Robert Knight

It’s difficult to keep up with all the lies we’re being told by our government. The good news is that falsehoods don’t have the legs they once had.

Remember when Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was asked by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) during a March 12, 2012 hearing, “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” Mr. Clapper answered, “No sir … not wittingly.”

After Edward Snowden spilled the National Security Agency’s beans three months later, Clapper retreated to his Ministry of Truth persona when asked by NBC’s Andrea Mitchell on June 10, 2013 why he lied to Mr. Wyden: “I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful, manner by saying, ‘No.’ ”

Mr. Clapper in February 2011 told a Capitol Hill hearing, whose audience Mr. Clapper apparently assessed had fallen off a turnip truck, that Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood was “a very heterogeneous group, largely secular.” His office released a clarification of that one even before the day ended.

On Dec. 22, 2013, National Security Adviser Susan E. Rice insisted in a “60 Minutes” interview that NSA officials “inadvertently made false representations.” Glad that’s cleared up. She also defended the NSA’s snooping on Americans by saying that “the fact that we have not had a successful attack on our homeland since 9/11 should not be diminished.”

That would be news to the survivors of the Islamist massacres at Fort Hood, Texas (Nov. 5, 2009) and the Boston Marathon (April 15, 2013).

Ms. Rice is getting good at this. She was U.N. Ambassador when the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was assaulted on Sept. 11, 2012, resulting in the deaths of U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. On four Sunday talk shows and for days afterward she, along with other administration officials including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, insisted that it was not a terrorist attack but a spontaneous riot inflamed by an anti-Muhammad video on the Internet. Ms. Rice was later promoted to her current post.

The video story eventually fell apart. So the administration switched to blaming the CIA for giving Ms. Rice bad talking points. Maybe Mr. Clapper got some, too, for his NSA fib.

Incredibly, the New York Times on Dec. 28, 2013, tried to resurrect the video ploy with a 7,000-word article. Written by David D. Kirkpatrick, “A Deadly Mix in Benghazi” dismisses the claim that al-Qaeda played any role in the attack. Instead, the Times reports, local Islamic militants cased the consulate and engineered the assault.

Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.