Notes From America’s Animal Farm: Clapper Now Did Not Lie But Was Confused And Shocked

Robert-Litt220px-James_R._Clapper_official_portraitThe Obama Administration continues to struggle with questions of why it has blocked any investigation, let alone prosecution, of James Clapper (right), director of National Intelligence, who previously acknowledged lying before the Senate. Not only has Clapper not been fired, but Obama has asked him to help oversee the “reforms” of the very abusive program that he helped run and then lied about to Congress. It is part of America’s Animal Farm where government officials can commit crimes with impunity while pursuing others like Snowden for arrest. Yet, the questions persist about Clapper so the Administration sent forth National Intelligence general counsel Robert Litt (left), who promptly made it far worse.

You may recall that when Clapper appeared before the Senate, he was asked directly, “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” Clapper responded, “No, sir. … Not wittingly.”

We now know that was a lie. Later, Clapper admitted to giving a false answer to Congress but explained that his testimony was “the least untruthful” statement he could make. Yet, of course, that would still make it an untrue statement — which most people call a lie and lawyers call perjury. Indeed, when Roger Clemens was prosecuted for untrue statements before Congress, he was not told of the option to tell the least untrue statement on steroid use.

Now comes Litt, who ran a letter in the New York Times that falls into the category of a newspaper giving officials enough rope to hang themselves by. He insists that “[a]s a witness to the relevant events and a participant in them, I know that allegation is not true” that Clapper lied. He insists that Clapper misunderstood the question and then could not publicly correct his mistake “because the program involved was classified.” Really? Clapper later apologized and admitted that knowingly gave the “the least untruthful” statement that he could give.

Moreover, Clapper did not respond for two days to congressional staff over his false statement as he looked for a way out of the controversy.

Litt appears entirely comfortable with doublespeak that leaves readers scratching their heads. He portrays Clapper as a victim of Congress who virtually forced boss to lie: “This incident shows the difficulty of discussing classified information in an unclassified setting and the danger of inferring a person’s state of mind from extemporaneous answers given under pressure.” There is of course always that option of either telling the truth or simply refusing to answer or asking to go into closed session. However, what Clapper clearly wanted to bat down the controversy and assure the public that these rumors were baseless about a program that we now know exists.

Litt gives an account that seems right out of Claude Rains in Casablanca: “When we pointed out Mr Clapper’s mistake to him, he was surprised and distressed.” That must have come as quite a surprise to Clapper who denied the existence of a program that he was quite familiar with before the United States Congress and the American people. If Clapper is so utterly clueless about what he says in major hearings, I am not sure how he can function as an intelligence official.

The most remarkable aspect of Litt’s defense is how it contradicts Clapper’s later apology and acknowledgment of lying. Litt likely had a role in the apology, which admitted to knowingly giving a false answer. However, Litt now says that Clapper was caught in something between a senior moment and catatonic panic. Yet, Clapper admitted later that his answer was not based in confusion but was an intentional false statement. He said it turned out to be “too cute by half.”

None of his boss’s actual admissions seems to phase Litt who constructs an entirely new narrative where Clapper never realized that he had lied and was “shocked, shocked” when people later told him what he had said. The Administration seems to be moving in reverse in the five stages of Kübler-Ross. Having tried denial, bargaining and anger. They have decided to go back to denial.

The ease shown by Litt in ignoring the actual statements of his boss is indicative of the utter contempt shown by this Administration for the intelligence of the American people. The Obama Administration seems to be continually trying various narratives to see if one would excuse its protection of Clapper in a clear violation of 18 U.S.C. 1001 as well as other criminal provisions in lying to Congress.

Given the utter failure of Litt’s effort and the Administration’s unwillingness to actually acknowledge the criminality of lying to Congress, the Obama Administration might finally embrace the simple truth that in our new system “All [people] are equal, but some [people] are more equal than others.”
animal-farm

53 thoughts on “Notes From America’s Animal Farm: Clapper Now Did Not Lie But Was Confused And Shocked”

  1. james clapper is a retired air force lieutenant general. he should be well aware of the rules/laws regarding lying under oath. he should be looking at perjury charges and possible loss of pension benefits.

    that should open the door for his new career on fox news.

  2. It would not surprise me at all were I to be told that Mr. Litt once served on Dickinson Cheney’s White House legal team under David Addington.

  3. Clapper needs to be “clapped” harshly on his buttocks.That may take the confusion out.

  4. Open Letter to Intelligence Employees After Snowden- By:
    Peter Kofod, Musician/Ex Human Shield in Iraq (Denmark)
    Thomas Andrew Drake, Whistle-blower, Former senior executive of the NSA (US)
    Daniel Ellsberg, Whistle-blower, Former US military analyst (US)
    Katharina Gun, Whistle-blower, Former GCHQ (UK)
    Jesselyn Raddack, Whistle-blower, Former DOJ (US)
    Ray McGovern, Former senior CIA-analytist (US)
    Coleen Rowley, Whistle-blower, Former FBJ (US)
    http://www.news100.se/news/open-letter-to-intelligence-employees-after-snowden-by-peter-kofod-thomas-andrew-drake-daniel-ellsberg-katharina-gun-jessel-4101363

    All is done in the name of “National Security” which has more or less become a chant to fence off debate and make sure governments aren’t held to account – that they can’t be held to account– because everything is being done in the dark; secret laws, secret interpretations of secret laws by secret courts – and no effective parliamentary oversight whatsoever.

    We are your friends – Big Brother loves you!

  5. Thanks Dredd, for that interesting viewpoint. We need more traitors (snitches) to their class!

  6. Michael Murry,

    I like that “The Misfortune Teller” gig.

    Can go with lots of variation in riffs.

    Just sayin …

  7. Mean olde Word Mess ate my reply to Jill. Will some admin be so kind as to rescue the response, which she is patiently waiting for, from the Comment Eating Beast and bring it back here to civil discorse land?

    Thanking you in advance.

  8. Clapper’s Claptrap Catches The Clap

    Clapper on the inside
    Clapper on the outside
    Clapper in the crapper smooching
    Clapper’s boss’s backside

    Clapper lying one day
    Clapper lying next day
    Clapper lying any day that
    Clapper gets a pay day

    Clapper’s cushy satrap
    Clapper spouting claptrap
    Clapper rapping pure crap till
    Clapper caught his own clap

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright 2014

  9. My protest sign for my House Rep and bothe Senators reads:
    AT LEAST THE NSA LISTENS TO US!

  10. Jill and Firefly are correct, it was a deliberate lie. He could lie and protect the existence and scope of a classified (and probably illegal) program or lie in a hearing at which he was not sworn. Of course the decision was to lie. It was his job.

    Any time Congress has a hearing of any kind and witness’ are not sworn it means that lies will be told and the Congresspeople holding the hearing know that lies will be told. It is a conspiracy, arranged or unspoken, the parties are acting in concert.

  11. Clapper was asked if he wanted to change his answer after he lied. If there going to prosecute him the time to do it is after Obama is out of office so Clapper can’t get a presidential pardon.

  12. Jill

    Here is a book which I believe describes the state of American society at this time. Although the author is writing at the beginning of Obama’s term and is thus somewhat fooled by him, she is good at explaining ideas which are helpful to understand. Here is an excerpt:

    “Defining just who the government “is” is more difficult in the US than perhaps in any other developed country. This isn’t a question of Republican versus Democrat,…Instead, the question gets at the array of actors who do much of the actual work of government…A major pillar of this structure is the shadow government..that today comprises the companies, consulting firms, nonprofits, think tanks, and other nongovernmental entities…These private actors are interdependent with government, involved in all aspects of governing…”

    from “Shadow Elite” by Janine R. Wedel

    Clapper is a member of this shadow elite. They are a group which knows how to protect its own.
    ==========================
    Indeed.

    Another book shows that they consider Whistleblowers like the mafia considers snitches.

    And that the shadow cabal has the nature of a criminal organization totally alien to what our founding Americans were (Whistleblowers According To The Early Americans – 2, quoting NPR).

  13. Wtat is CR Staheart saying? Commenters ignored it but I can’t help wondering.

  14. America has two tiers of laws.
    The first set of laws protect the political elite…
    … The seconds set of laws used to prosecute JUST-US.

    If anything demonstrates this any more than a Senate Committee shielding a liar, I don’t know what does (besides the DOJ shielding torturers and bankers).

    The Committee plays a role in this arrangement.
    Their bucks stop at their Committee desks.

  15. Here is a book which I believe describes the state of American society at this time. Although the author is writing at the beginning of Obama’s term and is thus somewhat fooled by him, she is good at explaining ideas which are helpful to understand. Here is an excerpt:

    “Defining just who the government “is” is more difficult in the US than perhaps in any other developed country. This isn’t a question of Republican versus Democrat,…Instead, the question gets at the array of actors who do much of the actual work of government…A major pillar of this structure is the shadow government..that today comprises the companies, consulting firms, nonprofits, think tanks, and other nongovernmental entities…These private actors are interdependent with government, involved in all aspects of governing…”

    from “Shadow Elite” by Janine R. Wedel

    Clapper is a member of this shadow elite. They are a group which knows how to protect its own.

  16. Liar, Liar. But when will his pants be on fire?

    We need someone on television to create a song which equates Clapper with lying. Perhaps the comedian could start yakking and the audience would Clap, Clap, Clap, each time he said an outright lie.
    Or maybe the tune and lyrics of the Armour Hot Dog Song would be appropriate to appropriate.

    [music]
    Clapper! My names Clapper!
    What kind of people get named Clapper?
    Fat kids, skinny kids, kids who lie on rocks.
    Dumb schumcks, lying schmucks, even schmucks with chicken pox…
    Are Clappers, lying Clappers!
    The schmucks, dogs LIKE To BITE!
    –end

    What do you think class?

  17. I find that most liars are “confused and shocked” when confronted with the truth. No new psychology here.

Comments are closed.