Rep. Mike Rogers Says France Should Be 'Popping Chamagne Bottles' To Celebrate That We Spy On Them

from the both-tone-deaf-and-culturally-insensitive dept

You have to hand it to Rep. Mike Rogers. Not only is he politically tone deaf to why people are so pissed off about NSA surveillance and privacy violations, but he appears to be culturally insulting as well. His latest is to defend last week’s story about the NSA collecting information on 70 million calls in France to claim that the French ought to be “popping champagne bottles” to cheer on the NSA spying on them. Honestly, it would be difficult to make up a comment this clueless.


“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.”

At least he didn’t suggest they should also enjoy some cheese. Of course, that presumes the only reason the US is spying on the French is to protect them against terrorists. But, if that were actually true, they wouldn’t also be bugging the phones of leadership and politicians. To date, there is no indication that the spying on all of those calls was limited to “protecting” the French — and Rogers’ own next statement more or less confirms that this has always been about protecting US interests, not the French.

So, here’s a simple question for Mike Rogers: would he be okay with sharing all of his phone and email records with the French? After all, perhaps they’ll use it to protect him from harm. Even better, yet, why not release that information publicly. If it’s just metadata, then there’s no expectation of privacy, right? If Rogers releases all of his phone and email metadata for the past five years, I’ll stop by his office the next time I’m in DC with a bottle of champagne.

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Comments on “Rep. Mike Rogers Says France Should Be 'Popping Chamagne Bottles' To Celebrate That We Spy On Them”

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53 Comments
Anonymoussays:

“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”

If that moron wasn’t a moron, he’d keep his mouth shut.

This could be interpreted as “Those Frenchies are so inept at defending themselves that we have to pitch in and give them a hand, the poor idiots”.

Diplomatically, this is a blunder of epic proportions: it implies that a sovereign nation should just surrender its sovereignty, since it is incapable of defending itself.

Certainly, nothing major will come of this: The USA and Europe have pretty good relations. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the relationship between the two became colder and more distant. Most of Europe is certainly already getting tired of the USA’s antics by now.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Oh wait. My bad. He did…

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.?

So Roger’s actually alluded to the WWII and the invasion of France by the Nazis to support the assertion that France can’t defend themselves without us spying on them to know what is going on and that if we had been spying on them then we would have been able to somehow stop the invasion of France in WWII. Truly epic.

Michaelsays:

If the French citizens knew exactly what that was about, they would be applauding and popping champagne corks

…but we aren’t going to tell those stupid Frenchies anything because they are totally incapable of defending themselves, understanding their enemies, or understanding why we need to be doing this.

They should shut up and ship us another statue.

Anonymoussays:

Get locked up in jail by an evil dictator? Celebrate!

So, by Rep Roger’s logic, if you get locked up by an evil dictator for some crime you didn’t commit, you shouldn’t despair your loss of freedom. You should celebrate, knowing that the dictator put you in a place with top of the line security to protect you from danger lurking outside! Sure you may have lost ‘some’ freedom, but you gained so much more security!

Anonymoussays:

?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.

Why the hell keep it a secret from people if we’d be “applauding and popping champagne” if we knew?!

My champagne bottle is at the ready…

Anonymous Anonymous Cowardsays:

Re: Re:

Ah, but is YOUR champagne actually champagne or some of that silly doubly fermented sparkling wine from some other region?* ** *** ****

* This is not to say that doubly fermented sparkling wines from other regions are not good.
** This is not to say that champagne from Champagne is any better than any doubly fermented wine from a different region.
*** I like champagne, and doubly fermented wine from other regions as well. Asti Spumante comes to mind, but I would drink it at entirely different meal that I would say a Brut Champagne.
**** I certainly hope that I failed to offend any of the producers of any kind of wine, doubly fermented or not. I have tried a lot of wines, and the only ones that actually offend me come in 1 gallon jugs. Not Magnums, or Jeroboams, or Nebuchadnezzars, but gallon jugs.

Anonymous Anonymous Cowardsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Yes, seriously. However, the bottle chosen isn’t what you will find in your grocers cooler. I believe it was around 1976, and the asti went by the name of Fontanna Fredda if I remember correctly. It was a very sweet wine, but went nicely with the fruit torte. I was at a formal function put on by the Confr?rie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, a group of wine enthusiasts whom take themselves, and their wine very seriously.

Anonymoussays:

This is how wars start, one country meddling in the affairs of another country. Further countries that enjoy meddling in other countries affairs are more likely to react violently to any interference in their own internal affairs, whether real or perceived, like for instance the US.
Also who the hell appointed the USA as the anti-terrorist police for the world?

John Fendersonsays:

The worst bit

From the raw story article:

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.

Aside from the historical revisionism (US industry was greatly in favor of the rise of fascism and openly encouraged it), this is a twisted thing to say. The US spying programs are themselves indicative of the rise of a new fascism. Rogers is apparently blind to it because it’s the kind of fascism that he likes.

kenichi tanakasays:

The problem with Mike Rogers is that he really IS a moron. France doesn’t need our help. It was due to France that we were able to defeat the British when our countrymen fought for our independence from Great Britain.

It’s hilarious how Mike Rogers shows just how inept public education is. I think he needs to get a refund because he didn’t learn a damn thing.

Mike Masnicksays:

Re: Re: I love TechDirt but...

I may very well be biased, but it seems to me that U.S. representatives from either the House or the Senate are usually only singled out by party when it’s an (R) next to their names. I do believe Mr. Rogers is a (D)emocrat. Why spare him the distinction?

We actually never mention the party that a politician is, Democrat or Republican unless it’s a key part of the story (i.e., something about the party itself, not he politician). That’s site policy, because we prefer to focus on what they’re saying/doing not lame partisan politics.

And that’s true on either side. So, no, we don’t single out any politicians by party. You may have us confused with other sites, but in this case you’re wrong.

And Rogers is a Republican, not a Democrat as you claim.

So, no, you’re wrong on both points.

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