from the of-whom? dept
Republican Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House of Representatives intelligence committee, told an meeting in the House of Commons in London on Tuesday evening that Snowden was a "traitor" who was now living in the "loving arms" of Russian spies.Uh, murder of whom, exactly? As far as I can tell, his argument is that because of Snowden's actions, soldiers are less safe and might get killed, and thus, murder.
"The [US] government has pressed charges on Mr Snowden," he said. "We are treating him, as I would argue, the traitor that he is." Rogers added: "And by the way, and this is important, I would charge him for murder."
"He took information that allows force protection, not only for British soldiers, but for US soldiers, and made it more difficult for us to track those activities. Meaning it is more likely that one of those soldiers is going to get their legs blown off or killed because of his actions," he said. "Anybody that provides information to the enemy is a traitor, period, pure and simple."Except, no. Almost none of that is even close to accurate. Snowden didn't "provide information to the enemy" -- he blew the whistle on illegal programs by revealing it to the public via well-respected reporters who, you know, won the Pulitzer Prize for their reporting. Unless Rogers views the American public as "the enemy" his argument makes no sense. Furthermore, what information has Snowden provided that means a soldier is somehow more likely to get his legs blown off or killed? So far, all of the revelations have been about surveillance programs that have raised serious legal and constitutional questions, but have done little to actually "help" terrorists. That's because most terrorists were well aware of the surveillance capabilities of the NSA/GCHQ before. The new stuff is how the NSA uses that on everyone else.
Meanwhile, if doing things that might lead to more soldiers getting hurt or killed makes you guilty of murder, shouldn't Rogers be talking about getting himself and other members of Congress charged with murder? After all, remember it was Congress that failed to equip soldiers with proper body armor.
Rogers also repeats his "Snowden was working for the Russians all along" argument that he's particularly fond of. He does this despite the fact that basically everyone, including officials from both the NSA and the FBI, has said they've found no evidence to support such an argument.
Rogers also repeats the claim that Snowden handed over lots of other material that is dangerous:
Rogers said that "over 95%" of the information Snowden handed over had "nothing to do" with the NSA spying on American or European citizens private communications but was "about tactical things, military plans and operations".However, again, this is based on the old DOD report that listed everything that Snowden ever "touched." Snowden, Greenwald and others who have seen the documents have noted -- multiple times -- that the number of documents he actually handed over was much lower than what that report claimed (in the tens of thousands of documents, rather than 1.7 million as the report claimed). Furthermore, the fact that no reports have come out "about tactical things, military plans and operations" certainly seems to support that fact, no matter what Rogers wants to claim.
Now that he's moving to a medium where nutty conspiracy theorists thrive, I imagine Rogers may get even nuttier. But, at the very least, he won't be in charge of "oversight" (stop laughing) of the NSA any more.