Wednesday, June 19, 2013

"Untruthful," even in the least bit, is still lying

It has been a week and I was in vacation mode for most of that time, but I have not seen anyone call for James Clapper to be prosecuted. Lying to Congress is a crime.

It's rarely prosecuted even though people probably do lie to Congress as often as they lie under oath in the cases I am involved with, because it can be difficult to prove they actually intended to say something untruthful.  But Clapper presents a clear cut case. Last March, Senator Wyden asked Clapper "Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?" and Clapper responded, "No, sir... Not wittingly. There are cases where they could inadvertently perhaps collect, but not wittingly."

It's clear now that Clapper knew that was false. In fact, Clapper has all but acknowledged that he lied, calling his answer the "least untruthful manner" to answer the question. Which is also not true. Even if we assume that Clapper had a legitimate interest in not disclosing the program in an open session of a Congressional committee, the least untruthful manner without making a disclosure would be to not answer the question.

Lying to Congress is still a crime. There is no exception for testimony given by the Director of National Intelligence (nor should there be). Clapper should be prosecuted. If he is not, then why should we believe any of this stuff?