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

White House Says Any Response To Sony Attack Needs To Be ‘Proportional’

The White House won’t confirm North Korea is behind the attack, citing an ongoing investigation. Nevertheless, it is mulling over its options.


American actor Groucho Marx, with his trademark moustache, glasses and cigar. We can't be sure that this cigar was Cuban.

6 Things You Should Know About Cuban Cigars

If you plan on traveling to Cuba, you’ll be able to bring back $100 worth of the country’s famed cigars. But that’s not a lot — because they’re actually kind of expensive.


Members of the Abuja "Bring Back Our Girls" protest group sit during a march in continuation of the Global October movement. Once again, Boko Haram militants are implicated in killings and mass kidnapping in northeastern Nigeria.

Boko Haram Suspected In New Round Of Killing And Kidnapping

The latest killing and kidnapping occurred just 20 miles from where the Islamist extremist group kidnapped nearly 300 schoolgirls in April.


Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi, seen here on June 28, 2008, was granted bail today by an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan. India says he is one of the masterminds of the 2008 attack on Mumbai that killed more than 160 people.

Pakistani Court Grants Bail To Suspect In Mumbai Attack

Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi is one of seven men charged with planning and helping to carry out the 2008 attack that killed more than 160 people. Federal prosecutors had opposed the bail plea.


India's test crew module floating in the Andaman Sea after splash down.

India Tests Crew Capsule, New Heavy-Lift Rocket

An improved version of India’s largest space-launch vehicle carried an unmanned crew capsule that was recovered after splashdown in the Andaman Sea.


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