Letters to the Editor

James Clapper lied four years ago. Why should I believe him now?

In this Monday, May 8, 2017, file photo, former National Intelligence Director James Clapper testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, before the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism hearing: "Russian Interference in the 2016 United States Election."
In this Monday, May 8, 2017, file photo, former National Intelligence Director James Clapper testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, before the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism hearing: "Russian Interference in the 2016 United States Election." AP

Monday’s Tribune carried a story about former director of national intelligence James Clapper claiming in the headline that “U.S. checks, balances ‘under assault’ by White House.”

This would be the same James Clapper who testified before Congress in March 2013 and replied, “No, sir,” when asked whether the National Security Agency was collecting “any type of data at all” on millions of Americans.

Three months later, documents leaked by NSA contractor Edward Snowden showed that the NSA was, in fact, collecting such information. In other words, Mr. Clapper lied.

So why should I believe Mr. Clapper now when he flat-out lied to the world about a matter of great importance four years ago?

This ranks right up there with the infamous “you can keep your doctor” and “you can keep your insurance” lies uttered by Mr. Clapper’s former boss. Nothing Barack Obama said after that had any credibility with me.

I’ve had it with government bureaucrats and politicians of either party who knowingly speak untruthfully about one or more important issues and then expect me to believe everything they say subsequently.

Robert Olson, Arroyo Grande

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