The state of America’s national intelligence

The Associated Press reports: As the director of national intelligence, James Clapper has told Congress that the regime of Moammar Gadhafi would likely prevail in Libya, that Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood party was “largely secular” and that the National Security Agency doesn’t collect data on millions of Americans.

Not quite.

Gadhafi ended up killed by Libyan rebel forces, and the Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi quickly moved to install conservative Islamists into top positions when he became Egypt’s president. And Clapper’s latest misstep may have dented trust in the chief intelligence officer despite public assurances of support from the White House and key members of Congress.

Clapper acknowledged he misspoke when he told the Senate Intelligence Committee in March that U.S. spies do not gather data on Americans – something NSA leaker Edward Snowden revealed as false by releasing documents showing the NSA collects millions of Americans’ phone records showing who they called and for how long, as well as some Internet traffic.

“Clapper is probably job secure for now because (Capitol) Hill is not calling for his removal,” said Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer and adviser to the Obama White House who heads the Brookings Intelligence Project research group. “But he now has an unfortunate record. Another misstatement, and he will be a liability.” [Continue reading…]

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