- ‘Gay Jeans’ that fade into rainbow-colored denim created
- Divided court strikes down big porn award
- Jimmy Carter: Don’t hurt Russian people with sanctions
- Oldest ex-MLB player dies in Cuba, 2 days shy of 103rd birthday
- ‘Top Gun’ for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy’s approval
- Bill Clinton to endorse Charlie Rangel for re-election
- Pfc. Bradley Manning is now Pfc. Chelsea Manning: Court says so
- Secret base U.S. special forces used to train Libyans now under terrorist control: report
- 9th suspect in N.C. kidnapping turns self in to FBI
- L.A. sheriff admits to testing flyover spy program without notifying residents
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 Intelligence James 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Supreme Court pushes consideration of N.J. gun case to April 25
- Supreme Court weighs appeal to concealed-carry gun laws
- Michael Bloomberg charts $50M challenge to NRA: 'Got to make them afraid'
- McAuliffe's PAC off to fast start, with $254,000 raised in two weeks
- Virginia Republican Bob Marshall stands by remarks that raise eyebrows
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Obama's veil of secrecy is pierced
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with 'full-time' robots
- 'Top Gun' for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy's approval
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
- Kansas will nullify local regulation of guns
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Washington Redskins' 2014 schedule opens with Texans
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- Opposition rising to Colorado gun control laws
- Harry Reid using tax dollars to fight Koch brothers, La. GOP chair charges
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014