Tuesday June 25th, 2013 informationliberation.com
Snowden's Secrets 'Belong To The People Of The US' & He's A Traitor For Giving Them What They Own? (Techdirt)
Over the past few years, we've found that Rep. Mike Rogers, the head of the House Intelligence Committee, has an incredible knack for spewing pure bullshit in defense of whatever he's supporting, rarely even bothering to make sure his statements are internally consistent. Still, his statements on Meet the Press this weekend take that nonsense to a new high. Rogers goes off on Snowden -- who he has already declared "is a traitor" -- arguing in favor of the "theft of government property" charges against Snowden by making the following statement:
"He has taken information that does not belong to him -- it belongs to the people of the United States."
Right. This information that "belongs to the people of the United States," which has been totally hidden from us, was actually finally given to the people of the United States -- to whom Rogers admits it belongs -- by Snowden. And, for that, he's a traitor? How, exactly, does that work? By Rogers' own argument, the information, before Snowden leaked it, was improperly withheld, thanks to people like Rep. Mike Rogers, from the people who own it. Thus, by Rogers' own logic, isn't it actually Mike Rogers who is the traitor in that he withheld crucial information that "belongs to the people of the United States"?

Of course, Rogers didn't stop there. No, no. He continued with his internally inconsistent, and blatantly ridiculous argument by saying that (1) terrorists now know what we're up to and are changing what they do, and (2) so little information has been revealed that everyone thinks they know what's happening, but don't. That makes no sense. If (1) is true, it suggests that the actual details of the program have been revealed and thus wrongdoers now know our methods. But, immediately, he changes course and says that no one really knows what's going on -- in which case he shouldn't be concerned about terrorists changing what they do, because it shouldn't stop the successful programs that no one knows about.
We have seen that bad guys overseas -- terrorists who are committing and plotting attacks on the United States and our allies -- have changed the way they operate. We've already seen that. To say that's not harmful to the national security of the United States, or our safety, is just dead wrong...

[....] This is the problem with having a thousand-piece puzzle, taking three or four pieces, and deciding that you're now an expert on what that picture looks like. You're gonna get it wrong. They're getting it wrong and it's dangerous.
So, let me get this straight. The revealed information means that reporters only see a few pieces of the puzzle so they're getting the story "dead wrong." But... the terrorists, who are reading these stories, are somehow, magically, getting the full picture (the one the reporters are getting dead wrong) and miraculously changing how they act to now avoid NSA surveillance dragnets? How's that work? Answer: it doesn't. Rogers is spewing bullshit.

We don't ask for much from our elected officials, but is it really too much to ask that they make statements that are internally consistent within the brief block of time they open their mouths to yap about some subject on which they're supposedly "in charge"?