As the world grows more interconnected, little can be hidden from public scrutiny. And in moments when the U.S. government doesn’t seem transparent enough, someone feels compelled to leak the information to us all. As Congress’s recent investigation in the September 2012 attack on the American mission in Benghazi are being broadcasted ad nauseum, the recent focus is on the steadily growing number of “Benghazi whistle-blowers.” In an incident firmly ensconced in controversy and conspiracy theories, the public and officials alike are waiting with baited breath to see what information these individuals are bringing to light.
But the Benghazi hearings are more than the ever-changing GOP-led trial, which some are branding as just an attempt by the Republican Party to ruin any future attempt by Hilary Clinton to run for president. These whistleblowers are just another example of how lawmakers and citizens are clamoring for the days of government secrets and cover-ups to be firmly put in the past. And one common denominator between recent scandals connected to leaks and whistle-blowers? Rep. Mike Rogers. These days, the Republican representative from Michigan is all over the news. As head of the House Intelligence Committee, he is highly involved in many governmental proceedings, and very outspoken.
Regarding the Benghazi hearings he said, “I do think we’re going to see more whistleblowers. I certainly know my committed has been contacted. I think other committees have been as well.” While he declined to elaborate on what intelligence these new whistleblowers might have, his eagerness to see more whistleblowers come out of the woodwork is interesting enough. As Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, it comes as no surprise that he is highly connected to quite a few incidences of national security leaks. What is intriguing, however, is that his opinion on the value of whistleblowers seems to be case dependent.
There are times when Rogers was not so appreciative of whistleblowers and worked feverishly to plug any leaks. In 2010, Politico reported how Rogers demanded the execution of whistleblower Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who released a video to Wikileaks that showed the U.S. military killing Reuters reporters and children in Iraq and allegedly provided WikiLeaks with 80,000 secret intelligence documents. Prosecutors have since announced that they will not seek the death penalty when his trial begins later this summer.
As previously mentioned, Rogers appears more than ready to sing the praises of the whistleblowers who have become emboldened as the Benghazi hearings progress. Rogers also commented in the same press conference that “I will tell you, we have had people come forward … and say, we would also like to talk, we feel a little bit intimidated by this, but we have information we think is valuable.”
So is it a question of what is valuable? Or is Roger’s opinion reliant on who the information benefits? The GOP-led hearings are certainly not doing favors to the Democratic Party.