It's becoming harder and harder for members of Barack Obama's fan club to defend their hero — as least when it comes to his defense for NSA spying.
As I documented in a previous blog posting, the president's director of national intelligence, James Clapper, apparently lied to Congress when he was asked if the NSA is gathering data on millions of Americans.
The president now owns that falsehood. He didn't fire Clapper or publicly repudiate him. Instead, Obama's press secretary, Jay Carney, went out of his way to praise Clapper's supposed candor during a June 11 press briefing:
Q. Is the President satisfied that the American people are getting straight answers from their leadership when it comes to American intelligence?
A. MR. CARNEY: Well, he certainly believes that Director Clapper has been straight and direct in the answers that he's given, and has actively engaged in an effort to provide more information about the programs that have been revealed through the leak of classified information.
(The transcript is here.)
So, what's James Clapper up to now? Excerpt from a CNN report: "An administration official said Monday that Obama had asked his intelligence chief James Clapper to determine whether additional information about the data collection programs can be made public, part of what the official described as a 'broader effort the president is undertaking to have a dialogue on protecting privacy in the digital age'."
So the guy who gave a false statement to Congress, under oath, gets to decide the contents of the next White House press release on domestic surveillance?