Fifty-three weeks ago today, seven Republican members of Congress called upon Attorney General Eric Holder to launch an investigation of Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. for lying to Congress. Instead of launching such an investigation, it appears Holder will depart the office without having given as much as two seconds of thought to their request.
The letter began with a recap of the sequence of events that occurred March 12 when Clapper was asked by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) if the National Security Agency collects any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans and Clapper responded with, “No,sir.”
Further into the letter, the representatives — Reps. Darrell Issa (Calif.), James Sensenbrenner Jr. (Wisc.), Trent Franks (Ariz.), Blake Farenthold (Texas), Trey Gowdy (S.C.), Raúl Labrador (Idaho) and Ted Poe (Texas) — said Clapper “was asked a question and he was obligated to answer truthfully. He could have declined to answer. He could have offered to answer in a classified setting. He could have corrected himself immediately following the hearing. He did none of these things despite advance warning that the question was coming.
“The country’s interests are best served when its leaders deal truthfully with its citizens,” the letter continued. “The mutual sense of good faith it fosters permits compromise and concessions in those cases that warrant it. Director Clapper’s willful lie under oath fuels the unhealthy cynicism and distrust that citizens feel toward their government and undermines Congress’s ability to perform its Constitutional function.”
At the end of the letter, the representatives set Jan. 10, 2014, as the date by which they requested a response from Holder to the matter they described as being of “the highest priority.”
I find it humorous that members of Congress demanded an investigation of Clapper only months after the release of my second nonfiction book, The Clapper Memo, which, coincidentally, is based on my own exhaustive four-year investigation of a scandal in which Clapper, as the nation’s top intelligence official, continues to play a major role.
One retired Navy SEAL training program commander read the book and described my findings as representing “an unconscionable cover-up.” Others shared similar sentiments about the book.
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