- Texas man arrested for powder-letter hoax
- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
Tempers flare between lawmakers, intel chief over open hearings
Question of the Day
The director of national intelligence said Thursday he does not like being asked questions in public about the activities he oversees, telling lawmakers his efforts to avoid spilling secrets sometimes make him look as if he has something to hide.
“Our attempts to avoid revealing classified information sometimes lead to misinterpretation or accusations that we’re being circumspect for improper reasons,” James R. Clapper told the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence during a hearing on global threats to U.S. security.
“I have serious reservations about conducting open hearings on the worldwide threat, especially the question-and-answer sessions,” Mr. Clapper said, adding that the public could get informed through unclassified statements for the record and that “we’re ready to answer any [and] all of your questions in closed session.
“But an open hearing on intelligence matters is something of a contradiction in terms,” he said, noting that statements could be reviewed in advance to ensure they reveal no classified information but answers to questions could not.
“So when we ask to discuss certain matters in closed session, it’s not to evade but rather to, one, protect our intelligence sources and methods; and two, to be sensitive to the often delicate relations we have with our allies and partners. They and our adversaries all carefully listen to and watch these hearings as well, as I’ve learned the hard way,” he said.
Rep. Michael Rogers, Michigan Republican and committee chairman, said he was “disappointed” that Mr. Clapper chose to raise the issue.
“If we’re going to maintain public trust and not breed public mistrust, it is very important, I argue extremely important, that they have the opportunity to have a public interaction with the agencies of which they support not only with their hearts but with their wallets,” Mr. Rogers said. “But I will note for the record that you were dragged kicking and screaming to the committee today.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Shaun Waterman is an award-winning reporter for The Washington Times, covering foreign affairs, defense and cybersecurity. He was a senior editor and correspondent for United Press International for nearly a decade, and has covered the Department of Homeland Security since 2003. His reporting on the Sept. 11 Commission and the tortuous process by which some of its recommendations finally became ...
- Senator's memo shows Iran links in Homeland Security's troubled immigration program
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- Dems back bill to fix problems in investor visa program
- Democrats proceed with Mayorkas vote despite pending investigation
- NSA monitored 'World of Warcraft' players
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Scott Pinsker
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Babson College, BYU win top spots in Money magazine's college rankings
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- White House defends Kerry failure to broker Middle East cease-fire
- Romney would win popular vote in rematch against Obama: CNN poll
- D.C. seeks stay in order striking down ban on handguns in public
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- Computer glitch caused odd Saturday release of D.C. guns ruling
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq