James R. Clapper

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Person.png James R. Clapper   PowerbaseRdf-icon.png
James R. Clapper.jpg
Born James Robert Clapper Jr.
March 14, 1941
Fort Wayne, Indiana, U.S.
Alma mater University of Maryland, College Park, St. Mary's University, Texas, National Defense University, Air University
Member of Association of Former Intelligence Officers
Party Democratic

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence.svg Director of National Intelligence Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
August 5, 2010 - January 20, 2017
Deputy Stephanie O'Sullivan
Preceded by David C. Gompert

Employment.png Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
April 15, 2007 - June 5, 2010

Employment.png Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
November 1991 - August 1995
Preceded by Dennis M. Nagy

James Robert Clapper, Jr. (born March 14, 1941)[1][2] is a retired Lieutenant-General United States Air Force and is currently the Director of National Intelligence. He served as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) from 1992 until 1995. He was the first Director of Defense Intelligence within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and simultaneously the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence.[3] Clapper has held several key positions within the US Intelligence Community. He served as the director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) from September 2001 until June 2006.

On June 5, 2010, President Barack Obama nominated Clapper to replace Dennis C. Blair as United States Director of National Intelligence. Clapper was unanimously confirmed by the Senate for the position on 5 August 2010.[4][5]

Lies to Congress on NSA surveillance programs

On March 12, 2013, during a United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing, Senator Ron Wyden quoted the keynote speech at the 2012 DEF CON by the director of the NSA, Keith B. Alexander. Alexander had stated that "Our job is foreign intelligence" and that "Those who would want to weave the story that we have millions or hundreds of millions of dossiers on people, is absolutely false... From my perspective, this is absolute nonsense." Senator Wyden then asked Clapper, "Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?" He responded, "No, sir." Wyden asked "It does not?" and Clapper said "Not wittingly. There are cases where they could inadvertently, perhaps, collect, but not wittingly."[6] In December 2015, he claimed he had forgotten about the storing of all Americans' phonecalls.[7]

Snowden's breaking point

When Edward Snowden was asked during his January 26, 2014 TV interview in Moscow what the decisive moment was or why he blew the whistle, he replied: "Sort of the breaking point was seeing the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, directly lie under oath to [[United States Congress|Congress]... Seeing that really meant for me there was no going back."[8]

Russian plane crash

The day after Metrojet Flight 9268 exploded over the Sinai Peninsula, James Clapper said that while a Sinai-based affiliate of the Islamic State had claimed responsibility for the attack, US officials “really don’t know” what caused the Russian plane to crash after taking off from Sharm el-Sheikh, killing all 224 passengers and crew on board.[9]


Legal Case

Clapper v. Amnesty International USAJames R. ClapperAmnesty International USA29 October 201226 February 2013James Clapper sought to dismiss Amnesty International's challenge of the Fisa Amendments Act. They Supreme Court ruled that dragnet surveillance could not be challenged since the plaintiffs were unlikely to be targets of surveillance - something that was revealed a few months later by the Edward Snowden leaks to be untrue. The decision appear to be nevertheless unchallenged.


  1. "Will Attend Christening". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. 1941-03-23. Retrieved 2012-11-14.

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  2. "General Clapper Nominated DNI Chief". Rttnews.com. 2010-06-06. Retrieved 2012-11-14.

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  3. ""Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence to be Dual-hatted as Director of Defense Intelligence," ''DNI News Release'', May 24, 2007" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-03-13.

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  4. "James Clapper Confirmed as Director of National Intelligence". Wall Street Journal. 2010-08-05. Retrieved 6 August 2010.

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  5. Montopoli, Brian (2010-06-04). ""James Clapper to be Tapped as New National Intelligence Director," ''CBS News'', June 04, 2010". Cbsnews.com. Retrieved 2011-03-13.

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  6. Greenberg, Andy. "Watch Top U.S. Intelligence Officials Repeatedly Deny NSA Spying On Americans Over The Last Year (Videos)." Forbes. June 6, 2013. Retrieved on June 11, 2013. "Eight months later, Senator Ron Wyden quoted[...]"
  7. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/12/07/reason_clapper_lied_about_nsa_spying/
  8. "Snowden Interview Transcript". Norddeutscher Rundfunk. Retrieved 27 January 2014.

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  9. "Islamic State may have taken down Russian plane in Egypt, James Clapper says"