Director of National Intelligence Uses Child’s Excuse About Lying to Congress

Anyone who has had kids or been around young kids knows that they are quick to lie when asked about something they did wrong.  One of the more frequent excuses a parent will hear is ‘I forgot’ or ‘I don’t remember.’  Ask them why they didn’t do something they were supposed to, you almost always heard them say they forgot.  They think this is the easy way to avoid admitting their guilt for whatever they are being accused of.

This excuse may work for young kids, but adults are supposed to be more responsible and the ‘I forgot’ excuse is just not acceptable, especially from someone with an extensive military background.

James Robert Clapper, Jr, was born in 1941 and entered the military in 1963.  Thirty-two years later in 1995, Clapper retired as a Lieutenant General (3 stars) in the Air Force.  The last four years of his military service was spent as the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.  In 2001, Clapper was appointed to the position of Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency by then President George W. Bush.  In April 2007, Clapper was appointed to be the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, again by President George W. Bush.  When Barack Obama was sworn in as President, he kept Clapper on in his position.  Then in August of 2010, Obama appointed Clapper to be the Director of National Intelligence.

Retired General Clapper has an impressive record of serving his country and being involved with national intelligence.  However, in March of this year, Clapper displayed an obvious lack of intelligence when he testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee.  At that hearing, Clapper told the committee that the NSA didn’t wittingly collect any type of data on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), says that Clapper was informed about the question prior to the March hearing and that after the hearing, his office contacted Clapper’s staff to correct the hearing record.  It wasn’t long before Clapper found himself coming under fire for his statements to the committee, especially once it was obvious that he had lied.

Trapped by his own lies, Gen. Clapper sent a letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.  In the letter, he stated that he gave false answers because:

“I simply didn’t think of Section 215 of the Patriot Act.”

“I apologize.  While my staff acknowledged the error to Senator Wyden’s staff soon after the hearing, I can now openly correct it because the existence of the metadata program has been declassified.”

It seems that this is Clapper’s way of saying ‘I forgot’ just like a 5 year old child would do.  After 32 years in the military and 22 years in the upper echelons of the intelligence community, I find it hard to believe that Clapper simply forgot about something that he’s involved in on a daily basis.  Obviously, Clapper also forgot what it says in 1 Cor. 13:11:

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”

I’m not the only one that has a problem with Clapper’s excuse.  Tom Caiazza, spokesman for Sen. Wyden responded to Clapper’s letter saying:

“The ODNI [Office of the Director of National Intelligence] acknowledged that the statement was inaccurate but refused to correct the public record when given the opportunity. Senator Wyden’s staff informed the ODNI that this was a serious concern.”

If the Director of National Intelligence can’t remember the provisions of the Patriot Act that they are using to spy on Americans, then he clearly in incapable of fulfilling his duties.  If he lied to the Senate and then uses the excuse of a 5 year old to cover it up, it shows that he can’t be trusted and therefore is not trustworthy enough to hold his position.  Clapper needs to put away childish ways and start acting like the responsible intelligence leader that he’s supposed to be.  If he can’t, it’s time for him to consider stepping down as Director of National Security to enjoy his family and retirement.