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Senator Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper” Wednesday that a newly declassified document provided evidence of how the intelligence community has misled Congress about the National Security Agency’s massive surveillance programs.
“In the document that was declassified today, it talked about how the bulk collection of e-mail was a vital capability,” Wyden said. “And Senator (Mark) Udall (D-Colorado) and I believed early on that that was not the case. We kept pressing the point. We were able to show that it was in effect worthless. That's the reason that it was eliminated. And yet the intelligence community, when they first described it a few days ago, they said it was for operational reasons.”
Wyden said that “on issue after issue, too many of the leaders in the intelligence community have not just kept the Congress in the dark; the Congress have been given inaccurate statements and in effect been actively misled.”
On Friday, intelligence officials acknowledged in a letter that there have been some "a number of compliance problems" with the NSA's collection of phone records, but “no findings of any intentional or bad-faith violations,” ones Clapper said “generally involved human error or highly sophisticated technology issues related to NSA’s compliance with particular aspects of the Court’s orders.”
Wyden told CNN today that the “violations that the intelligence community, General Clapper specifically referred to, were violations of court orders, Jake, violations of court orders with respect to the bulk collection of the phone records.”