What drove Edward Snowden to go on-the-record with allegedly-classified information about the scope and breadth of what is quite-clearly illegal spying on US Citizens?
Is it really that hard to figure out? It was his boss, James Clapper, who quite-clearly perjured himself by blatantly lying in an open session of Congress:
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper is really struggling to explain why he told Congress in March (see video above) that the National Security Agency does not intentionally collect any kind of data on millions of Americans. His latest take: It’s an unfair question, he said, like “When are you going to stop beating your wife?” And it seems to depend on the meaning of “collect.”
“I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful, manner by saying ‘no,’” Clapper told NBC News on Sunday.
Clapper lied. He could have (truthfully) refused to answer, stating that “for national security reasons this question can only be answered in a classified, closed session” or similar — but he did not.
He said no when asked if the NSA intentionally collects any sort of data on millions of Americans.
He lied, as we now know factually, in that the NSA is in fact collecting “metadata” on virtually every single call and other transmission through the US Cell carriers — nearly all of which are by US citizens to and from other US citizens.
That this sort of problem is “focused” on foreign nationals outside the US is an argument that cannot be made with any sort of straight face. The percentage of non-US customers who are not in the US among the various US cell carriers has to be a fraction of one percent since their networks are almost-entirely inside the United States!
Let us not forget that the NSA is an executive department and let us also not forget that the NSA has stated, and the Presidents spokesman has confirmed, that Obama’s “daily briefing” document has repeatedly and prominently featured data gleaned from these programs.
There are those who argue that “there is a proper place for this debate” and that “Snowden had no right to do what he did.”
Snowden clearly violated the law and thus is exposed to the penalties for having done so. However, when you are engaged in an activity that is unconscionable and your superiors are intentionally misleading Congress, which has under the Constitution both the right and the duty to oversee and control your agency, what options do you have remaining?
This nation needs many more men and women of conscience, because it is quite clear that at the top levels of our Executive and Congress we have none.