November 24, 2014
The Mike Rogers/Dutch Ruppersberger report was predictable in the extreme; anyone who has researched the surrounding issues of the Benghazi backstory knew to expect it:
…”with Rep Trey Gowdy’s Chairmanship of a Select Committee on Benghazi anticipated to start up again in January, and with House Intel Chair Rogers exiting from congress, the authors of this report hold a motive to undercut Gowdy’s investigation into the missing 2011/2012 intelligence oversight that would normally be part of Rogers/Ruppersberger’s responsibility.”…
In addition, the media skipping gleefully in circles while waving the Rogers/Ruppersberger report, was similarly predictable – as seen here in this recent CNN interview.
However, despite how much the media want to avoid the sunlight there are too many people who understand the motives of Mike Rogers, including his own financial stake in the Benghazi security contract. Here’s a great op-ed outlining some of that understanding. It is well worth reading:
(Via The Daily Caller) With the curtain soon to go up on select committee hearings on Benghazi, a key question remains unanswered: what on earth were we doing there? What policies were being pursued in that violent outpost of the Libyan revolution?
The White House would rather not say. In an email obtained by Judicial Watch and released in April, senior White House communications advisor Ben Rhodes instructed administration media spinners in the aftermath of the attack to “underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.” For all the sound and fury over hearings, Congress also has not shown much interest in precisely what Ambassador Christopher Stevens, the State Department and the CIA were doing in Benghazi.
Last month, Daily Beast national security correspondent Eli Lake reported that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers had “warned his colleagues about the upcoming select committee to investigate Benghazi.” In interviews Rogers “downplayed” the testimony CIA contractors gave in closed session, Lake noted, and has said he did not believe the CIA had stonewalled his committee. Lake reported that “the chairmen of the House Intelligence, Armed Services, and Government Reform committees — Reps. Rogers, Buck McKeon, and Darrell Issa, respectively — all opposed the formation of a select committee on Benghazi.”
Sussing out the White House’s response to Benghazi is a critical step in clearing the shadows from the incident, but there are other players in the drama as well, including Rep. Rogers, and possibly also including a private military contracting firm that until recently was run by his wife, Kristi Rogers. Mike and Kristi Rogers are quintessential Washington insiders. A seven-term Republican from Michigan, Mike Rogers climbed the political ladder to become chairman of the Intelligence Committee in January 2011. Kristi Rogers, after years of government service in mid-level administrative positions, moved to the private sector, joining the British-based security contractor Aegis Defense Services to help open its U.S. subsidiary. The newsletter Intelligence Online noted that thanks to Ms. Rogers’ efforts, “Aegis won several major contracts with the U.S. administration.”
A spokesperson for the House Intelligence Committee noted that “strictly observed and enforced” policies required “that there should be no interaction with Mrs. Rogers on any matter relating to the official business of the House” and “no interaction between the Committee and any representative of Aegis.” There is no evidence of wrong-doing by Rep. Rogers or Aegis. Indeed, the outlines of the story are more suggestive of “right-doing,” Washington-style: an insider’s game of covert operations and corporate profits played out in the gray areas of law and policy.
No issue has dominated Rep. Roger’s time as committee chairman more than Libya. Protests against Muammar Gadhafi’s regime began in February 2011. In March, NATO air strikes commenced and the U.S. named Christopher Stevens as special envoy to the Benghazi-based Libyan opposition. By August, the end of the Gadhafi regime was in sight. The Associated Press reported that the CIA and State Department were “working closely” on tracking down the dictator’s vast arms stockpiles, including chemical weapons, yellowcake uranium, and some 20,000 shoulder-fired missiles known as MANPADS. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told the AP that Mr. Stevens was working with officials in Benghazi on how to track down the weapons. (continue reading)