June 19, 2013

"The director of national intelligence, in March, did directly lie to Congress, which is against the law."

"[James Clapper] said they were not collecting any data on American citizens, and it turns out they're collecting millions of data on phone calls every day."

Rand Paul. Video at the link.

75 comments:

rhhardin said...

But it's not a lie, was not intended to deceive as Congress knew the answer.

Robert Cook said...

Let's see if he's formally charged with perjury.

I will be astonished if he is.

Brennan said...

The chances of the Senate bringing charges against Clapper are zero. The Congress is a lapdog for the Executive branch.

viator said...

So what's the big deal? We are drowning in lies. Lies are the contemporary lingua franca. People prefer lies over the truth much as they prefer sweet cocktails over cod liver oil. Almost every politician in Washington routinely lies. It is not difficult to find recordings of most of them making two diametrically opposite statements about some topic. Public figures who don't lie are characterized as knaves and fools.

As we move through this miasma of lies we are unable to discern if it is warmer or cooler, whether government is the disease or the cure, whether debt is good or bad,
whether the political economy is improving are declining.

I expect lies, as charming and palatable as they are, have a definite shelf life.

Bob Ellison said...

Rand Paul's sunglasses are doing a great job. He's an ophthalmologist, so it stands to reason.

bagoh20 said...

But, he was laying down the most obvious tell you could ever ask for, so is it really lying, or just saying words that aren't true? The words were lies, but the delivery was open and honest.

damikesc said...

Let's see if he's formally charged with perjury.

I will be astonished if he is.


That is sadly true. He undeniably lied under oath and he won't get a damned thing done to him.

We are not a nation of laws.

bagoh20 said...

"We are not a nation of laws"

One of my first comments ever on this blog was similar to that, and over the years since, it's just become more true. Seeing what people at the IRS can do, and what they will inevitably get away with as well as this administration's incredible ability to openly lie seemingly knowing there will be no consequences makes the idea of a "nation of laws" seem childishly naive.

Icepick said...

The chances of the Senate bringing charges against Clapper are zero. The Congress is a lapdog for the Executive branch.

No shit! The Executive Branch has been collecting all the dirt on them for years now. They don't dare do their jobs now.

...

I'd also like to point out that if the government has access to all your records, they can also manufacture crimes against people. For example, they could hack into a system and download child porn on to the computers. Or put together a series of financial transactions linking someone to a terrorist group.

The way they can go about manipulating people now is both subtle and extreme. And after everything else about this Administration, there's no reason to suppose they aren't doing this.

Icepick said...

Lies are the contemporary lingua franca. People prefer lies over the truth much as they prefer sweet cocktails over cod liver oil.

Homer Simpson: Now, what do you have to wash that awful taste out of my mouth?

Khlav Kalesh Guy: Mountain Dew or Crab Juice.

Homer Simpson: Blecch! Ew! Sheesh! I'll take a crab juice.

gerry said...

I expect lies, as charming and palatable as they are, have a definite shelf life.

Postmodernism is all lies. Morality is what one wants it to be. Truth is unknowable because every individual perceives things differently. Truth is perception, in other words, and not fact.

Progressivism originally relied upon positivism to anchor its rationales, but Progressivism's unintended (and intended) consequences eventually required postmodernism to hide Progressivism's maimed, deprived, impoverished, and murdered victims.

Only when the bodies are piled high enough do the lies begin to be noticed.

Yes, lies have a shelf life.

bagoh20 said...

Example #2,294,598

See if this makes you proud of your "nation of laws."

madAsHell said...

When do we start marching these people off to jail??

I can't believe Lois "I'll-take-the-5th" Lerner isn't behind bars.....and what about Jon "I-lost-a-billion" Corzine?
He should be in the same field with Jimmy Hoffa!!

Larry J said...

Eric Holder has the most important job in the Obama administration. He's the legal roadblock. Being totally corrupt, he will not order the investigation or prosecution of anyone on Team Obama no matter how blatant their actions. There will be no special prosecutors. There will be no investigation or prosecution of any kind so long as he holds the office.

I used to wonder if he had some special dirt on Obama but now realize that Holder can do anything without risk. He's the roadblock. And nothing will change until a Republican wins the presidency and puts in someone who isn't corrupt as AG. That's the Chicago Way.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Laws are for the little people. Certainly not for those in power.

ndspinelli said...

"It depends on what your definition of "is" is."

Icepick said...

madAShell wrote: When do we start marching these people off to jail??

[W]hat about Jon "I-lost-a-billion" Corzine?
He should be in the same field with Jimmy Hoffa!!


That would only happen in Wall Street financiers were as honorable as mobsters.

edutcher said...

Well, we impeached Willie for it.

I think we could do the same here.

Brennan said...

The chances of the Senate bringing charges against Clapper are zero. The Congress is a lapdog for the Executive branch.

We can change that next November.

If all the whiners and crybabies get off their asses.

Robert Cook said...

"So what's the big deal? We are drowning in lies. Lies are the contemporary lingua franca."

That's the big deal.

Of course we know our elected representatives (and corporate spokespersons and CEOs, etc., etc.) lie to us all the time...but they're usually not under oath and they're usually not caught in their lies so unambiguously. Usually, their rhetoric is oblique or legalistic enough that if caught in an apparent untruth, they slither away claiming they "misspoke" or some such thing.

Clapper lied under oath to Congress, definitively, unambiguously.

If he is not charged with perjury there can be no denying our government is unmoored entirely from the rule of law. (That Bush and his confederates were not charged with torture already shows that--heck, that they tortured shows that--but some refuse to believe we did torture, so it's not as conclusive as Clapper's assertive lie.)

Simon said...

Of course he lied. He was point-blank asked a question that he should not have been asked, and his choices were either (1) lie, or (2) reveal the existence of the program. NPR covered this a few days ago, and their advice was pathetic: "He could have just refused to answer." Of course he couldn't. Any answer other than "no we don't," including silence, would have been interpreted to mean "yes we do."

Simon said...

Robert Cook said...
"Clapper lied under oath to Congress, definitively, unambiguously. If he is not charged with perjury there can be no denying our government is unmoored entirely from the rule of law."

The President must preemptively pardon him. The President put Clapper in this position; he must have his back. If there's any scandal at all in Benghazi, or in the events depicted in "Argo," it's that America must have the backs of those she puts in harm's way, and a President fails when he fails to back up his people.

Icepick said...

If all the whiners and crybabies get off their asses.

So what if they do? I've been voting, and you know what it's got me? Rick Scott, Marco Rubio, and Corrine Brown. The difference in the three of them is that Corrine Brown basically does what she says she'll do, which is vote straight party line (D). Rubio is the only one I voted for.

I have to correct an earlier statement: There are actually TWO people currently in office that I have voted for: Rubio and Congressman Dan Webster (R). But Rubio is a joke, I knew he was a joke when I voted for him (it was him, Charlie Crist or some rich Dem from California trying to buy the Florida Senate seat), and I was only able to vote for Webster the one time, as I'm now in a different district. And mostly I voted for Webster because it was a vote against Alan Grayson. Of course, two ears later that bloated gasbag got back in via another district.

So all my votes have gotten me at any level is a Senator who may as well be in the other party, and a back-bencher who may or may not be someone I would support, except that he's got Boehner's back. And that can't be judged a win for someone that believes in a small government that bends the knee to the will of the people.

Simon said...

Icepick said...
"So all my votes have gotten me at any level is a Senator who may as well be in the other party, and a back-bencher…. And that can't be judged a win for someone that believes in a small government that bends the knee to the will of the people."

Even a small government bound to bend its knee to "the will of the people" bends its knee to the will of the majority, not to any one person. Even if we had the government of your dreams, you might find—and if not you then plenty of other people—yourself saying "I'm not happy with what I got for my vote!"

Icepick said...

Even a small government bound to bend its knee to "the will of the people" bends its knee to the will of the majority, not to any one person. Even if we had the government of your dreams, you might find—and if not you then plenty of other people—yourself saying "I'm not happy with what I got for my vote!"

What a load of tripe. There's a difference between having decisions one isn't happy with and having the country completely transformed into something else. We're not talking about a problem with a highway bill, or even something on the level of Smoot-Hawley. We're talking about a government that is completely abusive of its power for the sole benefit of the man in charge of the executive. We're talking about a Congress that is looking to completely remake the make-up of the citizenry when they have AT BEST the support of 51% of the people, and that support is heavily qualified in a way to make the preferred Congressional legislation moot. We're talking about a Supreme Court who actively and vocally doesn't like that actual Constitution we have.

This is more than the typical factional rivalries and issues du juor. The nation is being turned into something completely different, right down to the make-up of the citizenry.

cubanbob said...

Of course he lied. He was point-blank asked a question that he should not have been asked, and his choices were either (1) lie, or (2) reveal the existence of the program. NPR covered this a few days ago, and their advice was pathetic: "He could have just refused to answer." Of course he couldn't. Any answer other than "no we don't," including silence, would have been interpreted to mean "yes we do.""

Bullshit on stilts. Clapper could have told congress that they already knew the answer but if they want more details he would be happy to do so in a closed hearing.

Ed BJ Clinton was not only impeached but convicted of perjury by a Federal judge. And disbarred as well.

RC I really don't give a shit if Bush or Obama torture s Jihadi's as long as its done abroad. When AQ dons uniforms and joins the Geneva Convention then I might give a shit.

bpm4532 said...

He didn't just lie to Congress. They're merely our representatives.

He lied to us.

bpm4532 said...

When our government keeps "secrets" that are really suspected to be common knowledge, it makes a mockery of the process.

Aridog said...

I regret to say I am in agreement with Bagoh20's opinion about our laws, as well as Icepick's outline of manipulative scenarios.

I have said several times here and elsewhere that one of main the reasons I retired early was due to all the lies and lying expected of Military and Feds. It began way back in 1970 when I was first in uniform and continued for 35 years...until I just got sick of it all.

Can you be "set up" ala' Icepick's scenario...you bet you pretty backside you can? Bagoh20's example of whistle-blower harassment is de rigueur ...and the biggest reason you must keep you name and identity out of those you accuse hands. It is very hard to do...even just finding officials to not betray you...but it can be done.

It is honorably naive to think that because you stand up for something right, you won't get your throat slit. You will if they find out which throat.

Simon said...

cubanbob said...
Bullshit on stilts. Clapper could have told congress that they already knew the answer but if they want more details he would be happy to do so in a closed hearing.

And that would immediately and readily have been understood by everyone on the planet as shorthand for “yes, we do.” Everyone would have gotten the message loud and clear.

Icepick said...
There's a difference between having decisions one isn't happy with and having the country completely transformed into something else.

Quite so, but either way, what I said stands.

We're talking about a government that is completely abusive of its power for the sole benefit of the man in charge of the executive.

“Completely” is nothing more than hyperbole; the claim rests upon the assumption that the White House directed the IRS scandal and extrapolates thence.

We're talking about a Supreme Court who actively and vocally doesn't like that actual Constitution we have.
Nonsense. There are four justices to whom this description applies, one who is too dim to understand what the insult means, and four who are faithful to that meaning. Your pique with the latter group is simply that you don’t like what the Constitution says on certain topics. Thus, just this week, we saw those who want a more active enforcement of citizenship at the polls were “active[ ] and vocal[ ] in their condemnation of a Supreme Court decision that faithfully and correctly applied “that actual Constitution we have.” They would have preferred a different Constitution, one without Article I section four. And in the last few weeks, we have seen that the civil libertarians “actively and vocally do[n’t] like that actual Constitution [that] we have.” They would prefer a different Constitution, one in which the Fourth Amendment regulates what government can do with data rather than how government may obtain data. And when the courts turn them away, they will bitch and whine about judicial activism and how the judges “don’t like the Constitution that we have,” even though it’s actually they themselves who don’t like the Constitution because it doesn't go far enough for them.

Methadras said...

So is there going to a formal indictment of perjury against clapper? My money says no. Scooter Libby was not available for comment. Armatidge is somewhere fishing.

Aridog said...

Simon said ...

And that would immediately and readily have been understood by everyone on the planet as shorthand for “yes, we do.” Everyone would have gotten the message loud and clear.

And how would that have been a bad thing?

He had that effect anyway with his "wittingly" remark...e.g., "yes, we do."

Icepick said...

I regret to say I am in agreement with Bagoh20's opinion about our laws, as well as Icepick's outline of manipulative scenarios.

If it makes you feel any better, and it won't, I also regret agreeing with my position.

Nonapod said...

Simon said... “Completely” is nothing more than hyperbole; the claim rests upon the assumption that the White House directed the IRS scandal and extrapolates thence.

Well, not just that assumption alone that may lead one to the "hyperbolic" conclusion that this administration is completely abusive of its power. There are also several other scandals roiling around this administration (Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the AP news phone records thing, the James Rosen thing, the Pigford scandal, and several others). Even though many of these may not yet be directly be tied to Obama, there's that old saying "Where there's smoke there's fire". I'm not so certain you can easily dismiss all of this stuff without concluding that either this administration is somewhat incompetent and/or contemptuous and/or corrupt to a certain extent.

Icepick said...

Bagoh20's example of whistle-blower harassment is de rigueur

How bad are things getting in America? Two people have now used French phrases in this comment thread!

Matthew Sablan said...

Here's a thing to remember about "There was no way to answer the question without letting people know, so he had to lie," angle.

He had the question in advance. He could have called up the Senator and explained the situation, requested he not ask it in open session, and that they could address it privately.

He had an option to not lie, he fumbled.

Icepick said...

“Completely” is nothing more than hyperbole; the claim rests upon the assumption that the White House directed the IRS scandal and extrapolates thence.

Sure, the IRS just decided to do all of this on its own, with no direction at all. I mean, when hasn't the IRS gone after the opponents of the President on a systematic basis before a re-election campaign?

Simon said...

Aridog said...
"And how would that have been a bad thing?"

Even if we stipulate arguendo that it was a good thing that the program was revealed, Clapper is obliged, morally and legally, to keep state secrets. Wyden knew about the program, and he chose to ask an impossible question in the context of a public hearing. What the idiot Wyden did was place Clapper in a trap: The question having been asked, Clapper was obliged to violate either 18 USC § 1621 or 18 USC § 798(a). I find it unfathomable that we are supposed to regard Clapper, rather than Wyden, as the villain of that hearing; Si Caesar viveret, ad remum catenetur.

"He had that effect anyway with his 'wittingly' remark...."

No he didn't. No reasonable person would have—or, for that matter, in fact did—infer the programs of which we are now aware from Clapper's remark. They might have wondered what that remark implied, but the dots are too far apart to join them up without the information that has been subsequently revealed.

Simon said...

Icepick said...
"Sure, the IRS just decided to do all of this on its own, with no direction at all.?"

Since you have yet to tie the IRS' conduct to the IRS Oberkommando itself, going further up the chain is pure speculation. By contrast, given what George Will has unearthed, there are some pretty serious reasons to believe that Lois Lerner directed the campaign.

Speculation based on pure partisan hostility was intolerable when it was the left directing it at Bush; it's all the more galling when members of my own party indulge in it, because then you idiots are making me look bad. If a student who doesn't know me should see me in a GOP t-shirt, do you think they're thinking, gee, there's a guy who appreciates Burke and Rossiter," or do you think they think "that Glen Beck-listening arsehole racist"?

Larry J said...

Simon said...
Of course he lied. He was point-blank asked a question that he should not have been asked, and his choices were either (1) lie, or (2) reveal the existence of the program. NPR covered this a few days ago, and their advice was pathetic: "He could have just refused to answer." Of course he couldn't. Any answer other than "no we don't," including silence, would have been interpreted to mean "yes we do."


Bullshit. He could've said that he couldn't answer the question in an open forum but will gladly answer the question behind closed doors. They give classified testimony behind closed doors all the time. He had no excuse for lying.

Bob Ellison said...

Matthew Sablan said "He had the question in advance. He could have called up the Senator and explained the situation, requested he not ask it in open session, and that they could address it privately."

That is the problem. Our government is supposed to be honest and somewhat (at least) transparent. Clapper betrayed us.

I don't want to have to call the government every time I suspect they're doing wrong. That's not how it's supposed to work.

Bob Ellison said...

And Larry J is correct: lying is lying is lying.

Matthew Sablan said...

Simon: Clapper had opportunities to avoid lying. He chose not to. There's no weasel-y out; if you honestly forget something, that can sometimes be enough. He lied. Under oath.

That's wrong and a crime. He could have simply done what loads of other members of the administration had done and used obvious lies that couldn't be proven ("I don't know for certain at this moment." / "I can ask the correct people for you ... no, I don't know who those people are.")

Instead, he chose to lie openly to Congress. Consequences: They exist.

Simon said...

Matthew Sablan said...
"He had the question in advance. He could have called up the Senator and explained the situation, requested he not ask it in open session, and that they could address it privately."

And your basis for asserting, implicitly, that he did not do so is...?

Wyden was determined to bring this program to light. He knew about the program, he had made a string of public hints about it and his unhappiness with it, and he deliberately raised the question in a public forum. The idea that a polite phone call would have mollified him is absurd.

Matthew Sablan said...

Simon: Then Clapper could -still- have answered in other ways as required to not commit perjury. The fact is, he did. As far as I know, there's no "good intentioned get out perjury free" card.

Methadras said...

bagoh20 said...

But, he was laying down the most obvious tell you could ever ask for, so is it really lying, or just saying words that aren't true? The words were lies, but the delivery was open and honest.


Being honest about your lying doesn't make a honest man truthful.

Matthew Sablan said...

"And your basis for asserting, implicitly, that he did not do so is...?"

-- Well, because I'm sure we would have heard about it if he had? It's an obvious defense, and he's made no other defense than: "Well, it was the least untruthful thing I could say" or some B.S. like that. As far as I can tell, he may or may not have bothered to do his homework and read the questions, then when under oath, lied.

That's fairly straight forward. Sort of like Lerner saying she didn't know much about the program, despite signing off on several of the IRS letters. It's patently false, it just matters whether Congress will do anything about being lied to.

Simon said...

Matthew Sablan said...
That's wrong and a crime.
And answering the question would also have been a crime, as I’ve already pointed out. The maximum term of imprisonment for perjury is five years; the maximum term of imprisonment for disclosing classified information concerning the communications intelligence activities of the United States is ten years. You can either lie to a body of government that is less trusted and more hated than any government body in this country’s history and risk a half-decade in jail, or you can betray your country and risk a decade in jail. What would you do?

Matthew Sablan said...

Also, if Wyden wanted to bring the program to light, he could have just leaked it. Lord knows Congress leaks like a leaky thing.

Matthew Sablan said...

"What would you do?"

Answer: "I can't answer that at this time."

Sure, you may or may not have tipped your hand that the program exists. But, let's be honest: Everyone knew something like Prism existed, the devil was in the details, which Snowden was more than happy to tell us all about.

Simon said...

Matthew Sablan said...
"[My basis for asserting that Clapper didn't privately ask Wyden not to raise the question is that] I'm sure we would have heard about it if he had[.]"

That is a crummy basis. What in the world makes you think that? You think that Wyden would mention that? He was determined to expose the program. And why would Clapper disclose it? What good would that do him?

Matthew Sablan said...

Simon: Well, it would be a better defense than "I lied, deal." I'm sorry that I'm not going to conjure up a bunch of reasons why it is OK to lie under oath, especially when you've got ways to not do it.

Simon said...

Matthew Sablan said...
"[What would I have done? Answered] 'I can't answer that at this time.'"

Which would have been construed, by everyone on the planet, as "yes." Other than a flat "no," there is no answer that Clapper could give—none at all—that would not have been construed as "yes," It was the only answer he could give, and Wyden should be ashamed for forcing him to do so. (Which, given his record in the Senate, is barely even a new low for him.)

Nonapod said...

I'm certainly not holding my breath that Clapper will be charged with anything. I mean, we haven't prosecuted our wonderful Attorney General when it's likely he's perjured himself twice:

1) When he told Congress he had never been associated with "potential prosecution" of a journalist for perjury when in fact he signed the affidavit that termed James Rosen a potential criminal.

2) Holder told Congress in May 2011 that he had just recently heard about the Fast and Furious gun walking scheme when there is evidence he may have known much earlier.

Simon said...

Larry J said...
"Bullshit. He could've said that he couldn't answer the question in an open forum but will gladly answer the question behind closed doors. They give classified testimony behind closed doors all the time."

Nope. "I can't answer that question in open forum" means "yes." It would have been all over the media for days.

Matthew Sablan said...

So what if everyone would have assumed the program existed? Here's not a subtle news flash: Everyone assumed it existed already. In fact, only the specific details of the program are news (and even some of them, I'm skeptical of, given Snowden's, let's say, flexibility with the truth.)

If the choice is for me to murder a woman today or for her to be hit by a car tomorrow, it isn't less wrong for me to take action and do a bad thing since "Hey, end result, dead woman."

Calypso Facto said...

The question having been asked, Clapper was obliged to violate either 18 USC § 1621 or 18 USC § 798(a).

Clapper testifying that he could not answer the question posed directly in a public forum is not a violation of either, no matter how much you stamp your feet and assume what conclusions others might draw.

In fact, of the options, no-yes-I cant say, "I can't say" would be the only option he had that did NOT violate one of the two statutes. He willingly chose to violate the first by lying under oath and should be charged. Then we can discuss whether or not justice demands he should be pardoned.

Nonapod said...

Simon said... Which would have been construed, by everyone on the planet, as "yes." Other than a flat "no," there is no answer that Clapper could give—none at all—that would not have been construed as "yes,"

So what? I don't understand how it would've mattered. Do you think there would've been some big outcry about that? It's not like people didn't suspect anyway.

Aridog said...

Simon....the dots were not to far apart for anyone who spent much time in the military or as a Fed, both of which I did.

**Inadvertently [or unwittingly] did it** are frequent excuses for fuck ups. Clapper was a pathetic ass and arrogantly unprepared for questions he knew in advance.

Wyden was correct in asking a question he already knew the answer to....Clapper was a dumb ass for answering it at all. Damn, he nearly drooled on himself doing so.

Matthew Sablan said...

You didn't even need to be in government or intelligence; you just had to know the PATRIOT Act existed and what the government tends to do with power.

Robert Cook said...

"RC I really don't give a shit if Bush or Obama torture s Jihadi's as long as its done abroad. When AQ dons uniforms and joins the Geneva Convention then I might give a shit."

Torture is a crime. Full stop. It doesn't matter who does it, where it's done, or who it's done to. The perpetrators of torture are criminals.

Moreover, those willing to order and inflict torture reveal their own wretched, perverted character. If our leaders order torture to be inflicted abroad and those tasked with inflicting it follow their orders, there's no reason to believe they wouldn't do it to Americans here at home...if that's your only objection. (If that IS your only objection, then you're base and wretched, as well.)

Simon said...

Calypso Facto said...
"Then we can discuss whether or not justice demands he should be pardoned."

Of course it does. Obama put him in that position, Obama has a responsibility to look after him.

Matthew Sablan said...
"So what if everyone would have assumed the program existed? Here's not a subtle news flash: Everyone assumed it existed already."

Nope. The outcry that followed its disclosure disproves that. When people's suspicions are confirmed, their reaction does not look like what we saw. What we saw looks like what happens when people learn new information. A vague, cynical notion about it, of the kind exploited for dramatic purposes in the "Simpsons" movie, is not the same thing.

Aridog said...
"Simon....the dots were not to far apart for anyone who spent much time in the military or as a Fed, both of which I did."

Sure, and you will now cite numerous comments that you left after Clapper's testimony but before Greenwald's article that connect those dots, right? You must have such public, timestamped comments, because surely you're not asking us to just take your word for it that you connected the dots yet said nothing until Greenwald's article came out, right?

Matthew Sablan said...

The outcry is over Snowden's specifics ("They can watch you type your Emails! I could tap everyone, even the PRESIDENT!") The general idea: "The government is always watching" has always been creepy to people; it probably has gotten worse since the IRS scandal.

Larry J said...



Simon said...
Larry J said...
"Bullshit. He could've said that he couldn't answer the question in an open forum but will gladly answer the question behind closed doors. They give classified testimony behind closed doors all the time."

Nope. "I can't answer that question in open forum" means "yes." It would have been all over the media for days.


Wrong. They say that all the time when a sensitive or classified issue comes up. He could've phrased it differently and avoided lying altogether.

Simon said...

Larry, he was asked, point-blank, “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” If you seriously believe that any answer short of a flat denial would not have been understood as an implicit "yes," then you're too stupid to be worth debating this with, and if you aren't serious, you're too mendacious to be worth debating this with. Either way, I'm done with you.

Crimso said...

"The question having been asked, Clapper was obliged to violate either 18 USC § 1621 or 18 USC § 798(a)."

Isn't that 5th Amendment territory?

Simon said...

Crimso, a few problems with that. First, he wasn't asked to be a witness against himself, he was put in a morton's fork where either answer would be a crime.

Second, even if it were otherwise, taking the fifth is tantamount to a confession of guilt. The courts can insist that it isn't all they like (cf. Griffin v. California, 380 U. S. 609 (1965)), and the trial judge can exhort the jury that taking the fifth isn't a confession of guilt until he is blue in the face, but the absolute fact is that every normal American understands full well that when a person invokes their right to not incriminate themselves, they are doing so because their answer would incriminate them. Remember when Lois Lerner took the fifth? Remember how everyone received that?

And again, taking the fifth would be taken as absolutely confirmation that the answer to Wyden's question is yes.

Nonapod said...

I can't remember, did this congressional hearing occur before or after the IRS scandal broke open? In this hypothetical situation where he refuses to answer the question and thereby effectively tacitly admits an affirmative, I find it difficult to equate to the likely level of outrage to the real outrage that occurred after the Snowden leaks. In former situation, you have an effective admission of the existence of some kind of program or programs that collects data on Americans in a vague sense, in the latter situation you have a specific and detailed outline of programs the scope and depth of which is unprecedented. One is "The government has some data on citizens." while the other is "The government has access to virtually every email, text message, phone record, and Facebook post everywhere at anytime."

Aridog said...

Simon...I am not about to run out a list of comments before or after Greenwald or Clapper. I have several times over the past couple years or more said lying was a major issue in government...you are expected to lie and you have made that clear for Clappers case.

If you think my military and Fed time didn't give me dot connection capability then you live in a nice world of unicorns and sparkle ponies.

What you miss is that I didn't give a shit then and I don't now...there is nothing I can do about it, above my pay grade, etc...that seems to work for others, eh? I quit when I reached my limit. Period. It is and that is it...and it will continue to be when the dust settles.

PS: Yes, the right admin person really has been able to real emails as they're written ... going back to at least 1995 and prior according to one commenter here a while ago.

Simon said...

Aridog said...
"Simon...I am not about to run out a list of comments before or after Greenwald or Clapper. "

Fancy that. It turns out that are asking us to just take your word for it that you connected the dots yet said nothing until Greenwald's article came out. How convenient.

Aridog said...

Simon said...

Fancy that. It turns out that are asking us to just take your word for it that you connected the dots yet said nothing until Greenwald's article came out.

That's not what I said, nor what I ask. You keep tying it to Greenwald, when I said government in general lies, historically, and Clapper is just a good clumsy idiot example. So is Holder, So is Hillary. So is Steve Miller. So is Douglas Shulman. So is Lois Lerner. So is Susan Rice...a surprise given her intellect that she went along with the scam.

I've had to work with people like these folks, and their minions, I suspect you haven't. Your view is based upon what you've read, mine is based upon what I experienced. Correct me if I am wrong. I don't object if you don't believe me. That is your privilege.

Query the past three years of my comments here if you question what I've questioned. I am not your research rabbit for the Althouse cache.

Simon said...

Aridog said...
"That's not what I said, nor what I ask."

It is. I keep tying it to Greenwald, because that is what we're talking about. You asserted that Clapper "effect[ively]" answered "yes" to Wyden's question "with his 'wittingly' remark." I said that "[n]o reasonable person would have—or … did—infer the programs of which we are now aware from Clapper's ['wittingly'] remark," and that "the dots are too far apart to join them up without the information that has been subsequently revealed." You then asserted that "the dots were not to far apart" for you to have connected them. Thus, the question is whether were you able to connect the dots revealed by Clapper in his answer before Greenwald's answer came out. Your answer is "yes, take my word for it." I don't. And, you see, that's the difference between us. I take some flack for using footnotes outside of legal writing, but the reason that I cite as much as possible is because I think it's rude to ask people to take my word for it. If I'm going to play the "I told you so" card, I'd better have a link or citation to back it up.

Aridog said...

Simon ... what is your point? Given Wyden's question, as asked, Clapper's answer with the "wittingly" addition would mean "yes" to anyone not asleep, regardless of any other news released. Exactly what are you asking me to link to in support of that opinion?

Simon said...

Again: I said that "[n]o reasonable person would have—or … did—infer the programs of which we are now aware from Clapper's ['wittingly'] remark," and that "the dots are too far apart to join them up without the information that has been subsequently revealed."

You insisted, however, that the dots—and remember, as I've just repeated, the two dots in question are (1) Clapper's "wittingly" remark" and (2) the PRISM/metadata programs—were not too far apart, and that you connected them, which is to say (if it isn't stating the by now obvious) you asserted that, from Clapper's "wittingly" remark alone, you inferred not just vague generalities but in fact the programs of which we are now aware.

If you did, that would be a new and startling piece of information, just as it was to the general public shortly thereafter when Greenwald disclosed it. But if you're saying that you beat Greenwald to the punch, I'm saying that you'd have beaten him to the press, too. You'd have shared this revelation online. And if you didn't, you can hardly blame people for not believing you when you later assert that you worked out ahead of time what no one else did.

Aridog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aridog said...

Simon...what part of *I worked there* do you not get? What part of this data collection thing is not is old news, dating back a decade, and one of five previous whistle-blowers was indicted in in fact...and charges were dismissed, fortunately. You see the "dots" you refer to did not begin with Snowden and Prism....they date back to ThinThread, in 2002.

I am not startled in the slightest by anything revealed by Snowden, Greenwald, or Clapper. You insist you can read my mind and know what dots I see...which is amusing....you think I can only see the dots you see.

Now you insist when Wyden asked plainly do you collect data on civilians or some such, and Clapper responds "No"..then hedges with "not wittingly" that if this Prism thing had not come up no one would know Clapper was lying per se.

I assure you that anyone who was military and/or a "Fed", would know instantly. Frankly, it is the way business is done in this thing we call our government. Sorry if it is not all neatly and simply "logical" as you see it.

If Prism and Snowden had never surfaced, Clapper would still be a liar, necessarily so, and a piss poor one at that...he had a few days to calculate a better answer. So he's either arrogant or stupid...and I don't think he is stupid.