Americans now know for a fact that the functionaries and enablers of the domestic surveillance state will tell bald-faced lies even in sworn testimony to members of Congress who are supposed to be overseeing their activities. On Sunday, one of the bigger enablers, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) the chair of the House Intelligence Committee implied on "Meet the Press" that National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden is a Russian spy. Evidence for this deadly serious assertion? None whatsoever.
"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," U.S. Representative Mike Rogers told the NBC program "Meet the Press," referring to the Russian intelligence agency that is a successor of the Soviet-era KGB….
"You think the Russians helped Ed Snowden?" NBC's David Gregory asked.
"I believe there are questions to be answered there," said Rogers.
Hmmm. Innuendo is a game that anyone can play. Let's see.
"I believe there's a reason Rep. Rogers ended up in the hands—the loving arms—of the NSA bureaucracy in Washington, D.C. I don't think that's a coincidence," say I at Reason.com, referring to the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and his wife's involvement with multi-billion contracts to sell "security" services to government agencies.
Remember the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA)? Before Edward Snowden made the extent of NSA domestic spying public, Rep. Rogers wrote up CISPA and the House of Represenatatives had passed it. The Electronic Frontier Foundantion explains that the CISPA bill…
…grants broad new powers, allowing companies to identify and obtain "threat information" by looking at your private information. It is written so broadly that it allows companies to hand over large swaths of personal information to the government with no judicial oversight—effectively creating a "cybersecurity" loophole in all existing privacy laws.
Is it just a coincidence that Rep. Rogers strongly favors CISPA? After all, his wife stands to benefit enormously from enabling further domestic spying by means of CISPA. Back in April, Techdirt looked into the Rogers' ties to cybersecurity firms that would benefit from the passage of CISPA:
Just last month, Rogers accidentally tweeted (and then deleted) a story about how CISPA supporters, like himself, had received 15 times more money from pro-CISPA group that the opposition had received from anti-CISPA groups….
At other times, he can't even keep his own story straight about whether or not CISPA is about giving information to the NSA (hint: it is).
Techdirt goes on to report that his wife, Kristi Clemens Rogers, now a big time "security" lobbyist, …
…was the president and CEO of Aegis LLC a "security" defense contractor company, whom she helped to secure a $10 billion (with a b) contract with the State Department.
And it would be entirely speculative to worry that NSA may be blackmailing Rep. Rogers using information about his personal and financial life. Is there any evidence for this speculation? No, but I believe there are questions to be answered there.
Rep. Rogers' scurrilous performance brings to mind the exasperated retort of Army Special Counsel Joseph N. Welch to Tail Gunner Joe during the notorious 1954 Army-McCarthy Hearings: "Have you no sense of decency sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"