This month James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence during the Obama Administration, the one who lied under oath about NSA data collection while giving testimony to Congress in 2013, just slid safely into home base with nary an effort by anyone in the federal government to tag him out for perjury.
The statue of limitations on a perjury charge against Clapper elapsed just days ago– meanwhile everyone is losing their minds about Cambridge Analytica, and data you knew you were sharing with Facebook voluntarily. How is that a society doing as well as ours can still be so maddeningly inconsistent?
Here's the blatant lie Clapper told a Senator under oath:
Sen. Ron Wyden: "Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?"
Clapper: "No sir."
Wyden: "It does not?"
Clapper: "Not wittingly."
Here it is for the C-SPAN cameras.
Watch Clapper's body language.
That was in March of 2013.
Then in June of 2013, Edward Snowden, a high level computer professional and former CIA employee working as a contractor for the National Security Agency said, "Hold my beer..."
First the Guardian, then The Washington Post, released a series of reports with information about the NSA offered to them by Edward Snowden. As it turns out, the NSA was in fact collecting data on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.
While Edward Snowden told Americans the truth about an unconstitutional (that means illegal) spying program canvassing the data of millions of American citizens in violation of the 4th Amendment of the Bill of Rights among other federal statutes against U.S. spying on Americans, and James Clapper lied to Congress about it under oath, Edward is still in exile in a foreign country and hated by many, while Clapper is free.
In an interview with CNN, Barack Obama brushed off Clapper's crime: "He had a classified program that he couldn't talk about and he was in an open hearing in which he was asked, he was prompted to disclose a program, and so he felt that he was caught between a rock and a hard place."
As it turns out two of the most independent politicians in Congress, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) did call for perjury charges against Clapper last November with the statute of limitations right around the corner, but no one listened. Amash simply retweeted his previous recommendations:
Still waiting for DNI Clapper to resign. He lied under oath & should be prosecuted. Where is U.S. government's commitment to Rule of Law?— Justin Amash (@justinamash) June 23, 2013
Mr. Clapper is either unfit for the job or dishonest, or both. He should have been fired and prosecuted long ago. https://t.co/136SmJJnMW— Justin Amash (@justinamash) May 8, 2015
Rand Paul quipped as he has since 2013, that he would put Clapper and Snowden in the same jail cell.
On the day the statute of limitations took effect, Edward Snowden tweeted:
Congratulations to former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who has officially escaped felony charges for lying under oath. You really set the bar for accountability. "What the General practices, the soldiers learn." https://t.co/agrNNzKbOh— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) March 13, 2018
"What the General practices, the soldiers learn."
A terrifying thought.
Especially if they're your soldiers.