The NSA revelations continue to expose far more than just the ongoing operations of that sprawling and unaccountable spying agency. Let's examine what we have learned this week about the US political and media class and then certain EU leaders.
The first NSA story to be reported was our June 6 article which
exposed the bulk, indiscriminate collection by the US Government of the
telephone records of tens of millions of Americans. Ever since then, it
has been undeniably clear that James Clapper, the Director of National
Intelligence, outright lied to the US Senate -
specifically to the Intelligence Committee, the body charged with
oversight over surveillance programs - when he said "no, sir" in
response to this question from Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden: "Does the NSA
collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of
That Clapper fundamentally misled Congress is beyond dispute. The DNI himself has now been forced by our stories to
admit that his statement was, in his words, "clearly erroneous" and to
apologize. But he did this only once our front-page revelations forced
him to do so: in other words, what he's sorry about is that he got
caught lying to the Senate. And as Salon's David Sirota adeptly documented on Friday, Clapper is still spouting falsehoods as he apologizes and attempts to explain why he did it.