Why Does Rep. Mike Rogers Always Mock The Internet And Its Users?
from the do-you-not-care-about-the-public? dept
Rep. Mike Rogers, who has long been a strong supporter of stomping on your privacy in the name of supporting his friends (and family) who are a part of the intelligence-industrial complex, seems to have a real hatred for the internet and the people who express their opinion via the internet. No wonder he was the lead sponsor of CISPA and wanted the ability to undermine the privacy promises of internet companies. Back when the CISPA debate was happening, and there was widespread grassroots opposition, Rogers dismissed it all, claiming that it was just “14-year-olds in their basement clicking around on the internet.
So it should come as little surprise that when he stood up on the House floor yesterday to defend the NSA’s mass collection of Americans’ private information, he once again mocked the internet and its users. You can watch Rogers’ impassioned speech here, which is almost entirely made up of misleading rhetoric in defense of the program, and concludes with this obnoxious sendoff:
Are we so small that we can only look at our Facebook likes today in this Chamber? Or are we going to stand up and find out how many lives we can save?
Note the implication: those supporting the Amash Amendment are those awful basement-dweller “internet” types who are tweeting and Facebooking their support — and those people don’t matter. Sorry, Rep. Rogers, but those people are the American public whose interests you’re supposed to be representing. Not the interests of your wife’s career opportunities, or the interests of your friends in law enforcement.
Amusingly, while he conflates “this program” with “others” when talking about how important it is, earlier in the speech he goes in the other direction, focusing very narrowly on “this program.” In the opening he insists that, under this program, the NSA collects “no emails, no phone calls, no names, and no addresses.” Right. This program, the Section 215 “business records” collection of bulk metadata, does not include that info. But the NSA is collecting much of that info through other programs. Or, you know, through publicly available databases. We’ve seen many people argue that “this program” doesn’t include things like names attached to phone numbers, but does anyone actually think that the NSA isn’t able to do a reverse lookup to match a phone number to a name? Meanwhile, it’s well known that the feds absolutely can get emails and phone calls if necessary. So, to say that because those things aren’t obtained under this program, it means this program is fine, is silly — because it’s not difficult to get from this program to those others.
He also exaggerates how many people have said this program is legal. Especially when it comes to Congressional oversight. As this very debate showed, many in Congress were misled into believing this program was entirely different. Furthermore, when he claims that the various Intelligence Committees in the House and the Senate “approved” of this program, claiming they “came together” and supported the program, he implies that it was universal approval, but as we’ve seen from Senators Wyden and Udall that’s hardly the case. And I won’t even get into ridiculous fear mongering mentions of 9/11 and how without this program we’re back to 9/10. That’s just wrong.
Perhaps if Rep. Rogers actually went out and spoke to the American public, rather than insulting them, he might learn that his job is to represent them, and not the intelligence community and the big defense contractors. This isn’t about getting Facebook likes. This is about the American public.