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.
A few other tidbits from his speech: He claims that "this program and others" stopped 54 terrorist attacks. Note the "and others." No one has yet shown any actual evidence that this program -- the one being debated -- did actually stop any attacks or, even when it may have been used in investigations, that it was necessary as compared to other investigative techniques and programs.

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.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 10:33am

    These are the same lies that have been told over and over to sell it to the public. Only now we see that congress is broken sadly way beyond the bounds of what is even true.

    There is a reason why the public is outraged over this program and many others suspected to be like it. I promise come voting time there will be a day of reckoning for those I get to vote for over this matter. They can lie, paint the hog's ear to be like something else but this is not going to blow over.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 10:38am

    Why does any politician mock anything? To manipulate people with fear or disdain for it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    Zakida Paul (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 10:42am

    Lack of understanding as to how the Internet works and what it can do.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 10:51am

    I propose...

    From now on we refer to him as "Misrepresentative Rogers" as that seems like a more appropriate title for him.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 11:02am

    Mike Rogers has zero credibility. I tend to ignore him whenever possible. He'll never uphold his oath to the Constitution, or protect law-a-biding citizens from illegal seizures of their personal information.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    Greevar (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 11:02am

    Under siege?

    People don't terrorize without a reason and we are certainly not under siege. If you listen to this guy, we should believe that every terrorist is a cartoon exaggeration whom plots the destruction of the United States (maniacal laugh). He's a liar and a charlatan.

    If I were a terrorist, I'd be quite pleased with myself for the fear and paranoia I have sewn amongst the citizens and government of the United State of America. Take a look at the state of our DoJ and congress. The terrorists have exactly what they want, people startled by shadows and whispers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    out_of_the_blue, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 11:12am

    He must read Techdirt!

    Where aging frat boys are resolved to still act 14.

    Obvious to all but Mike, his fanboy-trolls and minions.

    Take a loopy tour of Techdirt.com! You always end up same place!
    Mutual Admiration Society posts every Sunday! Awards for Most Vulgar ad hom! Any fool can win!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    Baldaur Regis (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 11:21am

    Rogers' Speech: The Condensed Version

    "Ladies and gentlemen,

    Disparagement. Innuendo. Fear mongerment. Innuendo. Misdirection. Plug written by industry shill. Bald-faced lie. Disparagement. Ad hominum attack.

    Thank you."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 11:35am

    Everything said on the floor is bullshit

    When Jon Kyl anounced that abortion services are well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does (starting the now cherished Was Not Intended To Be A Factual Statement meme.

    But Jon Stewart's response to this was to note that bullshitting-off-the-top-of-your-head is now a mainstay practice in congressional debate. One starts with the premise those who oppose my position are baby-eaters and then works it a bit and tries to throw-in key words from the topic at hand until it sounds plausible.

    What we need is a WATSON type computer on the floor that fact-checks every statement and buzzes and flashes obnoxiously whenever someone tries to pass a falsehood as cited fact.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. icon
    ChronoFish (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 11:48am

    The terrorist won

    It has been said that the "terrorist" hate "our freedoms" and "our country".

    Yet the biggest supporters of the police state insist that "9/11" changed everything. That the only way to be free is give up being free.

    The "terrorist" have won. Because of the actions of 9/11 and the unsuccessful attempts since then, we live in a less free country. It doesn't matter that the "terrorist" are not in control. It only matters that we are less free.

    Their (the terrorist) "Mission is Accomplished"


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. icon
    David Woodhead (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 11:51am

    re post #1

    "I promise come voting time there will be a day of reckoning for those I get to vote for over this matter."

    No, there really won't - that's the sad thing. The system does not allow you, or anyone else, to cast a vote which will make an actual difference.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. icon
    another mike (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 12:18pm

    Re: re post #1

    Voted "insightful" because "sad but true" wasn't one of the options.

    New feature request, Mike?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Jul 25th, 2013 @ 12:18pm


    I have tried to get that d-bag out of office every chance I have had since I was old enough to vote. I honestly want to send him a simple email that just asks "How do you fit so much d-bag into such a small minded meat suit?". I at least feel a little better that Amash is also from Michigan to make up for some of Roger's asshattery.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 12:23pm

    hey mike rogers

    in 4 years those 14 year olds are gonna remember who screwed'em over for some kickbacks

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 12:26pm

    he is behaving just as anyone else does who doesn't understand something or those who use it. all this pomp and bluster is typical of an ignorant prat who is trying to make out that he is the one with the knowledge and everyone else are the idiots! like stated, he needs to start to realise that he is supposed to represent the people, not the security agencies and certainly not defense contractors that have ties with his family!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 12:52pm

    this guy is bought and paid for. It wouldn't matter if it was free speech or privacy or any other amendment this guys would fear monger about why we need to get rid of these troublesome liberties.

    The only thing he goes for is a + for business and a - for the public. There should be a dedicated internet campaign to Primary the shit out of this guy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 1:36pm

    Re: He must read Techdirt!

    Don't worry Blue, you'll eventually reach the age of 14.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Anonymous, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 2:14pm

    Mr. Rogers lives in the Land Of Make-Believe.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 5:50pm


    They understand the internet and what it can do. They understand it allows people to bypass the information controls they carefully established through decade of media outlet manipulation. They understand that it allows people to consolidate instead of remaining divided into whatever race, gender, religious or financial segregation they have chosen to prevent a unified opposition.

    What they don't understand yet is how to control it, and without that sort of control they have to attempt to minimize it's effectiveness as much as possible.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. icon
    PaulT (profile), Jul 26th, 2013 @ 2:03am

    Re: Re: He must read Techdirt!

    In some cases, mockery of internet users is justified.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. identicon
    Dave, Jul 26th, 2013 @ 11:40am

    Re: He must read Techdirt!

    To OOTB. You must be up to your ears in excrement in your house, as you spout so much of it. Gotta go somewhere I suppose.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. identicon
    kP, Aug 1st, 2013 @ 8:08am

    You write pretty well for a subterranean 14 year old


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Hide this ad »
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Chat
Hide this ad »
Recent Stories
Advertisement - Amazon Prime Music
Hide this ad »


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.