The author of the controversial Patriot Act, Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr., now a member of Congress representing Wisconsin's Fifth District, told The Hill in an interview published Friday that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper should be prosecuted for lying to Congress.
Sensenbrenner told The Hill that Clapper committed a "criminal offense" when he tesitfied before the Senate Intelligence Committee in March during hearings on domestic spying by the National Secrity Agency. The hearings came about after Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who is now living in Russia under temporary asylum, released documents that show the NSA collects detailed information on all US phone calls.
Clapper testified during the hearings that the NSA "does not willingly" collect or store data on American's phone calls. We now know that to be false, and Clapper knew it when he gave the testimony. The intel director later apologized, and said he tried to answer in "the least untruthful way" without divulging classified information.
According to The Hill, Sensenbrenner said "that explanation doesn’t hold water and said "the courts and Congress require accurate testimony to do their job."
"The only way laws are effective is if they're enforced," Sensenbrenner said during the interview. "If it's a criminal offense, and I believe Mr. Clapper has committed a criminal offense, then the Justice Department ought to do its job."
The problem with that is the DOJ and Congress do not seem interested in doing their job when it comes to any number of issues, on everything from Fast and Furious to the Benghazi investigation, as well as a myriad of other scandals that have erupted during President Obama's time in the White House. Many people believe if Congress and the Justice Dept. were truly doing their jobs impeachment proceedings against President Obama would have begun long ago, and Attorney General Eric Holder would be behind bars, along with several other members of the Obama administration.
Sensenbrenner told The Hill that President Obama should fire not only Clapper, but also NSA Director Keith Alexander, as a result of Snowden's revelations. He also said he members of the military are "naturally more concerned with national security," and said, "The successor of both Clapper and Alexander ought to be civilians."
"I think that civilians would be able to have a better balance in seeing the distinction between security and civil liberties," Sensenbrenner added.
Alexander is a four-star general in the US Army, and Clapper is a retired Air Force lieutenant general.