Lying Under Oath: Obama Defends Spy Chief Clapper

Unapologetically Dishonest Clapper May Become a Political Liability

Since the truth about America’s everyday surveillance of individual citizens came to light, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has come under particular scrutiny for overt lies made under oath to the US Senate. The White House is said to be comfortable with them.

Clapper was defiant on Sunday news shows when asked about that particular federal offense, saying he felt the question he was asked was “unfair” and that he gave the “least untruthful” lie he could think of in response.

Which was still a horrible lie that he eventually got caught in, and his attempts to defend lying under oath on the grounds that he could’ve conceivably given an even worse lie was so asinine that he’s become a laughingstock, at least for the moment.

Since Clapper’s crimes are in many ways the same as Obama’s crimes, it isn’t that surprising that the White House is defending him. Yet as the scandal lingers, Clapper’s lies and the compounding factor that they were made under oath could make him a political liability, one the administration may eventually have to ditch as it struggles to keep its surveillance apparatus intact.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.