America’s Top Intelligence Official Has Submitted His Resignation

It’s been coming for a while.

Director of National Intelligence James ClapperAndrew Harnik/AP

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Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, the highest-ranking intelligence official in the United States, has submitted his resignation.

Clapper, an Air Force veteran who ran individual intelligence agencies under both Presidents Bush, told the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday that he has submitted his letter of resignation, saying it “felt pretty good.” He has long said he planned to step down at the end of the Obama administration.

NPR reported that Clapper’s resignation will take effect on Inauguration Day. Clapper’s office told the broadcaster that the decision was “not a move designed to register protest or lack of confidence in the incoming administration.”

But one element to Donald Trump’s win may have made Clapper’s decision even easier: Clapper helped force out retired Lt. General Michael Flynn, a close Trump ally who may become the next national security adviser, as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014.

Clapper was often a target for privacy and civil liberties groups fighting against the government’s mass surveillance programs. But given Trump’s messy transition and collection of hardline security advisers, Robyn Greene, a policy counsel at the Open Technology Institute, suggested that Clapper’s experience and competence will be missed.

 

 

 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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