USA Spy Chief James Clapper Wins Rosemary Award – Worst ‘Open’ Government Performance of 2013 [National Security Archives]

* Whopper to Congress Clinches Worst Open Government Performance of 2013
* Prize Named for Nixon’s Secretary Cites U.S. Surveillance Establishment for Outrageous Secrecy
* Team effort at National Security Agency, Justice Department National Security Division, FBI, and White House misled public, Congress, the Supreme Court, the wiretap court, and even each other
*Spy chief’s lawyers swore under oath the text of the 4th Amendment was classified (TS-SCI)

Posted – March 24, 2014

Previous Rosemary Award Winners:

2012 Justice Department Repeats as Rosemary Award Winner For Worst Open Government Performance

2011 Rosemary Award for Worst Open Government Performance Goes to the Justice Department

2010 Rosemary Award for Worst Open Government Performance Goes to Federal Chief Information Officers’ Council

2009 Rosemary Award for Worst FOIA Performance Goes to FBI

Treasury Wins 2008 “Rosemary Award” as Worst FOIA Agency

Air Force Wins 2007 Rosemary Award for Worst FOIA Performance

CIA Wins 2006 “Rosemary Award” for Worst Freedom of Information Performance by a Federal Agency

Washington, DC, March 24, 2014 – Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has won the infamous Rosemary Award for worst open government performance in 2013, according to the citation published today by the National Security Archive at http://www.nsarchive.org. Despite heavy competition, Clapper’s “No, sir” lie to Senator Ron Wyden’s question: “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” sealed his receipt of the dubious achievement award, which cites the vastly excessive secrecy of the entire U.S. surveillance establishment.

The Rosemary Award citation leads with what Clapper later called the “least untruthful” answer possible to congressional questions about the secret bulk collection of Americans’ phone call data. It further cites other Clapper claims later proved false, such as his 2012 statement that “we don’t hold data on U.S. citizens.” But the Award also recognizes Clapper’s fellow secrecy fetishists and enablers, including:

Gen. Keith Alexander, director of the NSA, for multiple Rose Mary Woods-type stretches, such as (1) claiming that the secret bulk collection prevented 54 terrorist plots against the U.S. when the actual number, according to the congressionally-established Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) investigation (pp. 145-153), is zero; (2) his 2009 declaration to the wiretap court that multiple NSA violations of the court’s orders arose from differences over “terminology,” an explanation which the chief judge said “strains credulity;” and (3) public statements by the NSA about its programs that had to be taken down from its website for inaccuracies (see Documents 78, 85, 87 in The Snowden Affair), along with public statements by other top NSA officials now known to be untrue (see “Remarks of Rajesh De,” NSA General Counsel, Document 53 in The Snowden Affair).

Robert Mueller, former FBI director, for suggesting (as have Gen. Alexander and many others) that the secret bulk collection program might have been able to prevent the 9/11 attacks, when the 9/11 Commission found explicitly the problem was not lack of data points, but failing to connect the many dots the intelligence community already had about the would-be hijackers living in San Diego.

The National Security Division lawyers at the Justice Department, for misleading their own Solicitor General (Donald Verrilli) who then misled (inadvertently) the U.S. Supreme Court over whether Justice let defendants know that bulk collection had contributed to their prosecutions.

The same National Security Division lawyers who swore under oath in the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Freedom of Information Act lawsuit for a key wiretap court opinion that the entire text of the opinion was appropriately classified Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (release of which would cause “exceptionally grave damage” to U.S. national security). Only after the Edward Snowden leaks and the embarrassed governmental declassification of the opinion did we find that one key part of the opinion’s text simply reproduced the actual language of the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and the only “grave damage” was to the government’s false claims.

President Obama for his repeated misrepresentations about the bulk collection program (calling the wiretap court “transparent” and saying “all of Congress” knew “exactly how this program works”) while in effect acknowledging the public value of the Edward Snowden leaks by ordering the long-overdue declassification of key documents about the NSA’s activities, and investigations both by a special panel and by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board…

Excerpted; full article link: http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/news/20140324/

These materials are reproduced from http://www.nsarchive.org with the permission of the National Security Archive.

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