In a recent speech, House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) attempted to defend his turf over the failures in Syria and Iraq. He maintains that the terrorists are making such huge gains not because of an ‘intelligence failure’ but because of a ‘policy failure’. That is actually quite true but what Rogers does not reveal is his expressed and tacit support for many of the policies that failed, to include arming terrorists and calling for regime change in Libya and Syria.
It was on Rogers’ watch as Committee chairman that the Arab Spring began. Given that position, he clearly had a significant role in signing off on and going along with many of those policies.
Here is a portion of his speech:
Noteworthy is the fact that the Rogers family profited from business conducted in Libya, beginning in February of 2011, through a company led by Rogers’ wife – Aegis Defense Services. What Aegis was doing in Libya is still shrouded in mystery, as Shoebat.com has reported.
Rogers became chairman of the Intelligence Committee in January of 2011, the same month the notorious ‘Arab Spring’ began in Tunisia. At every turn, Rogers has publicly – and presumably privately – supported regime change in at least two of the countries associated with the Arab Spring – Libya and Syria.
In June of 2011, Rogers was one of only eight Republicans in the House who voted to authorize the use of force in Libya to remove Muammar Gadhafi. In August of that year, as Gadhafi’s fall was becoming imminent, Rogers expressed grave concerns on various talk shows about losing control of Gadhafi’s MANPADS (shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles) and chemical weapons, a consequence of the regime change Rogers advocated.
The New York Times reported the same month that NATO ally France admitted to arming the Libyan rebels. Just a few months earlier, Rogers publicly expressed opposition to doing so, saying:
“Any covert action that happens would have to get the sign off of the intelligence chairmen, by statute. You won’t get a sign off from me… I still think arming the rebels is a horrible idea. We don’t know who they are, we only know who they are against but we don’t really who they are for. We don’t have a good picture of who’s really in charge.”
In light of where Libya is today – to include what happened in Benghazi – the decision to remove Gadhafi proved to be a ‘policy failure’ Rogers seemingly agreed with.
As to covert action, that is precisely what was going on in Benghazi before four Americans were murdered there on September 11, 2012. Weapons – to include the MANPADS Rogers expressed concerns about – were being shipped to Turkey from Benghazi; it was a program overseen by then CIA Director David Petraeus. The CIA’s involvement in that operation ceased as a result of the Benghazi attack, according to Seymour Hersh.
Did such an operation take place with or without Rogers’ sign off? If not, someone broke the law and no one has been held accountable for doing so.
Also happening on Rogers’ watch has been the acquisition by Syrian rebels of U.S.-made antitank missiles earlier this year. How these weapons were obtained by jihadists was not known according to the Washington Post:
U.S. officials declined to discuss the origin of the weapons but did not dispute that the rebels have them.
Their appearance in Syria coincides with a U.S. commitment this year to escalate a CIA-run program to supply and train vetted “moderate” rebel groups and to improve coordination with other opposition backers.
A couple of months earlier, Reuters reported that Congress ‘secretly’ approved sending weapons to ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels. To what extent was Rogers involved in this decision? Did he ‘sign off’ on it?
As Shoebat.com reported, a group formed by the Obama administration – Friends of Syria – is said to have been behind the high-powered weaponry being shipped to Syrian jihadist rebels. The anti-Tank TOW missiles came from Friends of Syria according to a rebel commander who has made no bones about demanding the Golan Heights be returned to Syria.
A question that should be asked and answered: What does Rogers know about this ‘covert’ operation?
All of this says nothing about the highly suspect Syrian aid groups like the Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF) and Mercy Without Borders (MWB). Both have tax exempt status and stealth Muslim Brotherhood jihadists on their Boards, as Shoebat.com reported.
To what extent Rogers is familiar with these groups is not known.
Last year, Rogers pushed the increasingly discredited narrative that Bashar al-Assad was behind the chemical attack. Multiple sources, as relayed by Shoebat.com produced far more evidence than Rogers or the Obama administration did that the attack was carried out by the rebels.
Nonetheless, while Rogers is correct about the disaster in Syria being a policy failure and not an intelligence failure, his refusal to acknowledge culpability in going along with such policies not just in Syria but in Libya and in regions impacted by the entire Arab Spring, which began on his watch is a bit of a truth telling failure.