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Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has had some explaining to do now that the NSA wiretapping program has been exposed and declassified and totally admitted to by no less than President Obama. Here's what he told Sen. Ron Wyden, under oath, about that program just a few short months ago.

Wyden: [...] So, what I wanted to see is if you could give me a yes or now 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, not wittingly.

Now, most people would look at that exchange, in light of recent revelations, and see a bold-faced lie. No, Clapper assures us. He didn't lie. He was asked an unfair question and it's all in the semantics.
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. [...]

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."

Okay, except for the part where Sen. Wyden says in the exchange about how he has "served on the committee now for a dozen years." Wyden and Clapper definitely have the same definition of "collect" in this context, because Wyden has been on this committee for more a decade and because Wyden has been warning against this program for two years now. And Clapper calls Wyden "too cute by half." So what's your definition of "collect," Clapper? Or is that classified, too?

Don't expect the Senate Intelligence Committee to bring Clapper back in to clarify whether or not he lied to them, though.  The committee chair Dianne Feinstein is on Clapper's side. Sort of, since she implied he wasn't really capable of understanding the question. Some defense.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 12:05 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

    •  I thought (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Truedelphi, JML9999, FarWestGirl

      he meant "collection" for suspicious phone number after getting OK from a FISA judge - NOT collecting and keeping everyone's phone records for eons.

      "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

      by MartyM on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 01:12:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Did he lie? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, tikkun

         "I don't know what you mean by 'not collect,' " Alice said.
          Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. "Of course you don't—till I tell you. I meant 'there's a nice knock-down argument for you!' "
          "But 'not collect' doesn't mean 'a nice knock-down argument'," Alice objected.
          "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."
          "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
          "The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master—that's all."

      Did you ver notice how har it is totype accurately on an iPad?

      by RudiB on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 01:34:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Too Cute by Half (22+ / 0-)

    I think Clapper was acknowledging that his own semantics could be considered too cute by half.

  •  Clapper seems to think he is smarter than he is (15+ / 0-)

    I watched him on MNSBC this morning and I got the feeling that he was way over his head.

    He doesn't get it.

    To be an effective intelligence operator you have to be able to get into the mind of your adversary.  And you need to be very good at communicating truths or lies. He seems to me more of a bureaucrat.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 12:14:25 PM PDT

    •  Really, this isn't that hard. (33+ / 0-)

      He should have said that he couldn't answer the question in a public forum because it was classified.  

      But he knew that he could not do that in a public forum because that would draw attention to the fact that they are doing it; and so he decided to lie instead.

      Weyden can't even talk about what he knows in public.

      The truth is that the real importance of that exchange is not that he lied or that anyone was too cute by half or what the meaning of collect is - the importance of that exchange is that the restrictions on discussing a massive domestic spying apparatus are so onerous that it is impossible for there to be any meaningful public debate or understanding of what they are doing in their underground secret bunkers with all of that information.

      •  He didn't expect all this to go public. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        •  Then he isn't a very good study of human (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, tikkun

          behavior - actually that can be said of all of these people who thought that this kind of huge and sweeping spying program which employs thousands of people could be kept secret.

          But the reality is that your point is moot - Clapper lied to Congress which was stupid on his part - it is a prosecutable offense.  He broke the law.  He doesn't have to seek asylum in Iceland, though.  He was lying to Congress on behalf of the state so that makes his law breaking okay?  Really this is going down the rabbit hole - and it is highly problematic.  

          Definitely not looking like much of  a Democracy when Congressional hearings become deceitful theater - okay - well that's not new - lol - but maybe this is really different from the political theatrics and potentially much more dangerous to the democracy they claim they are protecting.

      •  And if Congress can't discuss NSA practice, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        inclusiveheart, mrkvica, tikkun

        how can Congress regulate NSA practice?

        •  They can't discuss it publicly (0+ / 0-)

          But they are briefed privately given their need to regulate it. Members of some committees are given more information than others.

          If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

          by AoT on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 02:01:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Several people including Dianne Feinstein (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            have complained that even her intel committee do not have as much information and access as they would like.

            This whole thing is a mess of secrets and lies.

            Let's not forget that Colin Powell stood in front of the world claiming that his lame PowerPoint proved that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.  Why should we believe that the Members of Congress are not being misled in any way by the spy agencies?  

            A big part of being a successful spy is in the art of misleading, misdirection and manipulation.  Why do we assume without question that the handful of Congress Members who get these briefings are being given the straight scoop on what's going on?

            I believe that these are reasonable questions that should be addressed.

    •  Where is James Jesus Angleton when his country (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shockwave, kyril

      needs him?

      Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

      by Clem Yeobright on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 12:27:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Did you like Angleton? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The recently released internal CIA investigation prompted by the 1970s Church Committee verified the far-ranging power and influence that Angleton wielded during his long tenure as counter-intelligence Czar. The exposé revealed that Angleton-planned infiltration of law enforcement and military organizations in other countries was used to increase the influence of the United States. It also confirmed past rumors that it was Angleton who was in charge of the domestic spying activities of the CIA under Operation CHAOS.[15]

        Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

        by Shockwave on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 12:34:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That is the whole entire problem with agencies (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OldDragon, kyril, Shockwave

      For an individual to  succeed as an employee inside an agency, one must become the total  bureaucrat. And become  steeped inside the letter of the law, and even into what is assumed to be the letter of the law (Which actually might be light years away from what the intention of a law meant) rather than be caught up in the "petty concerns" of the spirit of the law.

      This seems to happen when any country gets too big. The American people have been suffering under the reign of Washington DC bureaucrats who are far more insidiously fascist than   would be expected, especially given that the background of everyone of those people included basic Civics lessons as school children.

      Offer your heart some Joy every day of your life, and spread it along to others.

      by Truedelphi on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 01:22:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Better video of his testimony (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mythatsme, lgmcp, kyril, Shockwave, mrkvica

      Small varmints, if you will.

      by aztecraingod on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 01:27:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It is my belief that Senator Dianne (19+ / 0-)

    Feinstein is, and has been, of more use to the Republicans than for the Democrats.

    Time is a long river.

    by phonegery on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 12:14:36 PM PDT

    •  She's certainly useful to corporations (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      In 2002 Feinstein felt John Poindexter's Total Information Awareness program was "deeply disturbing."  Congress pulled the funding for TIA in 2003.  Now, in 2013, she thinks the program, with a new name, managed by private contractors and costing billions of dollars, is "protecting America."  

      "If the Total Information Awareness program is not developed in a carefully prescribed manner, with close oversight from Congress, it could lead to an Orwellian America, where a person's every move is tracked by the Government," Senator Feinstein said. "I find this deeply disturbing."


  •  Too bad there are no payphones anymore... (5+ / 0-)

    Seeing as I now can legally ring up tons of free calls, since I NEVER made a "Collect" call.  It was merely me speaking into a phone and the phone company choosing of their own free will to accept non-payment.

    I don't recall SIGNING anything with regards to my folks paying them.


    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 12:17:45 PM PDT

  •  And this guy "leads" something? (8+ / 0-)

    Here is your shining example of the types of people we have in "public service."

    And on top of that, this is creative as he can get? He's not even a good liar, and his comparison is shockingly completely out of context.

    Slap happy is a platform.

    by averageyoungman on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 12:18:13 PM PDT

  •  The complexities of technology (6+ / 0-)

    provide lots of wiggle room. This is a lot different from opening paper letters and tapping rotary dial telephones. The "legality" of what is being done has a great  to do with a notion that a clear line can be drawn between foreign and domestic communications. In a world with a globalized telecommunication system it is really not that simple.

    Just as the US has an economic advantage in the status of the dollar as the international reserve currency, it has an information advantage from being the dominant international hub on the internet. A telephone call or an email being sent from Pakistan to Brazil may very well be routed through a server in New Jersey. That same server is handling traffic from Chicago to Dallas. The NSA appears to be sucking it all in a single giant data vacuum and saving it for later.

    The public needs a lot more information about this to properly evaluate the legalities involved.

    •  "saving it for later" ? ? ? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Is that milliseconds later or microseconds later?

      They search, scan and sort, and then "store" what they (might) want to bother to get a warrant for later.  The call registers of course get saved . . . the telcos do that anyway.  But they don't save everything . . . they don't even give more than a cursory glance to most of it.  Just enough to see if it "profiles", or fits a targeted "signature".  Like "dissidents" postings on dKos.  That's one tiny step short of "domestic terrorist", donchaknow . . .


      Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

      by Deward Hastings on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 12:43:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Complexities of technology, or simplicites? (0+ / 0-)

      Storage became so cheap that to just keep an infinite (for the time being) history of everything was more efficient than the cost of figuring our alternatives and mistakes. As metal and money becamme cheaper and faster throwing them at big problems became better, faster, cheaper. Just grab & keep everything and with time and rapidly changing needs the data is there. Agility!

      Architecting all this to facilitate interconnectedness, aggregation, distribution, access, and mining what was available stimulated the imagination. Innovation!

      In health care practices being able to look at lifetimes of clinical health records on people, populations, by habits, zip codes, blood, DNA, all sorts of "veins" in all sorts of new "mines" is an ongoing gold rush. The limiting factor is no longer information but how much is invested in looking  at it and ten putting it to use to reduce illnesses &  diseases (not cost, not yet at least). Adaptation!

      Surveillance is no different. In a world of infinite dots to connect it's less risk to store all of the dots than to figure out which ones to grab and wait to connect them. Is is cheaper? Is it valuable? Is it what we want?

      Big data is an international and commercial fait accompli so it's a good time to start looking at how our lives are impacted and what rules we want in place, how it should be opened, harnessed & put to good use.

    •  "Thin Thread" surveillance program (0+ / 0-)

      Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

      by tikkun on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 02:18:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Facepalm!! Clapper's Been Hanging Around Obama (4+ / 0-)

    too long because that's the type of "lawyer ball" he likes to play--using semantic games.

    "The problem with posting quotes off the Internet is you never know if they're genuine."--Gen. George Washington at the Battle of Gettysburg, February 30, 1908

    by Aspe4 on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 12:38:49 PM PDT

  •  Move along....... (5+ / 0-)

    we're all professionals here, nothing to see. I didn't say that wittingly, you tricked me.

  •  Balkinization on the definition of "collect" (6+ / 0-)
    However, as others have noted as well, the regulations have a particularly restrictive and somewhat peculiar definition of collection: “data acquired by electronic means” is collected ONLY “when it has been processed into intelligible form.” This has two implications. First, this might be why the FISA order specifically directs Verizon to send the NSA an electronic copy of the data: so that the production doesn’t automatically trigger the “collection” restrictions. (Plus, of course, it would be crazy to ask for a hard copy.) And second, as long as there’s just a huge data dump sitting there, unprocessed, the NSA hasn’t “collected” information, and thus doesn’t yet have to comply with the restrictions of the DOD regulations .

    Once the NSA processes it – for instance, by searching for calling patterns and communities of interest related to people the FBI or NSA identifies as being “reasonably believed to be engaged in international terrorist activities” – it's been collected. At that point, though, it’s fine, because that targeting satisfies the regulation. This would help explain statements by Senate members implying that the NSA doesn’t do anything with the information until it gets specific names. (Of course, some of those senators are also making laughable pronouncements that information has been collected “only on bad guys.”)
    •  must be a really busy day for you, huh? n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo, maryabein

      "The “Left” is NOT divided on the need to oppose austerity and the Great Betrayal. The Third Way is not left or center or even right. It is Wall Street on the Potomac."--Bill Black

      by lunachickie on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 01:01:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So now the claim is that the NSA (0+ / 0-)

      never processed any data it got?

      I mean, this is the group that has been swearing up and down that it never, ever, ever targeted Americans, and certainly never did any surveillance in the US. I've been hearing that line for decades. And now that we know they are doing that we've got the fucking semantics brigade on patrol doing damage patrol.

      If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

      by AoT on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 02:05:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How can anyone trust these guys? (8+ / 0-)

    here is all the proof you need for the duplicity

    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

    by greenbastard on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 12:59:31 PM PDT

  •  Collect is the new is (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, jazzence, jfromga, kyril, mrkvica

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 01:19:00 PM PDT

  •  Depends on what "is" is. (9+ / 0-)

    How did these assholes take over our party?

    Defending the theft of our freedom by the government is not a legitimate difference of opinion on a political matter -- it is a deeply un-American attitude that deserves nothing but scorn and derision.--Dallasdoc

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 01:19:36 PM PDT

    •  Thank the "Reagan Democrats." (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The Dem Party has been chasing them ever since. Instead of pointing out the bankruptcy (literally) of the Republican Party's "ideas" . . .

      "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

      by bryduck on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 04:12:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hilarious (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, jfromga, OLinda, kyril, mrkvica, Timaeus, tikkun

    Least untruthful response.

    If I said that to my wife she'd slap me for sure.

  •  whatever. time to take this shit to the streets. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    have our own Wet Hot American Summer.

    "It strikes me as gruesome and comical that in our culture we have an expectation that a man can always solve his problems" - Kurt Vonnegut

    by jazzence on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 01:21:14 PM PDT

  •  Wyden (6+ / 0-)

    I may call Wyden's office and ask if he is going to follow up on the fact he was lied to. What is he going to do?

     (202) 224-5244

  •  Clapper is clearly as smart as (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    his TV commercial namesake. So he's got that going for him... which is nice...

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 01:22:24 PM PDT

    •  Oh,I dunno. (8+ / 0-)

      Clapper was smart enough to be an integral part of privatizing the NSA. Which has made lots of DC types very wealthy....why even including the old NSA chief,Mike McConnell who is now back at Booz. Funny old world,isn't it?

      The outsourcing plan was finalized in 2000 by a special NSA Advisory Board set up to determine the agency’s future and codified in a secret report written by a then-obscure intelligence officer named James Clapper. “Clapper did a one-man study for the NSA Advisory Board,” recalls Ed Loomis, a 40-year NSA veteran who, along with Binney and two others, blew the whistle on corporate corruption at the NSA.

      “His recommendation was that NSA acquire its Internet capabilities from the private sector. The idea was, the private sector had the capability and we at NSA didn’t need to reinvent the wheel.”

      Hayden, who was the NSA director at the time, “put a lot of trust in the private sector, and a lot of trust in Clapper, because Clapper was his mentor,” added Loomis. And once he got approval, “he was hell-bent on privatization and nothing was going to derail that.” Clapper is now President Obama’s director of national intelligence, and has denounced the Guardian leaks as “reprehensible.”

      "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

      by tardis10 on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 01:27:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And then they went back and used (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the more dangerous program designed in house that makes sense of all the data.  "Thin Thread" surveillance program intentionally not using the part designed to protect the privacy of private citizens.  Nice!  And here he is parsing his words again.

        Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

        by tikkun on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 02:23:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I Look At It Like This (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If someone asks the NSA: "Who has Adam Bakker been talking to on the phone," and the NSA can answer that question without getting a warrant, they have indeed "collected data" about my calls.

    In other words... in order for the data they have to be "mine" they have to be able to identify it as "mine."  

    If they can't, they haven't.

    It's not exactly clear to me what the true state of affairs is, but that's how I would evaluate the honesty of his answer.

    Too Folk For You. - Schmidting in the Punch Bowl - verb - Committing an unexpected and underhanded political act intended to "spoil the party."

    by TooFolkGR on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 01:22:37 PM PDT

    •  phone numbers (0+ / 0-)

      Often when a number shows up on caller ID, I google it and find out who it is. Also, you could call the number at odd hours and see if a recording says "Hello, you've reached Joe Smith and I can't take your call right now." I'm sure the NSA has many ways to find out without going to the service provider with a warrant.

    •  I Think the Point Is (7+ / 0-)

      That the NSA has to get approval from a judge every 90 days to continue the dragnet of phone call data -- which in fact includes who you called and when.

      And, every 90 days, it successfull gets approval.

      Civil libertarians would like to contest this ability in court -- but so far, they haven't been able to do so, because NSA actions have been secret ... and because court interpretations of FISA have also been secret.

      How do you contest secret activity carried out under secret law?

      Now the curtain has been cast aside and maybe something will happen.

      My hopes aren't raised yet, but at least the possibility is now there ... for both action in the courts and pressure on politicians to stop what I see as a surveillance overreach.

      "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

      by bink on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 01:40:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Do some reading about "Thin Thread" surveillance (0+ / 0-)

      program.  There were articles in New Yorker and several other magazines in 2011

      Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

      by tikkun on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 02:25:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Or (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, mrkvica

    it depends on the meaning of "wittingly." Or, maybe these agents often don't have their wits about them, and so collected information on hundreds of millions of Americans not wittingly.

  •  Frankly Wyden should have known this. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Thomas Twinnings, kyril, tikkun

    The Intelligence community's peculiar definition of "collect" is nothing new.

    As the EFF explains:

    Under Department of Defense regulations, information is considered to be “collected” only after it has been “received for use by an employee of a DoD intelligence component,” and “data acquired by electronic means is ‘collected’ only when it has been processed into intelligible form.”

    In other words, the NSA can intercept and store communications in its data base, then have an algorithm search them for key words and analyze the meta data without ever considering the communications “collected.”

    “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

    by jrooth on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 01:24:22 PM PDT

  •  Gail Collins, op-ed NYT columnist: (12+ / 0-)
    A few of the others had been desperately trying to warn their colleagues about the telephone-call program without breaking their vow of silence. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon did everything but tap dance the information in Morse code.

    Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

    by Youffraita on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 01:25:16 PM PDT

  •  And here I thought (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, kyril, mrkvica

    we weren't supposed to be freaking out because this is old news and everybody knew about this.

  •  Whee (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mythatsme, devis1, mrkvica

    It's okay to lie to the Senate if the Senators are all in on the lie.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 01:37:10 PM PDT

    •  Well, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      only the Intelligence Committee members. I think Wyden's question (since he already knew the answer) was designed to telegraph the problem to the rest of the Senate without violating his non-disclosure agreement.

      "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

      by kyril on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 01:58:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  what will the President do? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, tikkun

    Clapper has been shown to be a liar. Will the President ignore this or will he fire Clapper?

    In a sane world Clapper would be gone but since it's not the rabid rightwingers pushing Obama, we can be pretty sure that nothing will be done.

    Shirley Sherrod? Gone the same day. James Clapper? The whole thing will be ignored.

  •  Devil's advocate here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    In medical research, there is a bright line between "off the shelf" retrospective information which has already been "collected" for ordinary clinical and operational purposes ... versus NEW information that is prospectively defined and gathered only for the purposes of a research question.  

    So in technical terms, there IS a difference between acquiring existing information versus setting up systems to collect novel information.

    However there is no question that the scope and impact of national surveillance has been misrepresented to the American public at every turn.  

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 01:41:59 PM PDT

  •  Ah, good ol' Feinstein - one of the wealthiest (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, shmuelman, tikkun

    members of Congress.

    I expect she will make certain that nothing interferes with the plans of Empire & the 1%.

    The excuses for Obama's behavior have long since passed the point of predictability neccessary to qualify as an absurd production of Kabuki Theater.

    by Johnathan Ivan on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 01:48:41 PM PDT

  •  Bill Clintonesque word parsing. Unfortunately, (0+ / 0-)

    the consequences for it will be nothing for this man, Obama will make sure of it.

    One failed attempt at a shoe bomb and we all take off our shoes at the airport. Thirty-one school shootings since Columbine and no change in our regulation of guns. --- John Oliver

    by voroki on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 01:50:29 PM PDT

  •  It's not "wiretapping" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And it's not "Clintonesque" to use words to mean what they actually do mean.

    We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

    by i understand on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 01:53:59 PM PDT

  •  LDF early days at PCCC for Snowden. (1+ / 0-)
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    @Hugh: There is no Article II power which says the Executive can violate the Constitution. * Addington's perpwalk is the trailhead of accountability for Bush-2 Crimes.

    by greenbird on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 01:57:00 PM PDT

  •  take my scandal/please! (0+ / 0-)

    Monsanto is poison,gotta be stopped. Can't afford rich people anymore;must cut back. People like Dick Cheney are evil, don't belong in government. We need @ 9 different revolutions in this country, and may they all crossoverlap soon..

    by renzo capetti on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 01:58:13 PM PDT

  •  "And Clapper calls Wyden "too cute by half." (1+ / 0-)
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    I can't adequately express my complete revulsion whenever I hear that totally overused phrase.

    Morning dolt Joe Scarborough uses that phrase in every other sentence and apparently thinks nobody has noticed.

    My question is, if the person using that phrase to describe somebody else is too clever by half, does that really make them too stupid by 1/4?

    "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

    by jkay on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 02:01:43 PM PDT

  •  Semantics? (1+ / 0-)
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    The bastard lied under oath.  Prosecute him.

    "The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough to those who have little. " --Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by jg6544 on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 02:04:12 PM PDT

  •  Marcy Wheeler has a good piece on this (2+ / 0-)
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    jrooth, greenbastard

    "I am confident that we're going to be able to leave the Gulf Coast in better shape than it was before." President Barack Obama

    by quagmiremonkey on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 02:07:01 PM PDT

  •  Clapper is toast (0+ / 0-)

    I don't know if he will ever be prosecuted for perjury, but if this debate over the meaning of "collect"  continues he will have no choice but to resign.

  •  Did you call this 'wiretapping'? (1+ / 0-)
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    Wiretapping is not the same as collecting data.  Your post says:  "Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has had some explaining to do now that the NSA wiretapping program has been exposed and declassified and totally admitted to by no less than President Obama."

    Obama has 'admitted to' wiretapping?  To my knowledge, he did not.  Where is a link?

    Snowden has made extraordinary charges, some of which are already debunked (see changes by the WP to its article -- there is no 'direct access' to IPs).  Why are you taking Snowden's word with no evidence?  Extraordinary claims require at least some level of proof, don't they?

    I really thought Kos was a reality-based critical thinking site, and yet this is on the front page.  Just wow.

    You might want to read Al Franken on this:  “I’m on the Judiciary committee and the Judiciary committee has jurisdiction (over) N.S.A. and on (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) and the Patriot Act,” he said. “I availed myself of these briefings so nothing surprised me and the architecture of these programs I was very well aware of.”

    “I think there should be enough transparency that the American people understand what is happening…But I can assure you that this isn’t about spying on the American people.”

    So now it's "stuff Snowden and Greenwald said" versus Al Franken, among others.

    I'd expect Kos to at least present all the facts.  Or is the argument here simply that loyalty to a group of outspoken Kos members trumps facts and reality?

    I'm in the camp of "we need more information" about Snowden's "material".  I also am a backer of complete repeal of the Patriot Act.  

    Yes, the Obama administration has done things that I don't agree with, but I'm not on board with the automatic support of Snowden and acceptance of everything he has claimed.

    •  who to believe (0+ / 0-)

      I'm in the camp of "we need more information" about Snowden's "material".  I also am a backer of complete repeal of the Patriot Act.  

      Well Obama also told us that in 2007.  Not only did he not support repeal but signed into law this new policy to collect information on every phone call inside the US.  Given his deceptions on this issue so far, right now I am more inclined  to believe Glenn Greenwald.

  •  Heh, don't blame Clapper he follows the congress (0+ / 0-)

    Sen. Feinstein agreed to all the stuff we got now or the vast majority of it.  If she has entered into a pact of what we in the midwest quaintly call betrayal then she needs to explain and or be primaried.  Clapper was doing what he is paid to do keep the heat off the congress and he did a nice job of it, the American people and their rights in this, not so much.

  •  Feckless n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Evidence that contradicts the ruling belief system is held to extraordinary standards, while evidence that entrenches it is uncritically accepted. -Carl Sagan

    by RF on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 05:40:50 PM PDT

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