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The New Normal: Flagrant Lying

Kent posted here about what he correctly called a "bald-faced lie" in a Huffington Post entry attacking the death penalty.  Unfortunately, lying has become all the rage in current debates affecting criminal law and terrorism.  Victor Davis Hanson brings home the point in his NRO piece today, which notes, among many other things:

Attorney General Eric Holder -- who had already been held in contempt by he House of Representatives for declining to turn over internal Justice Department documents in the earlier Fast and Furious scandal -- swore to Congress that he had no knowledge of any effort to go after individual reporters. But according to an official Justice Department statement, Holder had in fact signed off on the search warrant to monitor the communications of Fox News reporter James Rosen. In other words, the attorney general of the United States under oath misled -- or lied to -- Congress.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was recently asked by Senator Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) whether the National Security Agency collected the phone and e-mail records of millions of ordinary Americans. Clapper said that it did not. That, too, was an untruth. Clapper's supporters argued that Wyden should not have asked in public a sensitive question that threatened the needed secrecy of the program. But Clapper did not demur or request a closed session. He instead found it easier to deceive, later dubbing his response the "least utruthful" answer possible.

I have explained, here and here, why Holder's testimony was untruthful, and won't repeat it.  Hanson is on the mark in going after Clapper as well, although it seems to my friend Paul Mirengoff, and to me, that Clapper was put in a nearly impossible position by a grossly irresponsible question from Sen. Wyden.

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