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NSA: When lying is acceptable, public loses – Yahoo! News

By Liz Sidoti

WASHINGTON (AP) — A member of Congress asks the director of national intelligence if the National Security Agency collects data on millions of Americans. “No, sir,” James Clapper responds. Pressed, he adds a caveat: “Not wittingly.”

Then, NSA programs that do precisely that are disclosed.

It turns out that President Barack Obama’s intelligence chief lied. Or as he put it last week: “I responded in what I thought was the most truthful or least most untruthful manner, by saying, ‘No,’ because the program was classified.”

The White House stands by him. Press secretary Jay Carney says Obama “certainly believes that Director Clapper has been straight and direct in the answers that he’s given.” Congress, always adept at performing verbal gymnastics, seems generally unmiffed about Clapper’s lack of candor. If there have been repercussions, the public doesn’t know about them.

Welcome to the intelligence community, a shadowy network of secrets and lies reserved, apparently, not only for this country’s enemies but also for its own citizens.

Read the Rest @ Column: When lying is acceptable, public loses – Yahoo! News.

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