Bob Barr

Mark Twain once quipped, “If you don't like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes.” In Washington, D.C., the same thing can be said for the truth; in a flash, it will change -- usually with a forecast of sanctimonious apologies.

The latest example of this phenomenon occurred just last week, when the Central Intelligence Agency’s inspector general revealed that the agency had in fact illegally hacked into computers used by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI); the body designed – ironically -- to provide oversight of America’s intelligence agencies. True to Twain’s wry observation, it was only a few months back that such a claim was deemed “beyond the scope of reason” by none other than the CIA Director himself. John Brennan had huffed back then that, “Nothing [like that] could be further from the truth.”

One can reasonably assume Brennan had knowledge of his Agency’s cybercrime before piously denying any wrongdoing; after all, he is the director of the nation’s preeminent spy organization. In fact, this episode fits a well-established pattern by Intelligence Community officials of intentionally deceiving members of Congress, especially those tasked with overseeing their activities. Almost a year to the day earlier than Brennan’s denial, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper perjured himself in front of the House Judiciary Committee regarding illegal snooping by the National Security Agency; a “truth” for which he, too, later was forced to apologize.

Bob Barr

Bob Barr represented Georgia’s 7th district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 -2003 and as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia from 1986-1990.