In the video below, it certainly looks like James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, lies when he tells Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), that the National Security Agency does “not wittingly” collect any sort of data on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.
Clapper was testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee March 12 of this year when he was asked by Wyden:
“Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?”
“No, sir,” Clapper replied.
Wyden seemed surprised by this: “It does not?”
“Not wittingly,” answers Clapper, pensively rubbing his forehead as he talks. “There are cases where they could inadvertently, perhaps, collect, but not wittingly.”
This week, we learned that under a Top Secret court order, Verizon Wireless provides all of its call data to the NSA on a daily basis. We also learned that this has been going on for seven years. Does that count as wittingly collecting any type of data at all?
Pressed on the issue by the National Journal, Clapper said yesterday that he meant to say that “the NSA does not voyeuristically pore through U.S. citizens’ e-mails.”
It does not appear to this reporter that that was the question, nor was it his answer.
Wyden apparently doesn’t think so either. Check out his Tweet, and the video of the testimony — the key exchange happens at the 6: 38 mark:
— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) June 6, 2013
Do you think Clapper lies here? Let us know in the comments below.
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