NSA

Likely Incoming NSA Head Still Thinks the Problem is PR

If only us dumb citizens understood more than what Snowden was saying, even though his revelations are prompting policy changes

|

Meet the new boss, condescending as the old boss.
U.S. Navy

Navy Vice Admiral Michael Rogers is the president's pick to take over the National Security Agency from outgoing Gen. Keith Alexander. At a Senate committee hearing earlier in the week, he promised to improve the transparency of the NSA in the wake of the current metadata surveillance scandal going around:

"I will be an active partner in implementing the changes directed by the president with respect to aspects of the National Security Agency mission and my intent is to be as transparent as possible in doing so, and in the broader execution of my duties, if confirmed."

The problem, though, as Defense One notes, is that Rogers doesn't seem to think there's an issue with what the NSA is doing, but rather a problem with the general public's understanding of what the NSA is doing. He's a firm resident of the "If the people understood what we're doing better they'd agree with us, not Edward Snowden" camp. Defense One quoted him from the hearing:

"I believe one of the takeaways form the situation over the last few months is that as an intelligence professional…I have to be capable of communicating in a way that highlights what we are doing and why to the greatest extent possible. "One of my challenges is I have to be able to speak in broad terms in a way that most people can understand. And I look forward to that challenge."

It's been a common response to Snowden's revelations that us simple Americans don't really understand what the NSA is up to, and we would be just fine with their metadata collection if they had done a better job explaining it. Except, as Jacob Sullum noted earlier today, we actually are getting a better sense of what metadata is and its collection probably reveals even more than most Americans thought.

NEXT: Ron Paul on the CIA & Ukraine; Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo on Cutting Government, Plus Two Minutes Hate!

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. “One of my challenges is I have to be able to speak in broad terms in a way that most people can understand.”

    Why can’t you stupid proles figure out what I’m saying? All is well!

    1. It’s infuriating how openly contemptuous these creeps have become.

  2. Hearts and minds. And hard drives.

  3. Mr. Snowden has corrupted us. We are no longer governable. You must declare war on your own people. Let’s just get this over with.

    1. I’m pretty sure that was the intent all along….I don’t think the military got the memo though…most still seem to think that the enemies are on the other sides of borders.

  4. “I will be an active partner in implementing the changes directed by the president with respect to aspects of the National Security Agency mission and my intent is to be as transparent as possible in doing so”

    Oh, come on, Mike! You can weasel-word better than *that*!

    1. At some point, when he was inducted into the military, didn’t he have to swear to defend the Constitution against all enemies, “foreign and domestic”?

      1. See, when I took that oath I thought it meant “govt officials who are enemies of the Constitution”. I guess they heard “American citizens who don’t agree with the Supreme Court/Executive Branch on stuff”.

    2. No he cant, hes so useless he made it all the way to vice admiral in the new PC navy, you don’t get rank like that for being able to do your job, you get it for being the best mindless obedient pawn they have

  5. Admiral, you didn’t say the magic words “Complete dissolution of the NSA and charges of treason for its staff (seeking the death penalty)”. I don’t like you.

  6. “It’s been a common response to Snowden’s revelations that us simple Americans don’t really understand what the NSA is up to, and we would be just fine with their metadata collection if they had done a better job explaining it.”

    Isn’t this the theme of the entire Obama Administration – we’d all be fine with all their failures if they’d done a “a better job explaining.”

  7. Dude sounds like he is REALLY full of himself.

    http://www.Anon-VPN.com

  8. What part of
    “To support and defend the CONSTITUTION against ALL enemies foreign and DOMESTIC, and to bear true faith and allegiance to the same”
    Does not compute??

    1. Again, to him that meant “All people who disagree with the Supreme Court or Executive Branch”. To me it meant “Govt officials who ignore the Constitution”.

      That’s what happens with “living” documents, you get differences of opinion… And then someone gets shot.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.