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    Is Obama on a need-to-not-know basis?

    Supporters of the Obama administration contend that the president was largely unaware of both developing problems in the malfunctioning health care website and National Security Agency surveillance activity.

    This defense calls to mind the famous question from President Nixon’s role in the Watergate scandal, with one key difference.

    In this instance, the question is: What didn’t the president know, and when didn’t he know it?

    John D. Tuerck