John McCain Now Pretends He Didn't Say Keith Alexander Should Resign; Gives Nonsensical Explanation

from the accountability-how? dept

We just wrote about Senator John McCain calling for NSA boss Keith Alexander to either be fired or resign — though for the exact wrong reasons. Specifically, he wants him fired for letting little people like Ed Snowden and Chelsea Manning have access to important documents and also for having embarrassing facts (like that we spy on McCain’s friends in high places, like Angela Merkel) revealed. Let’s be clear. Here is McCain’s exact quote:

SPIEGEL: Should Keith Alexander, head of the NSA, resign?

McCain: Of course, they should resign or be fired.

While a bit odd that McCain would refer to Alexander as plural, it’s hard to say that he didn’t say that. But, guess what? His press people are now trying to walk this back, and saying that McCain did not say what he actually said.

“Senator McCain believes that there needs to be accountability for the Snowden leaks, but he is not calling for the resignation of General Alexander, who is retiring soon,” McCain spokesman Brian Rogers told POLITICO. < ?i>

Actually, he did call for his resignation (or firing). Quite directly, as noted above. Separately, just what kind of “accountability” is he calling for? In the interview, he clearly said those responsible should be fired or resign. Of course, perhaps someone reminded him that Alexander is an “important person” like himself, Merkel and other top politicians, and he realized that “accountability” only applies to the little people.

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Comments on “John McCain Now Pretends He Didn't Say Keith Alexander Should Resign; Gives Nonsensical Explanation”

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29 Comments
out_of_the_blue says:

Mike continues to think politico-babble is important.

I might as well just go with taglines all the time: any of them are more relevant to your everyday life than what one of the worst fascists in Congress says.

So here’s one I like:


“Some people think that the Federal Reserve Banks are United States Government institutions. They are private monopolies which prey upon the people of these United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign customers; foreign and domestic speculators and swindlers; and rich and predatory money lenders.” The Honorable Louis McFadden, Chairman of the House Banking and Currency Committee in the 1930s http://www.4thmedia.org/2013/10/21/who-owns-the-federal-reserve-the-fed-is-privately-owned-and-its-shareholders-are-private-banks/

09:02:57[k-5-3]

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Mike continues to think politico-babble is important.

I might as well just go with taglines all the time: any of them are more relevant to your everyday life….

Is Blue attempting comedy here?

I find this statement to be utterly hilarious. Blue’s comments have about as much relevancy in my everyday life as that piece of gunk stuck to the bottom of my shoe. Both are annoying, formless, messy and useless.

Anonymous Coward says:

“However, Rogers noted that McCain was asked whether ?they? ? Alexander, President Barack Obama, and Congress?s intelligence committees ? should resign. So, Rogers said, McCain was arguing for general accountability in Washington, as opposed to specifically whether Alexander himself should step down.”

So in actuality he wasn’t JUST calling for the resignation of Alexander, but also the members of the intelligence committees and the President. Ok, I think that would be an acceptable outcome given the how egregious this was. Let’s start with the Feinstein and Mr. “I don’t really know what a violation of privacy is” Rogers since Alexander is on the way out anyway.

SolkeshNaranek says:

NSA - Resignations - Accountability

I would like to think McCain received a phone call after his “resignation” statement hit the press.

I can imagine the phone call originating from within the NSA and reminding McCain of the “incident/s” he would like to keep private and how it might accidentally become public knowledge if he didn’t change his position or statement.

They are watching everybody McCain, not just the “little people”. Welcome to the nightmare of your creation.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: NSA - Resignations - Accountability

I can imagine the phone call originating from within the NSA

No, bud.

The call probably came from McCain’s own staff. Or maybe someone the senator met on the cocktail circuit. Doesn’t really matter.

And all the call was, simply, was a reminder that General Alexander was retiring soon. Nothing more. And not sinister at all. Only the fact of General Alexander’s imminent retirement.

Senator McCain just wasn’t aware of that fact. He didn’t know.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 NSA - Resignations - Accountability

I didn’t say he was. I said that if he wasn’t aware that Alexander was retiring he obviously isn’t paying attention to much of anything that is going on – especially if he’s going to comment publicly on an issue. That would also make him not a member of the Intelligent Community in general.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 NSA - Resignations - Accountability

especially if he’s going to comment publicly on an issue

Wait a second? Name any national politician who needs to know what’s he’s talking about before running his mouth.

That’s just not in the political DNA: ? Knowing anything about the subject? Politicians are compelled to talk, regardless.

You can’t hold Senator McCain to some kind of higher standard. That’s not fair.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 NSA - Resignations - Accountability

Now we are getting somewhere…

“Wait a second? Name any national politician who needs to know what’s he’s talking about before running his mouth.”

They all seem to talk a lot about the Constitution but apparently most of them haven’t got a clue about what that is about.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 NSA - Resignations - Accountability

It’s French?

I thought the Frogs guillotined most of their ancien nobils back in 1789?during their revolution and the terror.

Or did they leave enough aristos with their heads still attached to be worth a damn? ? Damn all blue-blood aristos.

A tisket, a tasket,
???? a head in a basket.
It does not answer,
???? questions you ask it.

Internet Zen Master (profile) says:

Hmmm...

Given how blunt McCain’s known for being sometimes, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was spokesman Brian Rogers trying to do damage control where it wasn’t needed. After all, what Rogers sees as potentially damning to McCain’s career, might be seen by many others as a positive statement and get him more support.

… Actually, scratch that. Considering that there are many slimeball politicians who would twist McCain’s words and make it look like he was calling for Obama to resign, doing this double-speak bull crap makes sense, given what goes on in that wackoland that exists inside the Beltway.

Anonymous Coward says:

Here is McCain's exact quote

Here is McCain’s exact quote in context:

SPIEGEL: Who must be held accountable?

McCain: The head of the NSA, the president of the United States, the Congressional Intelligence Committees, all of these contractors we pay that were responsible for performing the background checks. There should be a wholesale housecleaning.

SPIEGEL: Should Keith Alexander, head of the NSA, resign?

McCain: Of course, they should resign or be fired. We no longer hold anybody accountable in Washington. The Commandant of the Marine Corps fired a couple of generals because of failure of security at a base in Afghanistan. Tell me who has been fired for anything that’s gone bad in this town.

In context, it’s apparent that Senator McCain is up to one of those standard political tricks: He is not answering the question the interviewer is asking. Instead, Senator McCain ? ?like any good politician? ? is answering the question that he wishes the interviewer would have asked.

He’s probably such an old hand at this by now, that it’s not even a conscious thing anymore. All decent politicians ignore the questions and answer the way they want.

In this case, Senator McCain isn’t even trying to be tricky or to obfuscate. He’s just following up on ?Who must be held accountable?? and answering with how those people should be held to account.

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