TCTI: Too Crazy To Ignore
Dave Ross
AP: c9a1a4d6-c185-4c71-99e5-5cf78377fe49
FILE - In this March 12, 2013, file photo Director of National Intelligence (DNI), James Clapper, listens to testimony at the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, where he testified about worldwide threats. When answering questions about NSA surveillance before congress, Clapper admitted he was being "too cute by half." (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

When the good guys lie

The Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, went before Congress and took this question from Senator Ron Wyden, "Does the NSA collect any type of data on millions of Americans?"

And then he gave an answer he knew would mislead people.

"No sir," responded Clapper.

"It does not?"

"Not wittingly," said Clapper.

We now know the NSA is collecting huge amounts of data on phone calls and internet activity. But he explained his answer to NBC's Andrea Mitchell, "I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, least untruthful manner by saying 'no.'"

"Least untruthful" - it's like being "incompletely honest." It's the answer men give to the question "Does this dress make me look fat?"

But here's the other part of the interview, where he admits he was playing with words. That he was being cute.

Said Clapper, "Perhaps, some would say too cute by half."

Because the spy business is not about the truth. It's about deception. Which is a major part of every country's military arsenal. Edward Snowden, the whistle-blower, thinks it's gone too far. And so he's announced his next revelation that the United States has been hacking into Chinese computers since 2009!

Edward Snowden wants to show us that we're not the good guys we think we are. But I don't think that's going to shock people the way he thinks it will. Because we are in a war here - a cyberwar. And as in other wars - truth is always the first casualty, and no one is the good guy. The only thing you need to decide when war breaks out is which side will you be on. And with any luck, you'll find yourself on the least untruthful side.

Related:

Microsoft aims to clear its name amidst NSA leak

Dave Ross, KIRO Radio Morning News Anchor
Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.
Top Stories

  • Failing
    So far, it's good news for car tab fees in King County, and bad news for bus riders

  • 21 & Over
    There's a push to raise the age to from 18 to 21 in order to legally buy tobacco

  • Suing The Seahawks
    A Seahawks fan sues for $50 million over limiting playoff ticket sales
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know a student who stands out in the classroom, school and community?
Help make their dreams come true by nominating them for a $1,000 scholarship and a chance to earn a $10,000 Grand Prize. Brought to you by KIRO Radio and Comprehensive Wealth Management.

Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.