The Guardian reports: The bipartisan leaders of a powerful Senate committee questioned the truthfulness of the US intelligence community in a heated Wednesday morning hearing as intelligence officials conceded that their controversial bulk phone records collection of millions of Americans was not “the most important tool”.
“We need straightforward answers, and I’m concerned we’re not getting them,” said Patrick Leahy, the Vermont Democrat and chairman of the Senate judiciary committee.
Leahy, joined by ranking Republican Chuck Grassley of Iowa, blasted James Clapper, the US director of national intelligence, for making untruthful statements to Congress in March about the bulk phone records collection on Americans, and NSA director Keith Alexander for overstating the usefulness of that collection for stopping terrorist attacks.
Grassley called Clapper’s recent apology to senator Ron Wyden and the intelligence community “especially disturbing”.
“Nothing can excuse this kind of behavior from a senior administration official,” Grassley said. “Especially on a matter of such importance.” [Continue reading…]