by Rand Paul
Thursday 20 February 2014 07.00 EST
Director of Intelligence James Clapper now says the National Security Agency (NSA) should have been more open about the fact that they were spying on all Americans.
I'm glad he said this. But there is no excuse for lying in the first place.
When Senator Ron Wyden (a Democrat from Oregon) asked Director Clapper during an intelligence hearing in March of last year if the NSA was collecting the data of millions of Americans, the director lied under oath and denied the charge.
When new revelations disproved this last June, Clapper then said the NSA had to keep the metadata collection program a secret for national security purposes.
The notion that if the NSA had informed us they were monitoring every American would somehow make it OK, does not make it OK. Explaining why you are violating the Fourth Amendment does not invalidate the Fourth Amendment.
Americans are as upset at the act itself, not the mere knowledge of it. A cheating spouse can be upfront about his affairs from the beginning, but nobody thinks such behavior is right. The purpose of being forthright about wrongdoing is usually repentance. I do not get the sense from Clapper that he thinks his agency did anything wrong.