Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. response to Edward Snowden‘s release to reporters of intimate details about the Intelligence Community’s widespread surveillance of American citizens and collection of their private data seems disingenuous at best. Why do I say this? Because I’ve been on his trail for several years.
Four days ago, DNI Clapper issued the following statement on the collection of intelligence pursuant to section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act:
Over the last week we have seen reckless disclosures of intelligence community measures used to keep Americans safe. In a rush to publish, media outlets have not given the full context–including the extent to which these programs are overseen by all three branches of government–to these effective tools.
In particular, the surveillance activities published in The Guardian and The Washington Post are lawful and conducted under authorities widely known and discussed, and fully debated and authorized by Congress. Their purpose is to obtain foreign intelligence information, including information necessary to thwart terrorist and cyber attacks against the United States and its allies.
Our ability to discuss these activities is limited by our need to protect intelligence sources and methods. Disclosing information about the specific methods the government uses to collect communications can obviously give our enemies a “playbook” of how to avoid detection. Nonetheless, Section 702 has proven vital to keeping the nation and our allies safe. It continues to be one of our most important tools for the protection of the nation’s security.
However, there are significant misimpressions that have resulted from the recent articles. Not all the inaccuracies can be corrected without further revealing classified information. I have, however, declassified for release the attached details about the recent unauthorized disclosures in hope that it will help dispel some of the myths and add necessary context to what has been published.
James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence
I find it fascinating how DNI Clapper used the phrase, “reckless disclosures,” to describe the actions of Snowden, the 29-year-old who claims to have released the blockbuster details about the National Security Agency’s PRISM program. At the same time, I find it disingenuous for the nation’s top intelligence official to describe anyone’s actions as “reckless” without also looking in the mirror and telling himself the same thing.
During the early stages of an exhaustive investigation that culminated four years later in publication of my recently-released book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, I came upon a memo issued by Clapper while he was serving as Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. That memo served as the first official indication that I was on the trail of a scandal that would lead my investigation all the way to Afghanistan.
By the time I finished my investigation, I was able to connect the dots between the memo Clapper issued in 2007 and hundreds of American and Coalition Forces casualties resulting from “Green-on-Blue” (a.k.a., “Insider”) attacks waged by so-called Afghan “allies” wearing the uniforms of their country. Without giving away “the farm,” I can tell you that my findings will, without a doubt, make your blood boil.
After reading the book, one high-profile American offered his endorsement, stating that it “represents perhaps the most thorough investigative reporting” he has encountered in years before adding later, “This is how it’s done!” Other high-profile Americans offered endorsements as well. You can read them here.
By the time you finish reading THE CLAPPER MEMO, you’ll understand how, if not for the actions of several current and former high-ranking DoD officials, including Clapper, hundreds of American and Coalition Forces warfighters might have avoided being killed or wounded in Afghanistan.
THE CLAPPER MEMO is available in paperback and ebook versions at Amazon.