Sunday, March 18, 2007
Being in the minority helps Rogers develop a conscience
Mike Rogers has finally gained a conscience and gained the desire to try and place a check on the Bush Administration’s roll back of civil liberties, actually do some oversight and conduct an investigation of some of this administration’s wrong-doing. What’s the reason for the conversion of Bush’s biggest cheerleader? Simple. He’s in the minority.
The Livingston County Daily Press & Argus –long a supporter of Rogers - reports:
U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Brighton, has been a strong supporter of the Patriot Act. However, he said a lack of clear guidelines may make it too easy for unwarranted views into private personal and business records.
Rogers said a congressional committee he sits on should look into possible FBI mismanagement of domestic intelligence-gathering methods. Rogers, a fourth-term representative, is a former FBI agent.
A recent U.S. Department of Justice report found weak internal control over "national security letters," a tool created by the Patriot Act in 2001 to ease the collection of information — like business and phone records — in national-security investigations.
Is this a new thing? Of course not, but since the committee is now controlled by Democrats there will finally be some oversight and accountability for a change. Where was Rogers for the last six years?
Although we know Rogers had no choice on what the committee looks at because he is a minority member, we can rest assured there will be no tough questions from him. Rogers remains a Bush cheerleader, although not quite as vocal, and we just need to take a look at his stance on U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Despite other Republicans asking for his resignation over the firings of Bush appointees who refused to illegally target Bush enemies, the controversy over renewal of the Patriot Act and a report last week that the FBI had underreported its use of national security letters to snoop on Americans, Rogers said Gonzales should stay.
Rogers, typically a strong supporter of the Bush administration, also said that the recent controversy over U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and the firing of several U.S. attorneys was not handled well. The administration has denied accusations that the attorneys were let go for political reasons.
"It was generally not well-done," Rogers said, but he refused to join a handful of Republicans who have called for Gonzales to resign. He said he'd rather let the situation play itself out.