Top Links: Wyden’s Group of 8 takes on the White House – and Booz Allen Hamilton is hiring!

Updated
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, is leading the charge for greater surveillance transparency.
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, is leading the charge for greater surveillance transparency.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File

Top story: The White House has a bipartisan problem on its hands, just as the contractor at the heart of the NSA scandal is hoping to expand the world of outside contractors.

  • A group of eight senators led by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, has introduced a bill that would declassify opinions made by the FISA court. (Ron Wyden)
  • Sen. Wyden, who has been pushing for greater transparency for years, also is demanding public hearings into some of the questionable previous statements made by administration officials on national security surveillance. (Chad Pergram)
  • Sen. Wyden: “Our bill will declassify significant [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court] opinions so Americans can have an informed public debate about these laws.” (Sen. Ron Wyden)
  • The White House has consistently said there doesn’t need to be transparency because we have layers of oversight — both legislative and judicial. But Sen. Wyden says that doesn’t work “if senators aren’t getting straight answers to direct questions.” (Greg Miller)
  • That’s because the real issue is whether Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied to Congress in March when the DNI chief stated in no uncertain terms that the NSA does not spy on millions of Americans. (Dan Murphy) and (The Hill)
  • That turned out to be bull. Or, in the words of Clapper to msnbc’s Andrea Mitchell on Monday: an answer in the “least untruthful manner” possible. Nice. (Daily Intelligencer)
  • And today, Wyden went right up to the line of calling Clapper a liar, without crossing it. (Ken Thomas)
  • Of course, the NSA story represents a weird moment in national politics, where it’s bipartisan clique vs. bipartisan clique, with Speaker John Boehner coming to President Obama’s defense on the NSA. (Igor Volsky)
  • Boehner joined key Democrats in calling the leaker at the heart of the NSA controversies, Edward Snowden, a “traitor”. (ABC News)
  • Speaking of Snowden, Booz Allen Hamilton, the consulting firm whose only client is Uncle Sam, got around to firing Snowden on Monday. (Booz Allen Hamilton)
  • In fact, in a doozy of a Washington Post story about the explosion in growth of the private contractor world, we learn that BAH is planning to increase its workforce by about 60% over the next 15 years — or, about 10,000 employees. (The Washington Post)
  • And if you’re out of work, listen to the perks of working at BAH, according to its 2012 annual report: “Persons with the highest security clearance, Top Secret, have access to information that would cause ‘exceptionally grave damage’ to national security if disclosed to the public.” Those persons represent 27% of the company. (Corporate Intelligence)
  • Last year, about 22% of all people holding security clearances were contractors. (The Wall Street Journal)
  • As for Snowden, former presidential candidate and Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, says President Obama should pardon Snowden. (Katrina Trinko)
  • Last, ProPublica has a handy list of the 5 basic things we still don’t know about the program — including how pervasive and how long the phone record collection was. (ProPublica)

Top Links: Wyden’s Group of 8 takes on the White House – and Booz Allen Hamilton is hiring!

Updated