Intelligence Official Says He Was Fired For Not Lying To Congress; Says Rogers & Feinstein Don't Know What's Happening

from the more-whistleblowing dept

As more and more details come out about the NSA surveillance programs, the federal government is looking more and more ridiculous. The latest comes from a column by John Fund at the National Review Online -- a publication which has been a pretty strong supporter of the surveillance state. The column highlights that even the NSA's staunchest defenders are beginning to get fed up with the NSA as more leaks come out (especially last week's revelation of thousands of abuses). But the really interesting tidbit is buried a bit:
A veteran intelligence official with decades of experience at various agencies identified to me what he sees as the real problem with the current NSA: “It’s increasingly become a culture of arrogance. They tell Congress what they want to tell them. Mike Rogers and Dianne Feinstein at the Intelligence Committees don’t know what they don’t know about the programs.” He himself was asked to skew the data an intelligence agency submitted to Congress, in an effort to get a bigger piece of the intelligence budget. He refused and was promptly replaced in his job, presumably by someone who would do as told.
Yes, it's an unsourced quote, so you can take it with whatever grains of salt you'd like. However, given the various revelations over the past few weeks and months, it's becoming increasingly clear that Congress does not, in fact, know what the NSA is up to, despite the claims by Rogers and Feinstein that there's strong oversight. Given that we've already seen how NSA agents are told to withhold certain info from those in charge of oversight, combined with the use of a loophole to avoid reporting details of its activities to Congress, the statement above certainly is supported by the various leaks to date.

Fund also highlights how the claim that Rogers' strong defense of the NSA appears to be out of ignorance of what's going on is based on Rogers' own quotes:
Back in July, House Intelligence Committee chair Mike Rogers claimed that there have been “zero privacy violations” on the part of NSA. After the leaked audit made news on Friday, he retreated to saying that “there was no intentional and willful violation of the law.”
A person who was really in charge of oversight would be demanding more information, public hearings and changes. But Rogers is doing none of that. How is he still in that job?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Aug 19th, 2013 @ 11:21am

    Obviously

    A person who was really in charge of oversight would be demanding more information, public hearings and changes. But Rogers is doing none of that. How is he still in that job?

    By meeting all the requirements.

     

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    Michael, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 11:32am

    John Fund at the National Review Online

    Well, online clearly means he is not a REAL journalist, so he should not be protected by shield laws. I'm sure the US government will be happy to know they can promptly arrest him and force him to produce his source - who is clearly aiding terrorists.

     

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      Jim, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 3:55pm

      Re:

      There can't be any shield law. Making one would violate the 1st amendment where it says that Congress shall make no law(s)...

      How unclear is that to the American public and our government?

       

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    Ninja (profile), Aug 19th, 2013 @ 11:34am

    How is he still in that job?

    Answer:

    A person who was really in charge of oversight would be demanding more information, public hearings and changes.

    And seemingly he is the one that does as told (see quote below).

    He refused and was promptly replaced in his job, presumably by someone who would do as told.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2013 @ 10:13am

      Re:

      NSA has been spying on all of the officials in the Goverment as long as there has been an NSA. Judges, Senators, Congressmen, and all the members of all the commities that oversee it. It stands to reason they have all the dirt on said Officials. I reckon they have serious Sh** on Rogers'.

       

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    anonymouse, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 11:49am

    Panic

    I just want Snowden to release some documents about how deeply the politicians have been monitored. seriously that would be fun, to see their faces when data is released about their deepest darkest secrets, or the fact that the NSA has been blackmailing them with those deep dark secrets.

    I think everyone would be laughing so hard you would not be able to hear there whimpering as their lives fell apart around them.

     

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      Glen, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 11:57am

      Re: Panic

      I'm beginning to think that these politicians do know how deeply the NSA has investigated and that they have shown the politicians their deepest darkest secrets. That is why they are staunchly defending the NSA.

       

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        Uriel-238 (profile), Aug 19th, 2013 @ 12:27pm

        That would explain a lot.

        Could it be that the incompetence in the Senate over the NSA affair has been a desperate attempt to communicate that they've been compromised?

        That would be a far cooler world than the one I live in, in which our congresspeople are just plain stupid. (Hanlon's Razor and all that.)

        It would make a great 1960s-style SPECTRE plot, though. Blofeld petting his Persian cat while using the NSA to rule the world from the internet.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 12:04pm

    How? State force.

    How is he still in that job?

    He's funded via State theft/extortion (i.e., "taxation") which is backed by State force/aggression/violence (or threat thereof). Therefore, he has no market incentive to do a good job or work any harder than he wants. He gets paid either way.

    I prefer consensual relationships and voluntary exchange.

     

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      Pragmatic, Aug 20th, 2013 @ 5:41am

      Re: How? State force.

      You do know that behind all this are the private enterprises you believe will save us all, right?

       

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        Michael Price, Aug 20th, 2013 @ 6:54am

        Re: Re: How? State force.

        When did he say "private" enterprises that get their money from government would save us? Whether you get your money direct from the armed thugs or through a check to your employer, it's the same thing. If you get paid from the loot gained by force you never have to say you're sorry.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 12:06pm

    Rogers is doing his job for his political party insiders.

    1) Bring in lots of campaign cash with his power as the #1 person on the intelligence committee.

    2) Keep Republican insiders, especially defense hawks, satisfied by constantly increasing the budgets of all 'defense' related areas, no matter how many people point out that some of that money is being wasted, or being spent on things Americans don't want us to spend it on.

    3) Make sure Rogers party is seem doing EVERYTHING possible to prevent terrorist attacks, no matter how wasteful or pointless it is. That way Rogers can his party can blame the other side the next time we're attacked by terrorists to win more elections.

    As you can see, nowhere in his job description is looking out for and representing the American people and the constitution. Rogers doesn't have to worry about that in his safely gerrymandered district.

     

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    ss, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 12:14pm

    What is the NSA up to?

    Intelligence agencies across the globe are, in effect, making themselves the new world order. Surveillance. A new world order where their laws supersede those of even their own governments, where human rights are not rights, exactly, but are contrived permissions that supplant the human existence.

    When *ALL* of your communications are subject to oversight then *ALL* of your communications are made fearful of this one world order.

    This beast *MUST* be slayed. The beast *MUST* be destroyed by any means whatsoever. While this beast lives, prospers and breeds we are all subject to ownership because we are all owned.

    To the NSA and all of those that would allow this deceit and control disguised as protection, a protection that directly subverts the human existence, dignity, freedom and life, go fuck yourselves.. and I'll see you all in hell. Fucking cowards. Until you treat the communications of the world as you do your own you're nothing but hideous disciples of evil. EVIL, bitches! Are you getting what I'm putting down? You're willingly destroying what you, supposedly, stand for. You *ARE* the terrorists and you *ARE* winning, for now.

     

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    Nastybutler77 (profile), Aug 19th, 2013 @ 12:20pm

    The only members of Congress still actively supporting/defending the NSA are the ones who have the largest campaign contributions from the survailance industrial complex.

     

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    out_of_the_blue, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 12:38pm

    3rd option: no oversight yet Congress does know.

    "it's becoming increasingly clear that Congress does not, in fact, know what the NSA is up to, despite the claims by Rogers and Feinstein that there's strong oversight. -- Nope, just more of Mike's hopelessly naive* notion that they'd do right if only they knew.


    * So now we have the answer to whether he's naive, or hopelessly naive.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 2:03pm

      Re: 3rd option: no oversight yet Congress does know.

      Where did he make that claim? Be specific, so we can have fun again.

       

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      John Roberts (UK), Aug 19th, 2013 @ 6:24pm

      Re: 3rd option: no oversight yet Congress does know.

      They don't know because they don't want to know. Oversight, like democracy itself, has become obsolete, emptied of all meaning, and just becomes another propaganda tool wielded by the elite to fool the masses.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 12:39pm

    Feinstein doesn't know, and Feinstein doesn't care. All she wants at this point is her own drones.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 1:13pm

    Feinstein's excuse is that she is not 'a techie'. in that case she shouldn't be in any government job!
    Rogers excuse is that he is totally ignorant to what is going on, simply because he wants to be ignorant! he thinks it is a governments right to spy on the people, to take away any remnant of privacy and as much freedom as possible. to quote someone from a while back, 'he needs to move to N.Korea'. perhaps having first hand experience of the very treatment he is condoning would change his mind! it's a much different scenario when it's your family members being hauled into prison for doing what they class as nothing, as normal but the authorities class as treason!!

     

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    Jasmine Charter, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 1:26pm

    Really?!

    Did anyone EVER think Dianne Feinstein had a clue? Just listen to her talk. She admits she's a complete techno idiot... and THIS is the person we have overseeing some of the most technologically advanced parts of the government...

    WE... ARE... STUPID. (Well... Californians are for electing her... and re-electing her... IDIOTS!)

     

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    Loki, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 2:34pm

    They tell Congress what they want to tell them. Mike Rogers and Dianne Feinstein at the Intelligence Committees donít know what they donít know about the programs.Ē

    I don't buy this for a second. Wyden and others have been trying to sound the alarm for several years now, although for whatever reasons are clearly afraid to reveal all they know (perhaps a very real fear people might burn DC to the ground if they knew the whole truth all at once).

    If Feinstein and Rogers are ignorant of what is really going on, it is because they intentionally choose to keep themselves in the dark about certain details.

     

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    carlosjii (profile), Aug 19th, 2013 @ 3:14pm

    Rogers still on the job

    maybe these guys get BIG LOBBY $$$$$ from NSA contractors. I wonder if NSA adds lobby $$ to its contracts as passthrus???????????????

     

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    FM Hilton, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 4:03pm

    Rogers' credibility stinks

    "A person who was really in charge of oversight would be demanding more information, public hearings and changes. But Rogers is doing none of that. How is he still in that job?"
    "His wife, Kristi Clemens Rogers, was previously President and CEO of Aegis LLC, a contractor to the United States Department of State for intelligence-based and physical security services."
    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Rogers_%28Michigan_politician%29

    There's your answer. His wife has a lot of very, very powerful friends who would like to continue to be contracted with the NSA, which is just another department of the government.

    His ability to do his job depends on his kissing ass-and not voting for oversight or closer scrutiny of the NSA or any of the intelligence agencies.

    You don't bite the hand that feeds you.

     

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