Privacy Files: Transparency and Heroes

Photo by Lydia Chávez

Recently,  speaking to university students, General James Clapper, our Director of National “Intelligence,” had this to say about his nemesis and personal nightmare generator Edward Snowden.

“An admissions officer from George Washington University told The Post that for the admissions’ essay question, ‘Who’s your personal hero?’ the admissions officer observed that she was seeing a lot more of Edward Snowden citations. And the idea that young people see Edward Snowden as a hero really bothers me.”

Obviously. If Snowden’s a hero, what does that make Clapper?

“So I thought I needed to talk about Snowden at Georgetown and Georgia and I am going to do the same elsewhere at colleges and universities.”

An anti-Snowden pro-Panopticon road trip led by General Clapper. Hang on for a surreal sequel to The Magical Mystery Tour.  And what has the General learned from L’Affaire Snowden?

“My major takeaway from this whole experience though has been the need for transparency.”

Oh good. But wait. “Transparency” might mean something other than “transparent” to The Most Transparent Administration in History. And who really has “the need for transparency” and why? General Clapper may have made it all transparent a couple days later.

The Obama administration has barred officials at 17 agencies from speaking to journalists about unclassified intelligence-related topics without permission, according to a newly disclosed directive.

The directive, issued by James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, also requires the agencies’ employees to report any unplanned contact with journalists. Officials who violate the directive may be disciplined or fired, the directive says.

Hmmm. Does “transparent” means “authorized?”

Apparently Lady DiFi thinks so.  Today, The Guardian is reporting

At the behest of the director of national intelligence, US senators have removed a provision from a major intelligence bill that would require the president to publicly disclose information about drone strikes and their victims.

Senate leaders have removed the language . . .  after . . .  James Clapper, assured them in a recent letter that the Obama administration was looking for its own ways to disclose more about its highly controversial drone strikes.

So, who’s your personal hero?

Here‘s Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, on the Clapper Clampdown.

And for more on the Magical Mystery Tour, go here.

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