DNI (and Liar) James Clapper Resigns

Read Scott Horton's new book Fool's Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan

Here is some welcome news regarding Director of National Intelligence (and Liar) James Clapper:

The nation’s top intelligence official on Wednesday evening submitted his letter of resignation, ensuring that President-elect Donald Trump will have the option to build his own network of intel leaders.”

Quickly followed by unwelcome news:

Trump has yet to announce several national security nominations and appointments, but there is widespread speculation about multiple candidates.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chairman of the Intelligence Committee and a member of Trump’s transition team, has been floated as a possible pick to lead the CIA or replace Clapper.

Another possibility is former Rep. Pete Hoesktra (R-Mich.), who previously served on the Intelligence panel.

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, one of the president-elect’s earliest supporters, is one other name who has been floated for several national security roles in the Trump administration, though it is unclear whether he could receive confirmation by the Senate. Instead, he is reportedly at the top of Trump’s list for national security adviser, a role that does not require Senate approval.

And just in case you have forgotten:

The position was created in the years following Sept. 11, 2001, as part of a massive government shakeup to break down walls between different intelligence agencies such as the CIA and FBI.

Clapper is the fourth-ever U.S. director of National Intelligence.

He took the helm overseeing 17 intelligence agencies in 2010 and served throughout the majority of Obama’s presidency. His tenure was marked by the revelations of Edward Snowden, whose leaks about U.S. intelligence shook up the community like nothing in a generation.

Never forget this, via Techdirt:

By now, one hopes, you’ve seen this video of James Clapper lying to Senator Ron Wyden and the American public while testifying before Congress in early 2013:


Here’s the key transcript:

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. There are cases where they could, inadvertently perhaps, collect—but not wittingly.

This was a lie. Many people believed it was a lie at the time, but that was confirmed thanks to the documents leaked by Ed Snowden, who later claimed that seeing that bit of testimony helped convince him that he needed to go through with his plan to leak this information.

James Clapper, of course, is the Director of National Intelligence, and the heads of the various intelligence agencies basically report in to him. He’s still in that job, which many people argue is a complete travesty. He flat out lied to Congress and got away with it.


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Jared Labell is the Executive Director of The Libertarian Institute as well as Taxpayers United of America. A native of Texas, Jared is a history major whose work and interviews have been published by dozens of radio, newspaper, and television stations across Illinois and publicized nationally, including such media outlets as the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, WGN, Fox, ABC, NPR, and the Illinois Radio Network, as well as Antiwar.com, the Future of Freedom Foundation, and the Foundation for Economic Education.