According to the latest reports, it appears that Adm. Michael S. Rogers is about to be removed from the position of the head of the NSA.
If some investigative journos start digging into the issue this story could develop into a really interesting scandal:
Pentagon and intelligence community chiefs have urged Obama to remove the head of the NSA
The heads of the Pentagon and the nation’s intelligence community have recommended to President Obama that the director of the National Security Agency, Adm. Michael S. Rogers, be removed.
The recommendation, delivered to the White House last month, was made by Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr., according to several U.S. officials familiar with the matter.
The news comes as Rogers is being considered by President-Elect Donald Trump to be his nominee for DNI, replacing Clapper as the official who oversees all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies. In a move apparently unprecedented for a military officer, Rogers, without notifying superiors, traveled to New York to meet with Trump on Thursday at Trump Tower.
Adm. Michael S. Rogers recently claimed in reference to the hack of the Democratic National Council emails that Wikileaks spreading them is “a conscious effort by a nation-state to attempt to achieve a specific effect.” He obviously meant Russia.
Compare that with his boss James Clapper who very recently said (again) that the “intelligence agencies don’t have good insight on when or how Wikileaks obtained the hacked emails.”
Emails of the DNC and of Clinton’s consigliere John Podesta were hacked and leaked. Additionally emails from Clinton’s private email server were released. All these influenced the election in favor of Trump.
Wikileaks boss Assange says he does not know where the emails come from but he does not think they came from Russia.
Clapper and Carter wanted Rogers fired because he was generally disliked at the NSA, because two big breaches in the most secret Tailored Access Organization occurred on his watch even after the Snowden case and because he blocked, with the help of Senator McCain, plans to split the NSA into a spying and a cyber war unit.
Now let me spin this a bit.
Rogers obviously knew he was on the to-be-fired list and he had good relations with the Republicans.
Now follows some plausible speculation:
Some Rogers trusted dudes at the NSA (or in the Navy cyber arm which Rogers earlier led) hack into the DNC, Podesta emails and the Clinton private email server. An easy job with the tools the NSA provides for its spies. Whoever hacked the emails then pushes what they got to Wikileaks (and DCleaks, another “leak” outlet). Wikileaks publishes what it gets because that is what it usually does. Assange also has various reasons to hate Clinton. She was always very hostile to Wikileaks. She allegedly even mused of killing Assange by a drone strike.
Rogers then accuses Russia of the breach even while the rest of the spying community finds no evidence for such a claim. That is natural to do for a military man who grew up during the cold war and may wish that war (and its budgets) back. It is also a red herring that will never be proven wrong or right unless the original culprit is somehow found.
Next we know – Trump offers Rogers the Clapper job. He would replace the boss that wanted him fired.
Rogers support for the new cold war will also gain him favor with the various weapon industries which will eventually beef up his pension.
Some of the above is speculation. But it would make sense and explain the quite one-sided wave of leaks we saw during this election cycle.
Even if it isn’t true it would at least be a good script for a Hollywood movie on the nastiness of the inside fighting in Washington DC.
Let me know how plausible you find the tale.