When the NSA surveillance scandal first came to light last month, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was extremely defiant about having been caught lying to Congress, bragging that he gave the “least untruthful” lie he could think of.
Facing growing calls for his resignation as part of the backlash, however, Clapper has changed his tune and offered a letter of apology to Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D – CA).
In the letter Clapper insisted that he was confused when Sen. Wyden (D – OR) asked him whether the NSA collects “dossiers” on hundreds of millions of Americans, and “simply didn’t think of” the existing dossiers, shrugging off what he bragged about before as a mere oversight.
The exact scope of the files collected on American citizens remains a closely guarded secret, and even with the recent leaks may never be fully known. Nevertheless, Clapper’s comments concede that the dossiers as such exist, and the question is now simply what is in them and how they are being used.