Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Meet Mike Rogers, al-Qaeda

Steven Johnston
Neal A. Maxwell Chair in Political Theory, Public Policy, and Public Service, University of Utah

Edmund Burke wrote: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Seriously, what did Burke know about evil? He may have lived through the French Revolution, but given the opportunities it created for his “romanticized” fantasy life he was also one of its jubilant participants. More importantly, while he may have known republican fanatics when he saw them, he also had the good fortune to deal with literate fanatics—unlike today’s Republicans. Robespierre may have a lot of blood on his hands, but at least he could read Rousseau—and in the original French! But I digress.

As is now well known, Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, aided and abetted by Saddam Hussein, launched murderous attacks against the United States in late summer 2001. While bin Laden knew he could not defeat the United States militarily, he did believe he could provoke America into self-destructive overreaction, as if this country were governed by warmongering hotheads. Over a decade and two wars later, however, he appears to have been vindicated—his rather unmanly assassination in the middle of the night while at home in his jihadist pajamas notwithstanding. The country has spent trillions on wars it cannot win (even rhetorically) and has done irreparable damage to the basic principles of liberty to be found it its governing political document. Though the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are winding down (regarding American involvement anyway), the assaults on the Constitution continue. Their effectiveness has been remarkable, suspiciously so in fact, which means that we should be suspicious. Suspicion, of course, constitutes grounds for suspicion. There is no such thing as an accident.

This being so I must bring to public attention the presence among us of one of the very enemy we have spent so much life and treasure fighting. I proceed here with deep regret and sadness, and, I might add, despite the obvious dangers this truth-telling will pose for me, my wife, and especially our children and family dog, Rambo, who in particular has been feeling the stress but remains steadfast in his loyalty and support in these trying times. As a great patriot once said, “we’re all in it together.”

Representative Mike Rogers, Republican from Michigan, 8th Congressional District, Chair of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, belongs to al-Qaeda. He is on a list of American members of al-Qaeda that is currently in my possession, disclosure of the location of which would mean its disclosure, which cannot be risked, of course.

Representative Rogers may not have declared public war against the United States as any real, self-respecting terrorist would do, but he has achieved notoriety of late for his numerous assaults on the Constitution of the United States and its citizens. Among other things, Jihadi Mike (it’s his official terrorist nickname, bestowed at a secret al-Qaeda ceremony celebrating jihadist of the month) has recommended the assassination of Edward Snowden, the democratic citizen who exposed unprecedented NSA wrongdoing at great personal cost and sacrifice. What’s more, without any evidence and in an effort to discredit Snowden’s democratic activism, Rogers has suggested that Snowden must have been assisted by and thus working for Russian intelligence: “I believe there's [sic] questions to be answered there,” Rogers said. “I don't think it was a gee-whiz luck event that he ended up in Moscow under the handling of the [Russian intelligence service] FSB”. This is the kind of slander that any democratic citizen who challenges or opposes his or her government’s prosecution of the war on terror can expect. Rogers himself, meanwhile, seems unconcerned by the NSA’s efforts to spy on everyone, anywhere in the world on behalf of American national security (both political and corporate): “You can’t have your privacy violated if you don’t know your privacy is violated”.

Rogers has also effectively called for the arrest and trial and Glenn Greenwald, an American citizen, political-legal analyst, and civic-minded journalist who routinely brings governmental and corporate criminality to public attention, for selling classified stolen government material: “And if I’m hocking stolen classified material that I’m not legally in possession of for personal gain and profit, is that not a crime?” As Rogers knows, since he was in the Army, even if only to infiltrate it, First Amendment protections enable the media to play a structural role in the American system of checks and balances. Rogers would destroy this check on state power by criminalizing the very possibility of investigative journalism. He does his insidious work out in the open before a disbelieving world, but he knows that in America, if you keep saying something long enough, people will probably believe it.

This is Mike Roger’s notable public record to date. What other purpose could he have in mind than our utter destruction? Mike Rogers belongs to al-Qaeda.

Who is this Mike Rogers? We are told that he graduated from Adrian College, which is located in Adrian, Michigan. Has anyone ever heard of Adrian, Michigan, let alone Adrian College? I didn’t think so. Does the college even exist? Sure, it has a website, but everything has a website these days. He is listed among Adrian’s notable alumni (all six of them!), but isn’t this just a little bit suspicious, no doubt planted there just in case someone decided to conduct a background check? After all, one of the other six Adrian notables is credited with “having completed a summer internship in Washington, D.C.” As impressive as this may sound, the list is not like any other I have seen.

Rogers is noted for having served in the United States Army, which would make him one of our most insidious government sleeper agents. Think about it: he supposedly served from 1985-1989, at which point the American military was taking a break from important global imperial activities and merely keeping limber by toying with the likes of Libya and Panama. What better time to be in the army and not have to actually endanger your life? Just a coincidence, you say? I think not. Is it just a coincidence that al-Qaeda was formed at roughly this time? I think not.  What’s more, Rogers’ own Congressional website says Mike “was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army through the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps at the University of Michigan.” Does this mean he served in the military by never leaving a college campus? Who does this (aside from Republicans who love to talk tough about war without any actual experience of it)? Someone who wants access to young impressionable minds, someone who must live to fight another day in another, more important forum, that’s who does it.

Mike Rogers also worked, though briefly, for the FBI, specializing in public corruption and organized crime. Isn’t this perfect professional experience for infiltrating the American system of government, starting at the state level and working up to Congress? No one seems to suspect him.

When I “met Mike” on the biography page of his Congressional website, there was no mention of his religious affiliations. This is the lifeblood of Republican politics in America. It is a litmus test every politician must meet. And yet Mike is somehow silent on the issue. What is he hiding? What won’t he tell us? Is he like Socrates? Does he not believe in the gods in which we believe? In what gods does he believe? It is said that Mike has a wife and two children, one son, one daughter. Isn’t this a little too predictable, a little too statistically perfect? Next thing you know we’ll hear about a house, two-car garage, and the red-white-and blue GM truck equipped with gun rack he drives. Besides, has anyone ever actually seen all four of them together, in one place, and asked for proof of their identification? They could be part of the front. Have they been investigated? How long are we going to let Mike Rogers play us?

Now that I’ve spoken up and done my Burkean duty, it’s time for Mike Rogers to speak up as well. Why do you hate us? Why do you want to destroy us? What did we ever do to you? Didn’t we give you everything? Don’t you owe us everything? Is this how you repay us? By belonging to al-Qaeda?



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