- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford flubs daylight saving time advice: ‘Turn your clocks back’
- Americans don’t support sending U.S. troops to Ukraine
- Florida lawmakers move to wipe corrupt ‘Boss Hogg’ town from map
- N.C. math whiz to unveil secret of March Madness picks
- An appealing offer: Chiquita merges with Fyffes to make world’s largest banana firm
- Amnesty International says Syria guilty of war crimes for food blockade
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: ‘We are going to crush them’
- Adam Lanza’s dad: He would’ve killed me ‘in a heartbeat’
- North Korea holds election: 100% turnout, Kim Jong-un gets — 100% of vote
- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
Sen. Rand Paul on NSA surveillance: ‘I’m not sure when I’m being lied to’ now
Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, said Wednesday that Tuesday testimony from intelligence officials on the government’s data-surveillance programs did little to close what he called a “credibility gap.”
He pointed to testimony that Director of National IntelligenceJames Clapper gave during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in March when asked if the National Security Agency gathers “any type of data at all” on Americans.”
“No, sir,” Mr. Clapper said. “Not wittingly.”
“I guess the problem is ever since Clapper lied in March to us and said they weren’t collecting any data on Americans, there’s a credibility gap now, and it’s hard for us to really trust the intelligence community because the head of the intelligence community directly lied to the Senate and said they were collecting no data from Americans,” Mr. Paul said on “Fox and Friends.” “So I’m not sure when I’m being lied to and when they’re being honest.”
Mr. Clapper later said in an interview on NBC that the question didn’t have a simple yes or no answer, and that he answered “in what I thought was the most truthful or least untruthful manner by saying no.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat and chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, vouched for Mr. Clapper on ABC’s “This Week,” saying that “there is no more direct or honest person” than Mr. Clapper.
“You can misunderstand the question,” she said. “This is one of the dilemmas of talking about it.”
Intelligence officials said Tuesday that the NSA last year checked fewer than 300 telephone numbers against its database containing details about every phone call made in America.
Deputy NSA Director Christopher Inglis spoke about another program involving the collection of “metadata” from every phone called made or received in the country, saying the agency is not recording the content of any of the communications.
Instead, the NSA collects only the numbers called and calling, so that when the agency discovers the telephone number of a terrorist overseas, it can be discovered whether that person had been in touch with anyone in the United States.
“The controls on the use of this data at NSA are specific, rigorous and designed to ensure focus on counterterrorism,” Mr. Inglis said. “To that end, the metadata acquired and stored under this program may be queried only [under] a reasonable articulable suspicion” of a link to terrorism.
Only 22 people in the entire NSA were empowered to certify that such a suspicion existed, Mr. Inglis testified, and they did so last year in regard to fewer than 300 phone numbers, called “selectors” when they are applied to the database.
But that number didn’t satisfy Mr. Paul.
“Are they now saying that because I’m not at a top-secret level that it’s OK to lie to me in public?” Mr. Paul said. “I don’t know when I can be lied to and when I’m being told the truth now.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
David Sherfinski covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.
- CPAC 2014: Presidential support for Carson rises
- Palin dings Obama, calls for conservative reinforcements in Washington
- CPAC 2014: Carson 'not sure' what God has in store for him
- CPAC 2014: Gingrich says it's time for a 'big rebellion on the battlefield of ideas'
- CPAC 2014: Bachmann says country will elect 'right' female president
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- Russia besieges Crimea as U.S. seeks diplomacy; Putin remains undeterred by Obama's sanctions
- Investigators puzzle: How does a 777 jetliner just disappear into thin air?
- As Crimea falls, Obama takes Key Largo golf vacation, Biden hits Virgin Islands
- CURL: Today's GOP really is Reagan's 'Big Tent' party
- SAUERBREY: Taxing Marylanders until they flee
- Adam Lanza's dad: He would've killed me 'in a heartbeat'
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: 'We are going to crush them'
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again