The quote of the week comes from James Clapper, the director of national intelligence. Noting that criticism of surveillance programs forced the government to “throttle back,” he told The Washington Post that means “we are accepting more risk.”

Tapping a deep well of sarcasm, he continued: “We are supposed to keep the country safe, predict anticipatory intelligence, with no risk, and no embarrassment if revealed, and without a scintilla of jeopardy to privacy of any domestic person or foreign person. We call that ‘immaculate collection.’ ”

Bingo!

Clapper’s mission-impossible statement is more than justified, and not just in matters of intelligence gathering. He might have been talking about the public’s view of fighting terrorism, too.

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Americans are against terrorism, wholeheartedly. And want to do something about it — halfheartedly.

As such, the public has been in sync with the president, meaning we have the government we ­deserve.

To continue reading Michael Goodwin's column in The New York Post, click here.

Michael Goodwin is a Fox News contributor and New York Post columnist.