The White House is loudly promising that President Obama’s promised “independent group of outside experts” meant to review the privacy issues surrounding the NSA surveillance programs will not, despite previous reports to the contrary, be run by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper.
Speculation about Clapper’s involvement rose yesterday after a press release in which Clapper announced that he was personally establishing the group and intended to call it the “Director of National Intelligence Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies.”
Which sparked immediate backlash, because Clapper admitted to lying under oath to the US Senate about the NSA programs, and has been facing a growing call for his resignation ever since.
The White House now says Clapper’s involvement will be extremely limited, and that President Obama will personally choose all of the participants. Clapper will simply be in charge of handing out security clearances and providing classified information to the panel.
It is unclear whether the White House comments are the intended plan, or if they simply backtracked, because President Obama had also previously implied that Clapper would be in charge of “establishing” the group as well.
2 thoughts on “White House: Clapper’s Involvement in NSA Investigation ‘Limited’”
I am continually amazed at the level of amateurish scrambling by the Administration when dealing with issues that pop up unexpectedly – which seems to be just about everything lately. When Manning and Snowden revealed what was going on behind the curtain, I didn't expect them to come out clean but what they did was akin to a 6th grader trying to deflect evidence to the contrary when caught going through their mother's pocketbook. I'm not usually wont to compliment the recent Bush junta but they had people who knew how to handle surprises – probably because these people had been trained for years in previous Administrations…people like Cheney and Rumsfeld and the whole slew of neocons ensconced in the Pentagon mainly. The current Administrations is woefully unprepared and unskilled in putting the horse back in the barn and convincing the press to focus on other things.
The exposure is good for the American citizen but doesn't foster confidence in the people supposedly leading the country.
Since the entire 'investigation' will undoubtedly involve 'classified data', then if the DNI is in charge of deciding which classified data the panel can see and won't see, then he will in effect control the investigation.
To me, you'll know that America is returning to being a nation of laws when you see Mr. Clapper in an orange jumpsuit and shackels serving time for lying under oath to Congress. Especially because doing so is a direct attack on concept of democracy and the whole notion that America is ruled by the people and not by government officials who claim only they can decide.
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