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James Clapper quits as director of US intelligence

In a first major resignation since Donald Trump's electoral victory, the US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper quit his post.

US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has just announced his resignation. This was the man who presided over the US government spying on its citizens and those throughout the world. This scandal was one whose existence Clapper denied, in spite of plain and clear evidence to the contrary.

Edward Snowed had exposed numerous constitutional violations during Clapper’s reign. This man’s exit from the Bush-created position of Director of National Intelligence should be welcomed by everyone who opposes the surveillance state.

It has been under Clapper that the government has been cut free of any checks and balances on its use of technology to violate the privacy of ordinary individuals, yet individuals of extraordinary conscience who blow the whistle on the illegal covert activities of government are prosecuted, victimized, and threatened with execution. I’m referring specifically to Bradley Manning, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden.

Clapper said that he is happy to resign. I personally share in this happiness as will many others. The timing of his resignation, which will be effective in 64 days, is a clear indication that he does not see eye to eye with his incoming boss, Donald Trump.

If Clapper is replaced by someone guided by conscience rather than someone who uses George Orwell’s 1984 as a handbook rather than a warning, it could well pave the way for the pardon of Manning, Assange and Snowden.

One can only hope that Donald Trump does the right thing.

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