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.

Filed Under: adam schiff, chris inglis, dianne feinstein, house intelligence committee, james clapper, james cole, keith alexander, mike rogers, nsa, nsa surveillance


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  1. icon
    silverscarcat (profile), 29 Oct 2013 @ 2:12pm

    Hmm...

    Can't the House Censure Rogers over all of this?

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