Re: "Weasel words"
"'a consistent pattern of evasion and misdirection'
"That'll be 'lies' then - why don't they say what they mean?"
Because they're NOT the same thing.
If the (mis)Administration said, "Nope! Never done that! Nothing to see here." THOSE would be lies.
If (as they have essentially done) say, "Well we believe that there's a sub-clause in the Interstate Pastal and Town Criers Registration Act of 1795 that implies that we can do this," they may not be lying. They may: A - honestly (a hard word to type in this instance without giggling insanely, but there you go) believe that that clause does allow it, or; B - they want to get people so tied up in looking at EVERY law that might possibly be usable to justify their actions that they won't have time to ask embarassing questions.
The point is that, if you feel the need to "spin" a story, it's generally best to do so by telling the truth, and nothing but the truth, and hope that everyone is going to ASSUME that you're telling the whole truth.
Besides... The times when they actually HAVE lied previously (Iraqi WMDs, etc.) they got caught out too easily, and the baklash was more than they wanted to deal with; there's less fallout if hey're only caught spinning the truth, instead.