NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers formally retired on May 4, 2018.
A quiet hero, most will never understand what Rogers did for our country.
From the NSA Press Release:
U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats were among the dignitaries and guests who attended the change of command and change of directorship ceremony in Fort Meade, Md. Prior to the event, Gen. Nakasone was promoted from Lt. Gen. to his current rank.
“On behalf of the dedicated officers of the Intelligence Community, we thank Admiral Mike Rogers,” said Dan Coats, Director of National Intelligence. “His lifetime of service in the Navy has contributed immeasurably to American—and allied—security. We bid him fair winds and following seas. We welcome his successor, General Paul Nakasone. His experience and strong leadership will prove essential as we move into the next era of cyber operations.”
Further down is a video of the full ceremony. It’s prompted to begin at Admiral Rogers’ remarks, which last about ten minutes.
Rogers’ speech is, at times, emotionally charged. For those who have a small understanding of what Admiral Rogers walked through, his words have a far deeper meaning.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats directly precedes Admiral Rogers (30:58 mark). Coats makes a few notable comments:
Mike had to sail through some tough waters. And he did it as only a leader can do it.
He led this Agency back from a difficult situation to an absolutely essential Agency doing tremendous work and providing the kind of intelligence that we need in order to keep our people safe.
Mike, I can’t thank you enough for your leadership, for all you’ve gone through…We are so grateful for your leadership. I’m so honored to have served with you. We wish you nothing but the best in the future.
Written words do not accurately convey the strength and emotion in Coats’ voice. He understands as well as anyone what Rogers went through.
When finished, Coats moved directly to Rogers and hugged him. They had been through quite a journey together.
Admiral Michael S. Rogers:
Again, Rogers’ speech is, at times, emotionally charged. For those aware of what transpired, Admiral Rogers’ words convey a deeper meaning (41:31 mark):
Remember what it is that we do. We serve the citizens of this nation and our friends and allies around the world. And we never, never violate that trust.
I was always blessed, no matter how tough things got.
No matter how, quite frankly, inaccurate some of the stuff I’m reading and seeing, I always knew that I had a chairman who had my back, who I loved talking to because he always was honest and straight.
Joe, I just want to say thanks so much for who you are and what you do every day for this nation.
Rogers is referring to General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. – the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Dunford is the nation’s highest-ranking military officer, and the principal military advisor to the President, Secretary of Defense, and National Security Council.
The look on Dunford’s face – and those of officers nearby – is telling.
I encourage you to watch this short excerpted portion:
This nation entrust us with an amazing set of capabilities. We are given access to data of incredible sensitivity. We must continue to safeguard that, ensure the appropriate security, and to remember the trust the nation places in us.
We execute our critical mission of foreign intelligence and cybersecurity at NSA within a legal framework and set of policies that we follow to the letter.
That is our strength. That is what generates the confidence of this nation.
That these many resources that are granted to us are being used appropriately, wisely and in the best interests of the citizens we serve.
It’s difficult to fully convey or appreciate Admiral Rogers’ actions. He quietly stood against a deeply embedded Intelligence apparatus and risked his reputation and career.
He also performed a delicate balancing act. His actions would be of no merit if he was not in a position to see his disclosures through.
Although it may take some time, it is my hope that his role will be more fully appreciated.
It’s entirely possible there would have been no FISA disclosure without the 2016 actions of Rogers.
There might have been no investigation by Inspector General Horowitz.
One other item of note. There is a direct benefit from Rogers’ retirement. His job at the NSA complete, Admiral Rogers is now free to testify…
For those less familiar, here’s a timeline of events transpiring at the NSA:
- November 2015-April 2016 – The FBI and DOJ’s National Security Division (NSD) uses private contractors to access raw FISA information using “To” and “From” FISA-702(16) & “About” FISA-702(17) queries.
- March 2016 – NSA Director Rogers becomes aware of improper access to raw FISA data.
- April 2016 – Rogers orders the NSA compliance officer to run a full audit on 702 NSA compliance.
- April 18 2016 – Rogers shuts down FBI/NSD contractor access to the FISA Search System.
- April-September 2016 – Rogers continues his investigation.
- September 26 2016 – DOJ’s NSD Head John Carlin files the Government’s proposed 2016 Section 702 certifications. The filing does not disclose the FISA Abuses. Carlin is aware of Rogers’ compliance review. The 2016 certifications are scheduled for Court approval on October 26, 2016.
- September 27 2016 – Carlin announces he is resigning. Mary McCord will later assume his position.
- October 15, 2016 – Carlin formally leaves the NSD.
- Mid-October 2016 – DNI Clapper submits a recommendation to the White House that Director Rogers be removed from the NSA. Clapper’s effort fails.
- October 20 2016 – Rogers is briefed by the NSA compliance officer on the Section 702 NSA compliance audit and “About” query violations.
- October 21 2016 – Rogers shuts down all “About Query” activity. Rogers reports the activity to DOJ and prepares to go before the FISA Court.
- October 21 2016 – DOJ & FBI seek and receive a Title I FISA probable cause order authorizing electronic surveillance on Carter Page from the FISC. At this point, the FISA Court is unaware of the Section 702 violations.
- October 24 2016 – Rogers verbally informs the FISA Court of Section 702(17) violations.
- October 26 2016 – Rogers formally informs the FISA Court of 702(17) violations in writing.
- October 26, 2016 – The FISA Court refuses to formalize the 2016 Section 702 certifications. A complete overhaul of Section 702 processes ensues.
- November 17 2016 (morning) – Rogers travels to meet President-Elect Trump and his Transition Team in Trump Tower. Rogers does not inform DNI James Clapper.
- November 17 2016 (evening) – Trump Transition Team announces they are moving all transition activity to Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey.
The DOJ & FBI were fully aware that Rogers initiated a compliance review in April 2016. They were aware of the review’s relative status.
The DOJ & FBI were both aware of Carlin’s fraudulent September 26, 2016 submission of the Government’s proposed 2016 Section 702 certifications. They knew it contained material omissions.
The FBI and DOJ’s NSD were quite literally racing against Rogers’ Investigation in order to obtain a FISA Warrant on Carter Page.
Carlin specifically didn’t disclose his knowledge of FISA Abuse in the annual Section 702 certifications so as not to raise suspicions at the FISA Court pre-FISA Warrant.
The DOJ & FBI apply for – and receive – a Title I FISA warrant on Carter Page the same day Rogers apprises both Agencies of ongoing FISA violations.
Neither the DOJ or FBI inform the FISA Court of Rogers’ notification when they make their FISA Application on Page.
None of this would have been uncovered without the actions of Admiral Mike Rogers.
For the complete story see: The Uncovering – Mike Rogers’ Investigation, Section 702 FISA Abuse & the FBI.
We are witnessing the end of a quiet war.
Intelligence Agencies & DOJ/State on one side. Military Intelligence, along with a few well-placed White Hats, on the other.
Military Intelligence is carrying the day.
And for that we should be profoundly grateful.
newer post Updates to “A Listing of Participants”