Former US Director of National Intelligence set to Visit ANU in June

The Former Director of National Intelligence in the US, who provided the ‘breaking point’ for Edward Snowden to leak thousands of documents about secret surveillance programs by allegedly lying under oath to Congress, is set to join the ANU for four weeks as a Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Professor.

James Clapper, known as Jim, will spend a month at the ANU’s National Security College from June, giving a series of public lectures and meeting with academics, students, policy makers and security practitioners, the university announced on Tuesday.

Clapper was appointed as the Director of National Intelligence in 2010 by then-President Barack Obama, and resigned in November last year, leaving the post at the end of Obama’s term.

Clapper was accused of perjury in 2013 after telling a Congressional committee in March that the National Security Agency (NSA) did not collect the metadata of millions of Americans.

Following the Snowden leaks in June 2013, which revealed that the metadata of millions of Verizon mobile customers was being collected, Republican politicians called for his resignation after the apparent lie was revealed.

Snowden said in an interview with Norddeutscher Rundfunk in January 2014 that seeing Clapper lie under oath to the Congressional committee meant there was ‘no going back’ for him.

‘There’s no saving an intelligence community that believes it can lie to the public and the legislators who need to be able to trust it and regulate its actions. Seeing that really meant for me there was no going back. Beyond that, it was the creeping realisation that no one else was going to do this. The public had a right to know about these programs,’ Snowden said.

Clapper later claimed in a television interview that, by saying the US did not collect the metadata of millions of its citizens, he ‘responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful manner’.

Clapper will also be a feature of the ANU’s Crawford Australian Leadership Forum, which will take place from 18 to 20 June.

‘I’m looking forward very much to being involved with The Australian National University,’ Mr Clapper said in a statement.

‘I have tremendous respect and affection for Australia as an ally of the United States. I have long appreciated Australia’s distinct insights on security issues and I look forward to engaging more closely with thinking in Canberra.’

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