Change The Narrative: Clapper Returns To The Senate And Is Joined By Senators In Denouncing The Media and Snowden

220px-James_R._Clapper_official_portraitThe hearing this week on the massive surveillance programs targeting the communications of all citizens was the latest in the increasingly bizarre world of American politics. We have a Constitution that prohibits warrantless searches and seizures. We have a government — and a President — who previously misled us about the existence of such programs. We have Senators who knew of the prior deception and even perjury sitting in a hearing on the latest account from our leaders. Now, these same politicians are speaking openly about seizing every single telephone call. Rather than denying the program, they now refer to it as a harmless “lock box,” the way that Al Gore once referred to the social security accounts. What was particularly interesting is the statement of General Keith Alexander, the director of the National Security Agency, that disclosures by Edward Snowden “will change how we operate”. Indeed, in light of the Snowden disclosures, Alexander has stopped the prior denials of the Administration and is now speaking of “reforms.” That is precisely why most people view Snowden as a whistleblower despite the demands of the President and members of Congress that he be tracked down and put away for good. Even more interesting is the appearance of James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, who previously acknowledged perjury before the Senate. Rather than raise the perjury or demand his prosecution, Senators engaged in friendly exchanges with Clapper as if nothing had happened. This is clearly under the belief that the public has a remarkably short attention span and the media will follow the lead of the White House. Indeed, reporters for the most part did not even mention that Clapper is thought by many to be an unprosecuted felon due to his prior testimony or that his last major testimony on this very subject was to deny such programs. There was not even laughter when Clapper said that he was working to find ways to “counter the popular narrative” of any dangers in this surveillance. That “popular narrative” of course also includes his prior false testimony.

While Democratic senator Ron Wyden and Democrat Mark Udall continue to fight for civil liberties against such surveillance, their colleagues have continued to work with the White House to recast the scandal in a less threatening light — thus the adoption of such reassuring terms like “lock boxes.” Alexander told the Committee “I believe it is in the nation’s best interest to put all the phone records into a lockbox – yes.”

While acknowledging that Snowden forced reforms, both Clapper and Alexander denounced him to the obvious support of Senators like Dianne Feinstein who were embarrassed by the disclosures.

Clapper admitted (in contradiction to the President’s past comments) that violations have occurred in these programs and that “on occasion, we’ve made mistakes, some quite significant.” This appears to refer to the unlawful surveillance and not his admitted false testimony.

As expected, Feinstein and others are suggesting procedures as “reforms” that would still allow virtually limitless surveillance. It is part of the new spin from the White House of creating a facade of new procedures (largely under the control of the Administration) while continuing the programs and protecting people like Clapper.

Feinstein said her bill would indeed preserve the program of collecting and storing phone records of all Americans while joining in the criticism the media and Snowden. She did not of course vent any criticism for the man in front of her who lied under oath or the officials responsible for limitless seizures of telephone records. After hiding the programs and misleading the public, she now assures the public that they are entirely lawful and nothing to worry about.

It was a hearing completely detached from the public and from the constitutional questions raised by these programs. The problem is Snowden, the media, and even the public — not the governing elite in America’s Animal Farm.

Source: NSA

54 thoughts on “Change The Narrative: Clapper Returns To The Senate And Is Joined By Senators In Denouncing The Media and Snowden”

  1. Greetings! I’ve been reading your blog for a long time now and
    finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a
    shout out from Porter Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the great job!

  2. They really are dispicable

    “At a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Thursday, General Alexander was asked if the agency ever collected or planned to collect bulk records about Americans’ locations based on cellphone tower data. He replied that it was not doing so as part of the call log program authorized by the Patriot Act, but said a fuller response would be classified. ”

    So now it is revealed that since 2010,
    “The agency was authorized to conduct “large-scale graph analysis on very large sets of communications metadata without having to check foreignness” of every e-mail address, phone number or other identifier, the document said. Because of concerns about infringing on the privacy of American citizens, the computer analysis of such data had previously been permitted only for foreigners.

    The agency can augment the communications data with material from public, commercial and other sources, including bank codes, insurance information, Facebook profiles, passenger manifests, voter registration rolls and GPS location information, as well as property records and unspecified tax data, according to the documents. They do not indicate any restrictions on the use of such “enrichment” data, and several former senior Obama administration officials said the agency drew on it for both Americans and foreigners. ”


    Total surveillance of essentially all US citizens – and not just the non-“all men created equal” subspecies who are not US citizens.
    All of that is justifed by a court ruling that people who dialled telephone numbers could have “no expectaion of privacy.”
    That’s an insane assertion.
    Judge = brain-damaged imbicile.

  3. Why do guys who are going bald shave their heads? That governor of Florida did the same. Maybe it is an indication of a liar.

    1) Liar
    2) Bare-faced liar
    2.a) Notoriously Sophistical Answers (NSA)

    There might also be something of denial in the practice. “I’m not going bald. I just shave like this”.

  4. Gene,

    In Nazi Germany they only had one minister of propaganda….. Today, we have many minions…..

    When is a lie not a lie…. When is a lie the truth…. When is the truth the truth….

    I’ll have to watch person of interest and see what else Root has to say…..

  5. Why do guys who are going bald shave their heads? That governor of Florida did the same. Maybe it is an indication of a liar.

  6. I wouldn’t think twice about it, I’d lawyer up & go public in the biggest way I could.

    You would get just one single shot at it, so you would have to do it really, really well. Then you would effectively disappear – for a long time – even before a trial that might go on for a long time.
    If Levison opened his mouth, he would be dragged off in handcuffs. It’s not just(?) a matter of contempt of a court order.
    It’s National Security – Exposing Secret Methods – Aiding the Enemies of Our Nation – etc.

    You don’t get to talk to anyone but your lawyer about it. Your lawyer won’t get to to talk to anyone else about it – not unless they want to join you.
    This is what happened to Barret Brown. There’s a gag order.

    Barret Brown? Who he?
    “facing a 45-year sentence under one indictment that alleges he shared a link to illegally obtained, hacked information. In contrast, the individual actually found guilty of hacking the data is serving a sentence of ten years.”
    aka – What he did in linking the information was not actually very significant. He just had a history of annoying the wrong people. He was a “non-conformist outlook” with somewhat of a profile.

    A question:
    “Levison said on “Democracy Now!,” on August 13, “There’s information that I can’t even share with my lawyer,”
    Can anyone with legal knowledge comment? Is it possible to bar someone from sharing ‘something’ with their lawyer? Perhaps Levison meant that *he* had ‘methods’ that were better not shared with anyone lest a third party might stumble across sort of ‘unwittingly’.

  7. Darren,

    I wish we had Instant Runoff Voting (IRV), which would encourage people to vote for their true choice rather than fear their vote wouldn’t count, as it is in our current election system. People are rightly concerned that voting for a “third-party candidate” could throw the election the “wrong” way, as happened when votes for Ralph Nader tipped the election to the Republicans. (I don’t blame Ralph at all for this — it’s our cockamamie election system, which is highly UN-democratic, by the way.) But I don’t have any hopes that we will ever get IRV because the Republicans and Democrats would not want to cede any power. Hell, they won’t even let candidates onto the debate platform if they fear the candidate might show them up.

    In so many ways, there’s not a dime’s bit of difference between many mainstream Democrats and Republicans. It’s all about power, privilege, and status quo, and sucking up to the corporate powers that pay for their elections and perks, and a high-paying job as a lobbyist that awaits upon exiting their “public servant” job. Although there remain some good actors (Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont comes to mind), there aren’t enough of them to effectively buck the system.

    Yes, I’ve thought about leaving. But I also think I should stay and try to fight for a better America.

    Thanks for your comment. I always like reading your posts.

  8. Mabel

    One way of getting out of this mess is to vote out every incumbent in office and try over the years to form a true opposition party that has a chance of winning. Then over two election cycles the old guard is out, hopefully some more altrustic politicians will be available for the choosing (if there is such a thing)

    The other thing is to stop the “Yes but” approach to supporting politicians/parties. viz “Yes my party spies on americans and shreads the constitution, but they support the razor clam industry”. Hold them accountable for everything they do.

    Next is to get the new congress to form a term limitation amendment to the US constitution for congress.

    Then for fun reinstate Glass Stiegel act and some true campaign finance reform.

    If this doesn’t work, if you can, try to become a citizen of another country and get out while you can.

  9. Thanks for calling the highly spun words of the power elites what it is, our Animal Farm. Did George Orwell see this coming? Or was he just conversant with human nature and the history of mankind?

    This is so scary, depressing, and enervating! How do we get out of this mess????? The elites have the money, the connections, and can steal the vote. But how can their consciences not needle them? Are they really all sociopaths?

  10. With Congress and our current President the notion of Liberty is an inconvenience at least and at most a threat.

  11. Diane Feinstein needs to retire. She is 80 years old and older than me. Too old by the looks of things she is saying and believing.

  12. **In fact, Levison said on “Democracy Now!,” on August 13, “There’s information that I can’t even share with my lawyer, let alone with the American public. So if we’re talking about secrecy, you know, it’s really been taken to the extreme. And I think it’s really being used by the current administration to cover up tactics that they may be ashamed of.” **


    I wouldn’t think twice about it, I’d lawyer up & go public in the biggest way I could.

    This American hatin trash that’s gained some control in some quarters are flanked in every front & are going down.

    The Clintons/Bushs/Obamantions, they are done!

  13. ST, Thank you for that update on Lavabit. We have multiple people who need to be in safe houses from our own government.

    It is truly frightening and despicable.

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