Rep. Mike Rogers Keeps Insisting Snowden Is A Russian Spy, Even As NSA/FBI Officials Say No Such Evidence

from the do-you-trust-mike-rogers? dept

Rep. Mike Rogers sure loves the NSA and really, really hates Ed Snowden. It’s at the point where Rogers appears to not care at all about the truth, repeating multiple blatant falsehoods in TV interviews when it comes to Snowden. This past weekend, he went on TV to repeat an old favorite, claiming (without any proof, but just blind speculation) that he thinks that Snowden was a Russian spy all along. On Meet the Press, David Gregory asked Rogers about Snowden’s comments in his interview with Bart Gellman, in which Snowden pointed to Rogers’ (and Senator Dianne Feinstein’s) failure to uphold their role as overseers of the NSA as for why he had to leak the documents he gave to reporters. Rogers disagrees and hints that Snowden “had some help.”

Well, first of all, I mean, I couldn’t disagree more. That’s like having the janitor at a bank who figured out how to steal some money deciding matters of high finance. This was a thief, who we believe had some help, who stole information the vast majority had nothing to do with privacy. Our Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines have been incredibly harmed by the data that he has taken with him and we believe now is in the hands of nation states.

Note the insult: comparing Snowden to “the janitor.” This is nothing more than Rogers being an asshole for the sake of being an asshole. People who worked with Snowden have pointed out repeatedly that he was incredibly smart, with one NSA colleague describing him as “a genius among geniuses.”

Who helped him?

Well, there were certain questions that we have to get answered. Where some of this aid, first of all, if it was a privacy concern he had, he didn’t look for information on the privacy side for Americans. He was stealing information that had to do with how we operate overseas to collect information to keep Americans safe. That begs the question. And some of the things he did were beyond his technical capabilities. Raises more questions. How he arranged travel before he left. How he was ready to go, he had a go bag, if you will.

That’s actually not what anyone was saying. As we pointed out, late last year, the NSA’s director of technology, Lonny Anderson, has admitted that basically anyone who had top secret security clearance could have seen all of the documents Snowden saw and that because of Snowden’s job as a sys admin in charge of moving certain documents around, what Snowden did was part of his normal job. Others in the NSA have said the same thing. So it appears that Rogers is, once again, simply making stuff up.

As for the travel issues, it doesn’t seem that confusing at all. He flew to Hong Kong, which he’d evidently planned for a while. He didn’t need “a go bag” to be all ready to go. And, then, once the news reports first came out, of course he knew he had to be ready to travel.

But how high level, do you think?

Well, let me just say this. I believe there’s a reason he ended up in the hands, the loving arms, of an FSB agent in Moscow. I don’t think that’s a coincidence, number one. Number two, and let me just talk about this. I think it’s important.

You think the Russians helped Ed Snowden?

I believe there’s questions to be answered there. I don’t think it was a gee-whiz luck event that he ended up in Moscow under the handling of the FSB.

That’s a significant development if it’s true.

Well, I said we have questions we have to answer. But as somebody who used to do investigations, some of the things we’re finding we would call clues that certainly would indicate to me that he had some help and he stole things that had nothing to do with privacy.

Yes, there’s a reason he ended up in Russia… because on his attempt to go to Latin America, the US pulled his passport, leaving him stranded in a Moscow airport for a few weeks. Maybe, just maybe, if the US hadn’t reacted in such a kneejerk manner, he could have actually made it to his destination.

Meanwhile, both the NSA’s guy in charge of reviewing the Snowden situation, Rick Ledgett, as well as the FBI team investigating Snowden have both said that there is absolutely no indication that Snowden was working with anyone else. The NSA specifically has said:

The NSA’s internal review has determined about 98 percent of the scope of the material that Snowden had accessed, and officials have found no evidence that he had help either within the NSA or from adversary spy agencies.

As for the FBI:

According to senior government officials, F.B.I. agents from the bureau’s Washington field office, who are leading the investigation, believe that Mr. Snowden methodically downloaded the files over several months while working as a government contractor at the Hawaii facility. They also believe that he worked alone, the officials said.

Yet, magically, Rep. Mike Rogers somehow knows that he was just a Russian spy all along? Yeah, right. Considering Rogers’ history as willing to flat out lie to defend the NSA and smear Ed Snowden, it’s difficult to take him seriously. If David Gregory were paying attention, he would have pointed all of that out, but Gregory seems more intent on just continuing to keep up his cozy relationship with the NSA’s strongest defenders.

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Comments on “Rep. Mike Rogers Keeps Insisting Snowden Is A Russian Spy, Even As NSA/FBI Officials Say No Such Evidence”

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Ninja (profile) says:

To see such lengths those with interests are going to protect their own well being is kind of funny. If Rogers believed that by saying that green super smart Latin American monkeys and bloodthirsty Mayans had part in the plot would save his skin and make people shift focus from the real issues I really can picture him actually saying it. What he says matters much less than what the “janitor” said. What matters now is that this dangerous man holds a very powerful position and is in the way of oversight and accountability (obviously he’s not alone here for that matter).

Anonymous Coward says:

Is Mike Rogers the son of breeding between a baboon and a chimpanzee? I mean if not, is he the bastard son of human and a bear?
Does the clear lack of answers by of Red. Rogers regarding these questions bring a greater scrutinity to his words? Is Rep Rogers a terrorist for failing to answer so simple questions? Are there bigger sinister truths behind Rep. Rogers?
The questions are out there and no one is answering them. I am just saying. This looks highly suspicious. Rep. Rogers has never in his political life addressed this hot questions. Is he hiding something?

Jonathan Lam (profile) says:

Re: House Un-American activities communittee

The most famous examples of McCarthyism include the speeches, investigations, and hearings of Senator McCarthy himself; the Hollywood blacklist, associated with hearings conducted by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC); and the various anti-communist activities of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) under Director J. Edgar Hoover. McCarthyism was a widespread social and cultural phenomenon that affected all levels of society and was the source of a great deal of debate and conflict in the United States.

Anonymous Coward says:

Mike Rogers along with Feinstein are just short of running scared. They know if this blows up in their faces, it comes down to them having not done their jobs in the first place and hard and uncomfortable questions will be asked as well as being viewed as bad publicity for the both of them come re-election time. Not to mention that both have a vested interest in the NSA continuing to be the star pony in this three ring circus.

The problem here is that Mike, Diane, and the NSA long ago ruined what little creditability they had. They threw it all away trying to deny the Snowden accusations. Now they could come out with the gods honest truth and no one will believe them nor take them at their word.

Germany is not considering taking up the NSA spying on Merkle’s phone as an illegal act to be investigated and tried in their court system. Obama’s speech did not go near far enough for what the Germans were seeking in the reining in of the NSA. What they hope to accomplish I have no idea but blowing over isn’t one of the things on the agenda.

Should the Germans do this, it will leave Mike and crew in the Congress looking just as foolish as they are. That’s not good news for a politician.

Beech says:

Sounds like a master-stroke of damage control to me.

1) Pull the guys passport on his way to Russia, (instead of like, before he got on a plane to Russia) trapping him in Russia

2) Claim that he intended on getting stuck in Russia the whole time, because terrori-…I, uh, mean espionage.

And seriously, Masnick, who are you going to trust? The experts in charge of investigating the issues, or a blowhard congressman who personally got egg on his face by not overseeing the thing he was supposed to be overseeing? Pffft.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

It is disturbing to see the type of “some say” and passives used in this way by a public representative. Having that kind of rumoursmithing from a representative is worse than having a news-channel running with it. And he is supposed to oversee NSAs actions?

Rogers seems to be running himself completely off the rails in trustworthyness to defend NSA. It seems like an example of a very compromised man, trying to save his cushion. Not pretty for american politics. Not pretty at all!

That One Guy (profile) says:

‘The NSA’s internal review has determined about 98 percent of the scope of the material that Snowden had accessed, and officials have found no evidence that he had help either within the NSA or from adversary spy agencies.’

Yeah, the first half is almost certainly attempted damage control, an attempt to show that they track use of the database by claiming they know what he took. The fact that they seem to be caught out on a lie every time they make a claim(hence why they’ve moved on to claiming generalities, rather than specifics) shows that they don’t have a clue what Snowden grabbed.

The second half on the other hand I could totally believe, they’ve got plenty of reason to try and link Snowden with a foreign intelligence agency or anyone else who could potentially profit from the data, the fact that they’re not even trying, and in fact flat out state that he did work alone suggest that the evidence showing outside help is non-existent, and they know it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Well, if you are hardballing it, you will likely be the one running off the rails. Softballing is so much easier and cheaper to research (ie. no research needed!).

Hardballing in debates is not a good idea in journalism unless you have done some very impressive digging and you are fast to connect the dots and give back accordingly. In private media, it is far too cost-inefficient to go there. Aggressive angling is far cheaper and more effective at catching viewers than digging deep.

teka (profile) says:

Re: Would the real asshole stand up?

You have been watching too many thrillers.

A real spy would shift the information, continue to work there and continue to say nothing. In fact, since it was comparatively easy to do and there was so little in the way of safeguards against it, it is almost certain that one or more foreign intelligence services already Had all or part of the data in the leak from Real spies, people who Didn’t go to the press and flee and get trapped in a foreign country.

mischab1 says:

Re: Would the real asshole stand up?

This would be the first time a Russian spy gave all the documents to the press first. Besides, if the fact that Snowden is in Russia is proof that he is a Russian spy, then the personpeople responsible for pulling his passport and stranding him in Russia are also Russian spys. Without them, he wouldn’t have had an excuse to stay in Russia.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Would the real asshole stand up?

Rogers, stop commenting online, you’re drunk(again).

When both the FBI and the NSA says that Snowden isn’t/wasn’t a spy, I think I’ll believe it more than some hack politician who’s so desperate to defend his buddies/paymasters that he’ll ignore any evidence contrary to what he wants people to think.

mmrtnt (profile) says:

No Kidding

I reworded a quote from Sen. Feinstein yesterday.

I’ll leave it here because I’m proud of it:

“‘…”I don’t believe so,” Feinstein said during an appearance on NBC’s Meet the
Press. “The president has very clearly said that he wants to continue to recieve
the funding provided by the contractors who supply the equipment, software and
bodies involved in this billion-dollar operation.
So I think we would agree with
him. I know a dominant majority of the – everybody, virtually, except two or
three, on the Senate Intelligence Committee would agree with that.” … “A lot
of the privacy people, perhaps, don’t understand that we still need massive
amounts of campaign funds going into this next election cycle”, Feinstein said.
“We need to be prepared. Television spots and Youtube ads are frickin’

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Hey Michigan...

Unfortunately, with how the system has been gamed, it is seriously hard to get rid of incumbent politicians once they’re in office, since the voting ‘districts’ tend to be so insanely messed up that even if 80% of the people in the state hate the current guy, the 20% who love them are still enough to keep them in office come voting day.

Not to say it shouldn’t be tried, with the bar set that low it shouldn’t be hard to find someone, anyone better suited to the office, just that the challenger would have a wicked uphill battle ahead of them.

theunpossiblefile (profile) says:


The only thing better than a Mike Rogers Republican is someone
named Dianne Feinstein and that isn’t saying much. That is saying
close to nothing. What a handsome fella that Rogers might be
if you were a log cabin Republican. But hey, according to Alex Jones
and technotypes who have no patience with politics, “they’re all the
same party” b/ c like “they’re all liars and corrupt”. What if I said
that it’s a very large cottage industry in the GOP to turn ppl off of
politics and voting? The more ppl who vote the worse they do.

A little reality. The NSA and everyone in the intel industrial
corporate complex knows that their orders are to exceed their
orders. Where have you heard that before? Well isn’t that like
against the constitution and such as that? *What would our
founders say?* Until the next 911 & all the emotional reactionaries
will keep overreacting like always. Like they did when Cheney
created a post 911 security in triplicate private contractor
stimulus in the trillions of dollars to the intel “community”
and to the economies of Virginia, Maryland & DC. Not to
mention what was added to the NSA, DHS.

Did you read the
Wired article on Gen. Alexander and his private fiefdom ,
the NSA and cibersecurity ? That came out a month after Snowden
left the country (July) No mention of Snowden. And yes, it was
contracted months before. Obama initiated his panel on security in
March. Snowden was in contact with Greenwald a month b4 he got the
job at Booz Allen Hamilton. He left the country in June.

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