A former CIA analyst says an admission by the US National Security Agency’s chief that the spy agency’s spying activities foiled only one or perhaps two terrorist plots must be very embarrassing to the administration of President Barack Obama.
Earlier in June, after revelations were made about the scope and scale of the NSA’s massive spying, NSA director Gen. Keith Alexander defended such spying programs, saying they helped the US to disrupt 54 terrorist activities.
However, when he was pressed at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday by chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) to explain about the details of those disrupted terrorist plots, Alexander admitted that the NSA’s massive spying had only foiled one or “perhaps two” plots.
“The revelation before Congress that these 54 terrorist plots that were supposed to have been foiled by NSA collection of massive telephone data, was really a terrible embarrassment to the administration,” former CIA analyst Ray McGovern told Press TV in a phone interview on Thursday.
“So, you have General Keith Alexander, four stars, who heads not only the National Security Agency, but the Cyber Warfare Agency of the Pentagon, misleading Congress,” he added.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper also lied to Congress in March about domestic spying in the US.
During a congressional hearing, Clapper said that the NSA did not collect data on millions of Americans; a response he later said was “clearly erroneous.”
McGovern described Clapper as “a self-confessed perjurer” because “he lied under oath.”
“Either the President knows these gentlemen are lying and he should fire them immediately or the truth has been kept from President Obama, which is an equal possibility in my opinion,” McGovern said.
“There’s something in this country called plausible denial. That means that you don’t tell the president everything or you even lie to the president to protect him so to speak so that when he lies he can later claim ‘They never told me’.”
McGovern also said that if Obama does not fire Alexander and Clapper, it will become clear that he is “at the mercy of these gentlemen.”