close. libfree’s default setting all day yesterday was ‘Boosh’…Boosh did it’ too’, Boosh started it’ etc…the usual…but then he’s a permanent fixture at HA and here to stay…

jimver on June 7, 2013 at 10:04 AM

This is a rouge administration

phatfawzi on June 7, 2013 at 9:38 AM

As in Khmer Rouge.

Bishop on June 7, 2013 at 9:51 AM

You’re being too kind…the Khmer Rouge only
killed what, a few million?

This Administration is working on killing an Entire Nation.

ToddPA on June 7, 2013 at 10:04 AM

Interestingly enough, the heads of the tech firms named have now said that they never received any warrants, etc., that would allow NSA to ‘legally’ access their servers.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/07/prism-tech-giants-shock-nsa-data-mining

Somebody’s lyin’ here – and my money’s on the regime.

But then, I’m just a paranoid TEA Partier, don’tcha know.

Solaratov on June 7, 2013 at 10:06 AM

2009: “This should really enrage the Left. The FISA court will make public a ruling that validates George Bush’s warrantless surveillance on international communications, including those with one terminus in the United States… It comes a little late, years after the New York Times exposed the national security program and made it much more difficult for the US to conduct its surveillance.”

orwellian!

sesquipedalian on June 7, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Try again !

Jabberwock on June 7, 2013 at 10:09 AM

I am sure there will be enough votes from both sides to do it.But it takes leadership for that,

Stop & look/listen for a moment….Lindsey Graham – Republican, Diane Feinstein – Democrat, & more – on both sides of the aisle, are DEFENDING what is going on! One opined that when the Patriot Act comes up for renewal in TWO YEARS they could possibly ammend a part of it or two that allows such a widespread net of surveillance.

Our ‘enemy’ is not just OBAMA…it is NOT just Republicans…it is NOT just Democrats/Liberals — It is ‘BIG GOVERNMENT’, which this President & all members of the Congress & Senat have worked hard to expand. ‘Power corrupts & absolute power corrupts absolutely!’ Once these tyrants get a taste of power they want more and ore and MORE! It is almost impossible to seize power away from them once they have GIVEN THEMSELVES this much power.

Much like Fast & Furious…much like Benghazi…these politicians will engage in short-term political theater by holding these mock hearings/trials, stir up outrage, and then will shift the focus onto a new scandal, counting on the American people’s short-term memory to drive them on & to forget about the past — thus nothing is ever fully exposed, no one ever is held accountable, & the the abuse of power & targeting/$crewing of America continues!

In 8 years under this President not 1 scandal has been fully exposed, not 1 person has been forced to pay for their crimes/incompetence/part, & like sheep in a meadow we continue to drift from new patch of ‘grass’ (scandal) to the next without anyone being held accountable!

QUESTION:
Under Obama, are you SAFER or LESS SAFE, do you have MORE FREEDOM or LESS FREEDOM, have our enemies LOST more ground or have they PROSPERED & GROWN, are YOU better off or WORSE off?

More Importantly:
Is the Constitution as strong as it was before Obama took office? Has Obama adhered to his Oath of Office? Have your personal Constitutional Rights & Liberty been DEFENDED by this President & his administration or have they been constantly under attack & trampled?

easyt65 on June 7, 2013 at 10:11 AM

I don’t think repealing the Patriot Act would stop it. These guys are drunk on power. The whole apparatus needs to be dismantled.

TerryW on June 7, 2013 at 10:01 AM

I am afraid it does not come with a self-distruct mode. then who will do it? The Congress? I am laughing hard :) The citizenry?? Ha…which part of it? The entitlement crowds, the illegals, the consummers of The Kardashians, Jersey Shore and Dancing with the stars? The rest of the lefties? The ism crowd? I think we’re fluked on so many levels…

jimver on June 7, 2013 at 10:12 AM

James Crapper!

Art on June 7, 2013 at 10:12 AM

The storage facility being built to store all the information being collected on the AMERICAN PEOPLE (NOT foreigners) is 5 times the size of the U.S. Capitol. It has the capacity to store for YEARS every DAILY collected text message, every e-mail, every video, every photograph, & every credit card record of every American citizen.

Good Lord!

easyt65 on June 7, 2013 at 9:58 AM

Yeah…The scope is gobsmaking.

“That means the Administration has a database of every call to suicide prevention, every tip to a government fraud whistleblowing hotline, every call to the “find a meeting” number for every Alcoholics Anonymous chapter. And all it told us was that it uses the USA Patriot Act every now and then…”

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/06/nsa-numbers/

They track medicine purchases at pharmacies and psychiatric payments/visits through the credit cards.

Puts the Gun Registry legislation into perspective a little doesn’t it…Progressives wanted to deny ownership to anyone with a history of taking certain medicines etc.

What we know now is that science is relative…as are morals…and apparently laws and inalienable constitutional rights.

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 10:12 AM

Maybe we should ask Claude Cooper.

pain train on June 7, 2013 at 10:14 AM

All of your personal information will be used against you.

This is what the IRS did.

This is what the EPA has done.

This is what the DOJ has done.

This is what Legacy Media has done.

This is what the Unions and other liberal activist groups have done.

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 9:59 AM

What if the IRS hearings ultimately reveal that orders to persecute conservatives didn’t come from IRS leadership, but rather, from the unions?

bofh on June 7, 2013 at 10:15 AM

This is a rouge administration

phatfawzi on June 7, 2013 at 9:38 AM

As in Khmer Rouge.

Bishop on June 7, 2013 at 9:51 AM

You’re being too kind…the Khmer Rouge only
killed what, a few million?

This Administration is working on killing an Entire Nation.

ToddPA on June 7, 2013 at 10:04 AM

By turning Americans against each other.

Mao did that…so did Adolf & Lenin & Stalin.

Kids inform on their parents…Brother against Brother.

Orwell’s 2 minutes of Hate.

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 10:16 AM

I believe that members of Congress were briefed on these programs prior to the renewal from the FISA courts. Mike Rogers stated that his committee was briefed on this program and that it “had stopped a serious terrorist attack” and was working to get that case declassified.

Many Republicans (like Mike Rogers) are just as guilty as the Dems in this. Congress had classified briefings for oversight beyond these public hearings.

Power corrupts. This is expected from the Executive Branch. I am extremely disappointed in Congress for not properly reigning in the Executive and for the Judicial Branch for allowing these untargeted intrusions to happen indefinitely.

The separation of powers in the Federal Government is becoming a myth. If all of these things can happen behind closed doors in classified hearings and briefings, then there is no way for citizens to hold our elected officials accountable.

They can spy on us and then declare that it is too sensitive for us to know about. I understand that when we are dealing with foreign entities, but when it comes to American Citizens, this is unaccpetable.

weaselyone on June 7, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Time to offer a qualified defense of my ex-boss again. You are quoting from open testimony. He is allowed to lie if it is necessary to protect classified information. It would be lying to Congress/Perjury only if he denied it in closed session.

jerryofva on June 7, 2013 at 10:02 AM

Your ex-boss is a dishonorable liar. There were ways of answering that question without a definitive no (which he offered). He should lose his military retirement and be fired for what he is doing.

Happy Nomad on June 7, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Does anyone have firearms he would like to sell me?

madmonkphotog on June 7, 2013 at 10:24 AM

What if the IRS hearings ultimately reveal that orders to persecute conservatives didn’t come from IRS leadership, but rather, from the unions?

bofh on June 7, 2013 at 10:15 AM

The Unions are part of the Apparatchik.

In Texas civil employees can Unionize but cannot not barter pay or benefits through their Unions.

It’s in the State Constitution…Put there to remind civil employees who their employers are…the People.

As a result…Civil Employee Unions have a voice but not a lot of power except what they can muster in group organizing.

This is the beauty of Right To Work Legislation.

The IRS is Unionized under the Treasury. Most Americans don’t even know how many Civil Employees are unionized locally or federally…Just like Most Americans don’t understand Right To Work Legislation or the healthier economies and functioning accountable governments of Right to Work States.

Unions have a wet dream of Unionizing the US Military…Which would be a disaster.

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Clapper’s response.

Buy Danish on June 7, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Discussing programs like this publicly will have an impact on the behavior of our adversaries and make it more difficult for us to understand their intentions. Surveillance programs like this one are consistently subject to safeguards that are designed to strike the appropriate balance between national security interests and civil liberties and privacy concerns. I believe it is important to address the misleading impression left by the article and to reassure the American people that the Intelligence Community is committed to respecting the civil liberties and privacy of all American citizens.

Clapper is right in principle with the above comments. But the fact of the matter is that there is a crisis of trust. The IRS shouldn’t have handed off donor lists to supporters of the rat-eared despot but they did. The DoJ shouldn’t have obtained a warrant against James Rosen by calling him a co-conspirator but they did. Clapper lied his ass off to Congress. THE NSA NO LONGER HAS THE LATITUDE TO HIDE BEHIND SECURITY CONCERNS. They have clearly imposed on Americans’ civil liberties and they need to be held to account. Clapper should be frog-marched out of Fort Meade and spend the rest of his life in prison orange.

Happy Nomad on June 7, 2013 at 10:29 AM

weaselyone on June 7, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Maybe…

But it seems to me there is a stratified class within congress as to briefing and being in the know so to speak.

Seems to be confirmed by these recent gangs that negotiate and draw up legislation that isn’t debated at length and rammed through voting.

Ted Cruz spoke about that on the floor of the senate.

He rocked it.

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 10:30 AM

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 10:26 AM

And of course, unions are also a main block in the Democrat money laundering operation.

bofh on June 7, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Executive privilege in 5….4….3….

cmsinaz on June 7, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Executive privilege PARDON in 5….4….3….

If not before, Obama will pardon his entire administration as he goes out the door (assuming his going out the door will ever happen – as Holder said, he has a few more things to accomplish).

Carnac on June 7, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Happy Nomad on June 7, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Doesn’t make any more sense then selling guns to Drug Cartels and losing track of them while the entire purpose is supposed to be to track the guns.

Since The Borders are more porous then they’ve been in a hundred years because money…resources and the locals have been stymied from enforcement and Border States have been sued by the Federal Government if they try and enforce congressional laws…I’m not buying the National Security justification at all.

Nope!

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 10:36 AM

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 10:26 AM

And of course, unions are also a main block in the Democrat money laundering operation.

bofh on June 7, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Yep!

Unions…are the corrupt force to keep the statists in power.

Unions are loyal to their international cause.

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Maybe…

But it seems to me there is a stratified class within congress as to briefing and being in the know so to speak.

Seems to be confirmed by these recent gangs that negotiate and draw up legislation that isn’t debated at length and rammed through voting.

Ted Cruz spoke about that on the floor of the senate.

He rocked it.

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Agreed, but this elite class within Congress has to be held to account. Any member of Congress who was briefed on these programs and said nothing is complicit in violating our rights. The same goes for the FISA court judges who allowed this to go on, apparently absent basis in law to do so.

This is the issue with having all 3 branches operating in secrecy, there is no accountability and they can all agree to infringe on our rights.

They use the argument of “security”, which is bogus. This is an unreasonable entry into our lives for minimal security gains. There are other avenues to get this information on foreigners and terrorists. They may have to work a little harder to get the information, but the avenues for getting it do exist. This is the 3 branches of government taking the easy way out by stomping on our rights as citizens. Liberty, freedom, and individual rights do not always mean the easiest path. That is for good reason. The whole purpose of the Constitution is to prevent this behavior from our government.

weaselyone on June 7, 2013 at 10:39 AM

orwellian!

sesquipedalian on June 7, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Aww, sequesteredbrain can’t spot the difference. No sweety, the square peg does not go in the round hole.

NotCoach on June 7, 2013 at 10:42 AM

What if the IRS hearings ultimately reveal that orders to persecute conservatives didn’t come from IRS leadership, but rather, from the unions?

bofh on June 7, 2013 at 10:15 AM

Then we have an opportunity to outlaw public unions

NotCoach on June 7, 2013 at 10:43 AM

not buying the National Security justification at all.

Nope!

workingclass artist on June 7, 2013 at 10:36 AM

I buy it given one extremely huge detail. Surveiling all communiciation, internet traffic, and credit transactions is EASIER for them to do than to have the political fight over border security. It also makes them feel better about not doing anything about border security since they are monitoring all this data.

Their rationalization could go something like this: It’s ok that we aren’t protecting the border because we have all this data to track people.

I absolutely disagree with that rationalization, but I can understand that they could feel that way. They are taking the easy way out. They are crushing our rights to avoid a tougher road. This is the false argument they present us. Individual rights and privacy or security. We can have both, there need not be a choice between the two! It just requires the government, defense, intelligence, and law enforcement to work harder. Unfortunately, this situation allowed them to take the easy way while working under the confidentiality of “Top Secret” programs. It is easy to trample rights when you don’t have to tell the people that you are doing so.

weaselyone on June 7, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Most honest, most open, most transparent administration, evah! Unfortunately, said administration appears to be populated with LIARS. Starting at the very top.

GarandFan on June 7, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Remember during the 2012 campaign how the media gushed happily about the REB’s “extensive data mining operations”? This kinda sheds a new light on all of that. There is no way Zero would not have used Prism for political advantage. The potential for political abuse is staggering. No politician should have access to this kind of power.

If Congress really wanted to blow the lid off of Scandalmania they should subpoena some of the analysts at Prism and ask them what their assignments were during late summer and fall of 2012.

cornbred on June 7, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Agreed, but this elite class within Congress has to be held to account. Any member of Congress who was briefed on these programs and said nothing is complicit in violating our rights. The same goes for the FISA court judges who allowed this to go on, apparently absent basis in law to do so.

This is the issue with having all 3 branches operating in secrecy, there is no accountability and they can all agree to infringe on our rights.

Herein lies the conundrum: If they “say something”, then they (Congress) are breeching their own self-imposed law against leaking national security issues/secrets.

Most honest, most open, most transparent administration, evah! Unfortunately, said administration appears to be populated with LIARS. Starting at the very top.

GarandFan on June 7, 2013 at 10:48 AM

This!

Rovin on June 7, 2013 at 10:58 AM

If Congress really wanted to blow the lid off of Scandalmania they should subpoena some of the analysts at Prism and ask them what their assignments were during late summer and fall of 2012.

cornbred on June 7, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Or lets subpoena the specific individual names of people who have access to or have been given information from these schemes, then subpoena who they gave the information to, and so on….

There was no one watching the watchers, so I am sure there were some unauthorized accesses of these vast databases.

weaselyone on June 7, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Clapper is right in principle with the above comments. But the fact of the matter is that there is a crisis of trust.
Happy Nomad on June 7, 2013 at 10:29 AM

I was with him until I got to the part about oversight from the DOJ. All that was missing was the phrase “in coordination with the IRS”.

Buy Danish on June 7, 2013 at 11:03 AM

It is time for conservative Congressmen to get out in front of this and put forth a bill to REPEAL the PATRIOT ACT. If we can no longer trust the Executive Branch to justly wield the overreach in power it was given, then it is time to remove that power.

People… start writing your Congressmen and point this out.

dominigan on June 7, 2013 at 11:06 AM

orwellian!

sesquipedalian on June 7, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Aww, sequesteredbrain can’t spot the difference. No sweety, the square peg does not go in the round hole.

NotCoach on June 7, 2013 at 10:42 AM

People like Squiddie are okay with this stuff as long as democratics are at the controls.

slickwillie2001 on June 7, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Herein lies the conundrum: If they “say something”, then they (Congress) are breeching their own self-imposed law against leaking national security issues/secrets.

Most honest, most open, most transparent administration, evah! Unfortunately, said administration appears to be populated with LIARS. Starting at the very top.

GarandFan on June 7, 2013 at 10:48 AM

This!

Rovin on June 7, 2013 at 10:58 AM

There is no conundrum. These congresman could have proposed legislation to amend the Patriot Act or amend it to be more restrictive. They could have proposed legislation outlawing the NSA from collecting data on American Citizens. All of these would have created a public debate without going into the specifics of the classified program. They do not get to pull the classified card and be absolved of all responsibility. It is far easier to go along with decisions that trample rigths when those making those decisions know they will not have to face the people whose rights they are trampling. They were enabled by this being classified, they could have fought for our rights but made a decision not to.

weaselyone on June 7, 2013 at 11:08 AM

You’ve got to love this from of all places—-a commenter at MOTHER JONES:

MataOmer 1 hour ago in reply to TheFormerDaveD
What is still lurking behind the Benghazi coverup must be colossal for the Obama admin to go to this length, inundating us with all these intentionally-leaked scandals day in and day out. However, this may backfire disastrously. By the time the MSM and the admin exhaust what little is left of their credibility, trying to shoot it down and shirk responsibility by attributing it all to Bush or to some “Bush appointee” to the utter disgust and revulsion of the American people, the 2nd wave of the Benghazi whistleblowers will be ready to testify with the rare confluence of: a) all hell breaking loose, b) MSM unable to bury it anymore, and c) no other scandals left to divert attention away. That, I believe, will be the decisive moment for Obama to firmly conclude with absolute certainty that Assad has indeed used chemical weapons, and an R2P intervention in Syria is therefore morally justified. Samantha Power should better start to rehearse doing the 5 Sunday talk shows on the same day… Isn’t it lovely to watch a plan come together?
http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/06/corn-msnbc-nsa-scandal

I sure hope David Corn is reading this……

Rovin on June 7, 2013 at 11:12 AM

2009: “This should really enrage the Left. The FISA court will make public a ruling that validates George Bush’s warrantless surveillance on international communications, including those with one terminus in the United States… It comes a little late, years after the New York Times exposed the national security program and made it much more difficult for the US to conduct its surveillance.”

orwellian!

sesquipedalian on June 7, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Ah, I see squiddy has also received the DNC Talking Points for Hot Gas Trolls, which several of the other bridge people here have been using over the past few days-go back to previous posts by our host not only here, but also at Captain’s Quarters, in a desperate attempt to try and make some silly political point. And you clowns wonder why we all laugh at you?

S-

BTW, I want to take this opportunity to thank the Hot Gas Leftist who has been sending viruses to my e-mail address. Just got another one a few minutes ago. Trying to silence your opponents by silencing their computers? That’s about as Orwellian as it gets!

Del Dolemonte on June 7, 2013 at 11:14 AM

No, we should not repeal the Patriot Act.

Buy Danish on June 7, 2013 at 11:15 AM

The Truth: Clap on .. clap off

J_Crater on June 7, 2013 at 11:16 AM

weaselyone on June 7, 2013 at 11:08 AM

I agree with you completely….I could/should have said this is what our Representatives would say……(for their own self-protection)

Rovin on June 7, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Put Clapper in the crapper.

coldwarrior on June 7, 2013 at 11:55 AM

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