Tahlequah Daily Press

Editorials

April 7, 2014

NSA head lies to Congress, and seems to get away with it

TAHLEQUAH — National Security Agency Director James Clapper is being called a liar by many who heard his testimony before the Senate’s Intelligence Committee where he stated that his agency, the NSA, was not collecting data on millions of Americans making domestic and international phone calls.

Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein has said that as early as 2006, the governmental agency had been spying on Americans without a warrant under the guise that the agency was “protecting Americans.”

But privacy among Americans is not a terrorist act. In fact, Mr. Clapper should note that the U.S. Constitution states in the Fourth Amendment: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Back on March 12, in testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee Clapper flat-out lied to Sen. Ron Wyden, when the senator asked Clapper the following question: “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?”

Ready for the answer? “No sir – not wittingly.”

Wyden followed up by asking, “It does not?”

Clapper reiterated, “Not wittingly,” then added: “There are cases where they could, inadvertently perhaps, collect – but not wittingly.”

Is it our imagination, or is there a rash of governmental officials lying to the American public without batting an eye?

Let’s talk about the former Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Morell, who testified before the House Intelligence Committee, claiming he did not “deliberately” downplay the role of terrorists in the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

And then there was former Internal Revenue Service Director Lois Lerner, who appeared before a House committee trying to investigate pigeon-holing of conservative groups applying with the IRS for tax-exempt status. Lerner, not once, but twice, pleaded the Fifth Amendment, which states: “... nor shall any person... be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself (or herself). ...”

Is there an obvious pattern of criminality within these governmental agencies? If so, why isn’t the Judicial Department investigating?

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Editorials
  • NSU needs to be more candid when its plans go awry

    Many area residents were disappointed to learn this week that the NSU Fitness Center, and its all-important indoor lap pool, won’t open next month, as originally announced.
    This latest delay is no surprise.

    July 28, 2014

  • Higher premiums a just reward for drunken drivers

    Over the past several years, Oklahoma has slipped in many of the polls that count. This week, we learned Tulsa is No. 4 on a list of cities with high rates of fatal DUI accidents. Is anyone really surprised?

    July 25, 2014

  • Maybe it’s time to think about having another BalloonFest

    The 18th annual BalloonFest was the last one held, in 2010. In summer 2011, when the Daily Press staff hadn’t heard anything about the much-anticipated event, we started asking questions.

    July 23, 2014

  • If you see a drunken driver, take the time to call in a report

    If you see something, say something. You’ve heard the warning, and seen it imprinted on placards at airports. In the wake of 9/11, it became a national mantra, mainly aimed at spotting potential terrorist activities. But it’s good advice anytime, and for any reason, even at the local level.

    July 14, 2014

  • City officials should stop squabbling and try to work together

    It’s bad enough that the Chamber of Commerce scandal has given Tahlequah a black eye. But if the bickering among city officials doesn’t stop, the community will have a complete set of shiners for its public face.

    July 11, 2014

  • Only full disclosure will restore trust in the chamber

    Despite pressure from some quarters, neither the Press nor anyone else who values full disclosure will be clamming up until all the facts are known, and those who are responsible meet with justice.

    July 10, 2014

  • Only full disclosure will restore trust in the chamber

    A few board members for the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce are saying they’ve heard nothing but positive things lately – about the chamber itself, and presumably, about themselves.

    July 9, 2014

  • Employer-sponsored insurance may now be a ‘hostage’ situation

    When the fallout settles from the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, many Americans might decide they’re better off with health insurance that doesn’t come from their boss.

    July 7, 2014

  • With confidence in Congress at 7 percent, time for a new slate

    Note to Congress: We don’t like you. Not at all.
    A Gallup poll released Monday, June 30 confirmed what most of us already know: the American public is disgusted with the House and Senate. The survey recorded the lowest level of confidence since Gallup began asking the question in 1991: a whopping 7 percent. That’s not a typographical error; it’s a single digit.

    July 2, 2014

  • New chamber head needs to be free from scandal’s taint

    Every time another layer is peeled off the unfolding saga of the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce embezzlement case, those going through the records hope they might see a light at the end of the tunnel. So far, that hasn’t happened.

    June 30, 2014

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