This week it became clear that the head of the CIA, John Brennan lied when he said:
“As far as the allegations of CIA hacking into Senate computers, nothing could be further from the truth. We wouldn’t do that. I mean, that’s just beyond the scope of reason.”
Yes, it is beyond the scope of reason, but it turns out that in fact the CIA was spying on the staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Last year, James Clapper, the head of the NSA, responded falsely to a question from Sen. Ron Wyden when he claimed that the NSA did not spy on Americans. Sen. Ron Wyden asked whether the National Security Agency “collected data on millions of Americans.” Clapper testified falsely, saying: “No sir, not wittingly. There are cases where they could inadvertently, perhaps, collect but not wittingly.” Documents leaked by Edward Snowden showed his statement to be false and in fact Americans are subjected to dragnet surveillance by the NSA.
President Obama has expressed his full support for both men, the Department of Justice has taken no action to investigate or prosecute either. Join us in demanding that President Obama fire Brennan and Clapper.
These are not minor lies. The separation of powers that gives Congress the power to be a check on the executive branch is foundational to the US Constitution. We are supposed to have three equal branches in order to prevent abuse. How can there be any check on the intelligence community if they spy on Congress and then lie about it in congressional testimony? Already intelligence oversight is too weak and allows intelligence abuse, this practice will surely intimidate Congress and create an even weaker check on intelligence agencies.