Here’s DNI Clapper in what is being called an “exclusive interview” in the Daily Beast, but I can’t find the transcript, and it looks like the interview is basically him mumbling whatever he wants to say to Eli Lake:
In an exclusive interview with The Daily Beast, Clapper said the problems facing the U.S. intelligence community over its collection of phone records could have been avoided. “I probably shouldn’t say this, but I will. Had we been transparent about this from the outset right after 9/11—which is the genesis of the 215 program—and said both to the American people and to their elected representatives, we need to cover this gap, we need to make sure this never happens to us again, so here is what we are going to set up, here is how it’s going to work, and why we have to do it, and here are the safeguards… We wouldn’t have had the problem we had,” Clapper said.
“What did us in here, what worked against us was this shocking revelation,” he said, referring to the first disclosures from Snowden. If the program had been publicly introduced in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, most Americans would probably have supported it. “I don’t think it would be of any greater concern to most Americans than fingerprints. Well people kind of accept that because they know about it. But had we been transparent about it and say here’s one more thing we have to do as citizens for the common good, just like we have to go to airports two hours early and take our shoes off, all the other things we do for the common good, this is one more thing.”
Translation- “We’re sorry we got caught lying to you about all the stuff we said we weren’t doing but were, but if we had told you we were doing it while you were still traumatized by 9/11, you’d have let us. No hard feelings, right guys?”
Additionally, re-read this: “What did us in here, what worked against us was this shocking revelation,” he said, referring to the first disclosures from Snowden. I’m reasonably sure DNI Clapper just told us what we all know, that Snowden is a whistleblower, and not a criminal. “WHAT DID US IN HERE” is pretty clear language, folks.
Finally, I was struck by the closing paragraph:
“There is only one person on the planet who actually knows what I was thinking,” Clapper said of his testimony from last March. “Not the media, and not certain members of Congress, only I know what I was thinking.”
Because, you know, he’s the victim.