California U.S. Sen Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, recently penned an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal defending the National Security Administration's habit of collecting telephone calls records for everyone in America. Her statement that "The NSA call-records program is working and contributing to our safety. It is legal and it is subject to strict oversight and thorough judicial review" struck me as an obvious lie that hardly needs refuting in the light of the all of the news coverage that's been published in the last few months, but if you want to read a rebuttal, check out Hamilton Nolan at Gawker and Julian Sanchez at Cato. (Sanchez is less strident than Nolan but in my mind is more persuasive.)
A more interesting question is why Feinstein would bother to publish a piece that contains what many of us would regard as obvious untruths. Here is an interesting conspiracy theory: the NSA is using blackmail to force officials to justify NSA programs. As Reason's J.D. Tuccille points out, the suggestion is not as ridiculous and "out there" as it might seem.