Gene Healy on Obama's NSA Lie


Smug Obama
White House

It's not easy to pick the year's most transparent lie from the self-styled "most transparent administration in history." There are so many to choose from—such a richness of embarrassment. For its "Lie of the Year," PolitiFact went with President Obama's "if you like your health plan, you can keep it"; the Washington Post Fact-Checker put the same statement at the top of its "biggest Pinocchios of 2013" list. It's a choice that has a lot to recommend it, but Obama's been singing that refrain since at least 2009. For Gene Healy's money, the biggest presidential lie of the year came on June 7, the week after former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed the agency's secret collection of call records data on millions of Americans. "I welcome this debate," Obama proclaimed—even as his administration was hunting down the whistleblower who started it and preparing to hit him with 30 years of Espionage Act charges.