There is no longer any doubt that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied to Congress. Likewise, there is no doubt that his lie runs afoul of federal law. And, of course, there is no doubt that in terms of its implications for oversight, constitutional precepts and privacy for millions of Americans, his lies were far more serious than those which have gotten other people prosecuted for perjury. The question now is whether his brazen dishonesty will become a political issue – or whether it will simply disappear into the ether.
As evidenced by President Obama this week attempting to promote Clapper to head an “independent” NSA reform panel, the White House clearly believes it will be the latter. But a set of new polls out today suggests such a calculation may be wrong.
~ from Huge Majority Wants Clapper Prosecuted for Perjury by David Sirota ~
Roger Clemons was sure to be a first ballot major league baseball Hall of Famer...until he became suspected of using of using PEDs (performing enhancing drugs) to gain an edge on his competition. Now he -- like greats Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa -- may never be enshrined in the hall.
Clemons was suspected of lying before Congress and this suspicion led to perjury charges being brought against him. He was ultimately acquitted of the charges, though in the eyes of many (me included), his records and legacy remain tarnished.
Compare these two situations. Clemons was suspected of lying to Congress about his personal actions, ones that didn't directly affect anyone else in a direct way. Clapper, on the other hand, has been caught lying to Congress -- he has all but admitted to it. His lie impacts millions of Americans.
Yet it was Clemons, not Clapper, who was taken to court and had his reputation sullied. If suspected lying about taking PEDs is a chargeable offense, shouldn't admitted lying to Congress about the invasion of the privacy of millions of innocent Americans be so too?