Mike Rogers Says NSA Told Congress About Spying On Foreign Leaders; Cuts Off Rep. Who Say That's Not True

from the incredible dept

The House Intelligence Committee, led by chief NSA apologist Rep. Mike Rogers, held yet another hearing about the NSA scandal on Tuesday, with an official focus on “potential changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act,” but that was barely discussed at all. Instead, the panel, made up of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, NSA boss Keith Alexander, Deputy Attorney General James Cole and number 2 guy at NSA Chris Inglis, mostly focused on defending the NSA, especially in light of the recent headlines concerning spying on foreign leaders. Rogers focused on tossing out a bunch of softball questions to the panel to get them to say that they had clearly informed the House Intelligence Committee about spying on foreign leaders. After the softballs were hit back, Rogers would add a stage-whispered “Hmm,” followed by an angry attack on reporters for buying into the story that the NSA hadn’t informed Congress.

Of course, given that Rogers’ counterpart in the Senate, Dianne Feinstein, claims that she wasn’t informed, this seems a bit strange. But it got even stranger when various other committee members, including Rep. Jan Schakowsky and Rep. Adam Schiff made it clear that they had no idea this was going, despite being on the committee.

That resulted in an incredible exchange, in which Rogers attacked others on the Committee, suggesting that they should just shut up if they’re going to say they weren’t informed — hinting that some Committee members “do more work than others.” Schiff, quite reasonably, appeared to take offense to this, and challenged Rogers, asking for more details as to when and how the Committee was told about spying on foreign leaders. Rogers without actually answering the question kept “warning” other members not to say something about this. Schiff broke in again (with Rogers trying to stop him from talking) to ask if the Committee was directly informed about this or if it was just a giant data dump of information that he would have had to go through carefully to find out who they were spying on. Rogers again refused to answer the question, and again hinted that those who put in the “effort” would have known about this — and then flat out cut off Schiff and handed the floor to Rep. Michele Bachmann, who went back to tossing softballs (sample question: “Do you think Snowden is a traitor?”).

In the end, Rogers weak attempt to continue to defend the NSA here made it pretty clear, once again, that the claims that he has not adequately informed others in Congress of what’s going on are quite accurate.

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Comments on “Mike Rogers Says NSA Told Congress About Spying On Foreign Leaders; Cuts Off Rep. Who Say That's Not True”

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27 Comments
out_of_the_blue says:

THEY'RE ALL LYING. Rogers and those who claim ignorance.

Yet Mike believes it’s news.

@ “silverscarcat”: “Can’t the House Censure Rogers over all of this?” … Sigh. Despite all my railing, you still seem to believe that some of them aren’t in on the conspiracy, that some part of this is NOT theater. And apparently Mike does TOO. — It’s like I’m talking at dogs. … We is doomed.

Trails (profile) says:

Re: THEY'RE ALL LYING. Rogers and those who claim ignorance.

Despite all my railing, you still seem to believe that some of them aren’t in on the conspiracy

I’m with you sister. I’ve been going on and on for years about how the illuminati run Taco Bell, and despite the fact that I’ve said like 80 bajillion times, no one believes me. What gives?

Sure I don’t provide facts, reasoned argument or even rational thought but I’ve said it so often, and I believe it! Why wouldn’t that work for them? It worked for Tinkerbell…

Anonymous Coward says:

Another Rogers remark

Came right at the end of the stream long after Alexander and Clapper were no longer being questioned but instead they were questioning an advocate. Roger’s actually said that a person’s privacy cannot be invaded if they don’t know their privacy is being invaded. I couldn’t believe such a dumb remark actually came out of his mouth. So I guess he believes that a person who passes out and is raped by someone isn’t actually raped unless they know that they were being raped. Dumbass.

Anonymous Coward says:

Ootb, you were doing fairly well with an answers I didn’t hit the report button on because you stayed on topic. When you go to attacking Mike for putting out articles, that’s a bit much considering you have been time and again invited to leave by various members for your obnoxious posts. You don’t like what Mike has to say… hit the friggin’ road. No one holds you here but your own obsessions.
————————————–

We’ve heard in the past that the Congressional Oversight Committee has had to play 20 questions trying to drag any information out of the NSA representatives. So that is what they call adequate information. Rogers is cutting off these questions because they hit uncomfortably home to what has gone on and he knows it.

Once again, the NSA shows how well it understands misdirection when it can’t just come out and lie. Since I gather this was held today, having Rep. Michele Bachmann in on it is the equivalent of having Betelgeuse in on solving the dilemma of how do you spy, exceed your mandate, know you are lying about what is what, and say it with a straight face.

It is highly telling that Mike Rogers doesn’t want to answer questions in his treatment of those that want to ask them. We don’t even have to question why.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

What needs to happen?

Start with the House. By constitutional design, the House of Representatives succumbs more readily to popular pressure than the Senate. The entire House is re-elected every two years. So start with the House.

You need to get the fossils out, and get your guys in.

In order to do that, you need to convince your neighbors. Convince ’em and then get ’em to vote on their convictions. Convince your neighbors.

?

?

Or, alternatively, you and your dozen best buds could arm yourselves with AR-15s and go on some kind of filibustering() expedition to Washington? Good luck with that one.

() From Wikipedia:

The English term “filibuster” is derived from the Spanish filibustero, itself deriving originally from the Dutch vrijbuiter, “privateer, pirate, robber” (also the root of English “freebooter”). The Spanish form entered the English language in the 1850s, as applied to military adventurers from the United States then operating in Central America and the Spanish West Indies such as William Walker

?Filibuster? ?a nice word.

Anonymous Coward says:

Rogers, along with the others involved, is going to try any tactic he can to keep himself out of the shit! he, along with the others involved, deserves to be in the shit passed his eyeballs! he seems to think that he is running the country, not just the NSA! Obama certainly doesn’t seem to be or have much idea who is. if he can be/is out of the loop, there are even more serious problems than we thought and they were bad enough!!

Anonymous Coward says:

Much of the debate had to do with phone records, not Internet traffic. That’s the issue that is potentially much more invasive.

As far as I know, a telco company that keeps no logs doesn’t exist in the US (or may be very small). However, there are many Internet companies that minimize data collection such as search engines, VPN services, and email services. These companies are based on their ability to provide privacy for their customers. If that was taken away, their product would be useless. In the case of Lavabit, this business model is being destroyed by Government intervention. There is no legal minimum for companies to keep metadata or content. Because of this, the NSA argues it needs access and storage of raw Internet traffic.

The argument from the Intelligence Agencies as to why they store phone records is because telcos are currently not compelled by law to keep logs after 18 months(FCC Guidline http://icehook.com/blog/2011/12/15/cdr-retention-regulation-by-state/), and not in a format easily indexed by the NSA.

There are useful reasons to keep logs, but other than telcos, companies are not required to keep them at all and not in an unaltered format. The Lavabit case will decide if non-logging services have a future.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The Lavabit issue had nothing to do with logs. It had to do with whether or not the company was willing to hand over the keys to all their customer’s communications.

These companies are based on their ability to provide privacy for their customers. If that was taken away, their product would be useless.

This is correct. In the US, if a third party service holds your private encryption keys then that ability has already been taken away and such products are useless. That’s what Lavabit was all about.

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