Sunday, October 27, 2013

(OT) US House Intelligence Committee Chair to France: Celebrate! Pop Champagne Over NSA Spying on French!

Republican Representative Mike Rogers represents Michigan's 8th congressional district, and the current chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

According to an Agence France-Presse article that appeared on Raw Story, he is urging French citizens to celebrate NSA spying on them because it keeps them safe.

What do you say, French readers? Agreed?

Mr. Rogers further asserts that the rise of fascism and communism in the early 20th century took place because the US wasn't spying enough on Europeans.

And of course, the media is blowing things out of proportion.

From AFP, via Raw Story (10/27/2013):

Rep. Mike Rogers: France should be ‘popping champagne’ over NSA spying

US intelligence is better than in Europe, and snooping at the heart of a widening scandal helps keeps the world safe, a top US lawmaker declared Sunday amid a widening spying row.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers also suggested there was nothing surprising in revelations that the United States was monitoring communications of several dozen world leaders and ordinary citizens, and blamed the news media for getting the story wrong.

“I think the bigger news story here would be… if the United States intelligence services weren’t trying to collect information that would protect US interests both (at) home and abroad,” the Republican told CNN’s “State of the Union” program.

“We need to make sure that we’re not collecting information we don’t need. But we should collect information that is helpful to the United States’ interests.”


But Rogers said that French citizens would celebrate US phone intercepts in their country if they realized how the practice keeps them safe.

“If the French citizens knew exactly what that was about, they would be applauding and popping champagne corks. It’s a good thing. it keeps the French safe. It keeps the US safe. It keeps our European allies safe,” he added.

“This whole notion that we’re going to go after each other on what is really legitimate protection of nation-state interest, I think is disingenuous.”

Rogers called for improved intelligence oversight in European capitals, contrasting allies’ approaches to the United States, where he stressed the government must first obtain approval from a special court to monitor communications.

European countries “don’t have necessarily the same type of oversight of their intelligence services that we do,” Rogers said.

“They need to have a better oversight structure in Europe. I think they would be enlightened to find out what their intelligence services may or may not be doing.”

The Republican lawmaker said the news media was “100 percent wrong” in suggesting that the NSA monitored up to 70 million French telephone records in a single month.

“They’re seeing three or four pieces of a 1,000-piece puzzle and wanted to come to a conclusion,” he added, insisting the records collection was a counterterrorism program that did not target French citizens.

Rogers also suggested that US leaders failed to foresee the rise of fascism and communism in early 20th century Europe because American spies were not spying extensively on European allies’ communications.

“In the 1930s, we had this debate before. We decided we were going to turn off our ability to even listen to friends,” he said.

“Look what happened in the 30s, the rise of fascism and communism. We didn’t see any of it. It resulted in the death of really tens of millions of people.”

But the lawmaker stressed that any intelligence activities between allies should remain “respectful” and “accurate,” as well as be subjected to proper oversight.

(Full article at the link)

France had the superb spy-master in the person of Joseph Fouché. To be lectured by the likes of Mike Rogers must be an insult.


Anonymous said...

As about Fouché: The german wiki adds: "He left his children a fortune of 14 million francs." In actual terms, he'd be at least a triple agent, working for all sides.

I'm german, not french. But for sure the champagne is still in the bottle.
Fighting fire with oil never has never been a good strategy. Why should we do it now, then?
Defending democracy with undemocratic means can't be the way. Our ancestors fought hard to install human rights, and as a german I know well what it means to live in a totalitarian state. If we don't watch out, we'll lose every right we once had.

Anonymous said...

It's an insult to Champagne !
Avery big offense here. (Pronounce the second a like a in a tart, not like a in L.A.)

The US were isolationist after WW I but there was intense spying and counter spying all across Europe at that time, including of course the Soviet countries and would-be fachist ones. The international organizations of coutries, and the settlements they chose were very awkward and lead to a second catastrophy. This, and the Great Depression, was open information.

Laprimavera, Fouché and his like Talleyrand were actually grand masters, but French people dislike them, only historians can. It's said an angry Napoléon told Talleyrand "You are a turd in a silk stocking."
Only Vidocq makes us laugh, a master thief turned head of the french police - he knew it all, and all of them.

Anonymous said...

@ 2:05,

The Roaring Twenties wouldn't have produced the dynamics you speak of, would it?

Indicative rather than awkward.

Anonymous said...

@ 7:25
Indicative if you want to understand it that way, I wouldn't disagree, but the dynamics were very complex and different in US, UK and in mainland Europe. I still think arrogance, selfish ignorance and unstainable settlements played a huge part there.
It was playing with fire to require record war damages from Germany that in fact bleeded as much as they bleeded us - that was their stupid strategy, and couldn't pay because of the depression and their super inflation. The reorganization of powers after WW I was a mess, wasn't it ?

Anonymous said...

Yes, we already know that many people in the US seriously believe that their every action is doing the rest of the world a favor and can only ever lead to positive results. The US is "exceptional", after all!

Anonymous said...

At anon @ 1:55 am: It is precisely the American attitude of superiority and self-righteousness that makes surveillance by them particularly "uncomfortable." After all, there were similar attitudes and practices (minus the technology, of course) before in history with disastrous consequences - see Nazi Germany.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 1:03 PM
The US IBM technology sold to Germany enabled them to hunt the Jews in a terrific and efficient way.

Anonymous said...


and the data that the IBM tech utilized was provided by .. police depts.

"attitude[s] of superiority and self-righteousness"

Anonymous said...

He he, it just looks like Dante's figure of Inferno .

Post a Comment