Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied to the American people, and more importantly, lied directly to Congress during an oversight hearing. Was he punished for this in any way? No.
He was not arrested, censured, or even asked to step down. He is still serving in his position, still going to receive his pension, and will likely land a lucrative job when he finally leaves office. In fact, Clapper still has the “full faith” of President Obama.
If a top official in American Intelligence has nothing to fear from lying to Congress while under oath then they definitely have nothing to fear from lying to anyone else.
While it is nice the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism is promising Deans of public health programs that the CIA will no longer use vaccination programs as cover, why should anyone believe her? We have proof the top Intelligence officials in the Obama administration are willing to lie under oath and there will be zero repercussions if they get caught.
Obama’s decision to defend Clapper after he lied was more important than just one NSA program, because it destroyed all U. S. credibility. When Obama decided to back Clapper he signaled to the world his top intelligence officials know they can get away with lying to whomever they want whenever they want.
The long-term cost of this decision when it comes to everything from advancing international cooperation, allowing American tech companies to maintain access to markets, to global disease eradication could be significant.
White House photo by Pete Souza