Justin Amash: Mike Rogers Isn't Overseeing The Intelligence Community, He's Conspiring To Cover Up Its Activities

from the does-the-nsa-have-a-talking-bear? dept

Rep. Justin Amash has been highlighting for months how Rep. Mike Rogers, the head of the House Intelligence Committee seems to have gone out of his way to withhold information from Congress. In a recent speech, he teed off on Rogers, noting that while his job as head of the Intelligence Committee is supposed to be “oversight,” it’s actually been one of collusion with the White House to “cover up” the intelligence community’s activities. Amash also responded to completely misleading (and, frankly, insulting) statements from Rogers’ office implying that Rogers did make the necessary information “available” by inviting them to “classified briefings.” However, Amash explained how those sessions were ridiculous because they weren’t explanations about what was going on, but a sick game of 20 questions where Reps who were interested had to poke around in the dark:

But Amash said that intelligence officials are often evasive during classified briefings and reveal little new information unless directly pressed.

“You don’t have any idea what kind of things are going on,” Amash said. “So you have to start just spitting off random questions. Does the government have a moon base? Does the government have a talking bear? Does the government have a cyborg army? If you don’t know what kind of things the government might have, you just have to guess and it becomes a totally ridiculous game of twenty questions.”

Of course, now I want to know about the NSA’s talking bear. And the moon base.

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Comments on “Justin Amash: Mike Rogers Isn't Overseeing The Intelligence Community, He's Conspiring To Cover Up Its Activities”

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out_of_the_blue says:

Actually, anyone who reads infowars.com or whatreallyhappened KNOWS

so if Amash doesn’t know the general outlines of the surveillance state, it’s Beltway blindnesss.

Throwing in “talking bear” is worse than useless, as every 13-year old seizes on that — AND STOPS asking the real questions. — So was that just a quip, or intended for distraction? Discuss.

Beech says:

Re: Actually, anyone who reads infowars.com or whatreallyhappened KNOWS

It’s called hyperbole, and is a valid rhetorical advice, much unlike slinging ad homs.

The real point is this: An actual representative went to an actual briefing wanting to get information about legitimate problems, but was instead given a full snow job and forced to draw his own conclusions.

JH says:

What's the mechanism for firing the chair of a committee?

For the non-Americans of us here, who has the power to fire the chair of a Congressional committee?

If enough members of the House or the Senate respectively wish to, can they force a vote of no confidence in the chair? Or one in the committee as a whole, and have its members reselected?

Ben (profile) says:

Re: What's the mechanism for firing the chair of a committee?

This is where most of the power of Speaker of the House resides – the Speaker controls the assignment of members of his/her party to committees. Senior (majority party) member of the committee is “usually” the chair. In the Senate it is the Majority Leader. The minority leaders assign the “other” openings on the committees.

Of course the day-to-day power comes from controlling how legislation is brought before the respective houses, but you really can’t underestimate the power (and payoff) of being able to assign chairmanships.

The Speaker/Majority Leader can take away committee membership pretty much at will, so that is one way a chairman could be removed.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: What's the mechanism for firing the chair of a committee?

If enough members of the House or the Senate respectively wish to?

Article I, Section 5:

Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings?

Almost anytime you hear about some bit of procedural bother the House or Senate has gotten itself into, just remember that either house can change their own rules. Anytime they have the political will to do so.

By simple majority.


Everything else is just smoke and mirrors. Political theater?mixed in with a bit of good ol’ tradition and hoary precedent.

They determine their own rules.

Anonymous Coward says:

Cyborg army eh?

I already know *all* about that.

Oh do tell. Anything juice our less favorite troll can take back to Infowars? Now that we have a source of info from him all begins to become a little clearer. Hey ootb, did you know Infowars and Google are conspiring against you? (surely we can get him to cock his tin foil hat on that one).

Does Alexander and Clapper have any idea they have really pissed off the public with the Snowden leaks of what is going on?

All this business with trust us has went about as far as it’s going to go. All of Alexander’s personal magnetism doesn’t transfer over the net. I trust him less than I do the government and at this point that means not at all.

It’s time for some serious shake up of Washington.

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