Nation & World News

Clapper Apologizes For Answer On NSA’s Data Collection

By Bill Chappell on July 3rd, 2013

After telling Congress that the National Security Agency does not collect data on millions of Americans, National Intelligence Director James Clapper has issued an apology, telling Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein that his statement was “clearly erroneous.”

Secret documents leaked by former NSA contract worker Edward Snowden have shown that the agency has been collecting metadata from phone records on millions of Americans. The documents also indicated an ability to conduct surveillance on Americans’ Internet activities.

When Clapper was asked by Sen. Ron Wyden in March if the NSA collects “any type of data at all on millions, or hundreds of millions of Americans,” Clapper answered, “No sir,” before adding, “Not wittingly.”

After the revelations emerged about the NSA’s activities, Wyden, a member of the Senate Intelligence panel, posted an explanation of that exchange, in which he said he sent the question to Clapper’s office one day in advance, and also gave Clapper a chance to amend his answer after the public hearing had ended.

Snowden has said that Clapper’s statements on the NSA’s abilities and practices played a role in motivating him to reveal the classified information. Here’s what he said, as The Two-Way reported last month:

“It was seeing a continuing litany of lies from senior officials to Congress – and therefore the American people – and the realization that that Congress, specifically the Gang of Eight, wholly supported the lies that compelled me to act. Seeing someone in the position of James Clapper – the Director of National Intelligence – baldly lying to the public without repercussion is the evidence of a subverted democracy. The consent of the governed is not consent if it is not informed.”

The letter of apology was first reported on Friday, by The Washington Post. It was released publicly today.

In a statement, Sen. Feinstein said, “I have received Director Clapper’s letter and believe it speaks for itself. I have no further comment at this time.”

Citing Wyden spokesman Tom Caiazza, the AP reports that “when Wyden staffers contacted Clapper’s office shortly after the hearing, his staffers ‘acknowledged that the statement was inaccurate but refused to correct the public record when given the opportunity.’”

Calazza says Wyden “is deeply troubled by a number of misleading statements senior officials have made about domestic surveillance in the past several years. He will continue pushing for an open and honest debate.”

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

A photo apparently showing a Ferguson police officer wearing an "I am Darren Wilson" bracelet.

Ferguson Police Will Be Banned From Wearing ‘I Am Darren Wilson’ Bracelets

In a letter, the Justice Department said the accessory was “exacerbating an already tense atmosphere.” After a talk with the department, the police chief said he would institute a new policy.


Bill Gross

The ‘Bond King’ Leaves His $2 Trillion Kingdom

Bill Gross built Pacific Investment Management Co., or PIMCO, into a $2 trillion powerhouse. But this week, he abruptly left, roiling the bond-investing world.


Thailand's Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, center, at the government house in Bangkok earlier this month. Prayuth, who seized power in May, has threatened to personally take over the writing of soap operas on Thai television.

Thai Leader Threatens New Takeover: The TV Soaps

Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha says he’s ordered a complete rewrite of Thailand’s daily fare of infidelity and violence, and if it’s not done right, he’s threatened to do the job himself.


A Parrot Bebop drone flies during a demonstration in May in San Francisco.

Lights, Camera, Drones: Hollywood’s Lens Gets A Little Larger

The FAA is granting six movie and TV production companies permission to use drones for filming. The move could pave the way for the unmanned aircraft systems to be used in other commercial ventures.


A screen shot provided by FlightAware shows airline traffic at 10:20 a.m. EDT Friday over the United States. A fire at a Chicago-area air traffic control facility has grounded hundreds of flights.

Fire Grounds Hundreds Of Flights At Chicago Airports

The fire in the basement of the Chicago Air Route Traffic Control Center in Aurora, Ill., caused numerous flight cancellations at O’Hare and Midway.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments