“I, Michael S. Rogers, having been appointed an officer in the Navy of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of Ensign do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God.”
OK, so that’s the military oath of office for officers. What’s the oath of office for all other government employes?
“I, Michael S. Rogers, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”
Both oaths have something in common: allegiance to the United States of America and a promise to support, protect and defend the Constitution against ALL ENEMIES, foreign and domestic.
You see nothing in there about loyalty to a president or any other individual.
Admiral Rodgers, director of the National Security Agency, disgraced his uniform and violated his oaths of office yesterday by refusing to answer non-classified questions requiring non-classified answers from the Senate Intelligence Oversight Committee.
Disgrace is not a new concept for Rodgers. As Rachel Maddow reported last night, while Rogers still worked for the Obama administration as head of the NSA, his career hanging by a thread as then-Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, Jr., and Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter were urging Obama to show Rodgers the door, Rogers took a meeting in New York, without notifying his bosses, to interview with the Trump Transition Team about the opening as head of the Director of National Intelligence — a job that was eventually given to Dan Coats. Trump kept Rogers as head of the NSA.
Coats and Rogers appeared yesterday in front of the Senate committee tasked with oversight of National Intelligence. They refused to provide senators with the information sought by the committee. It led to a interesting exchange between Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) and two of the nation’s top intelligence officials.
KING: Why are you not answering these questions? Is there an invocation by the president of the United States of executive privilege? Is there, or not?
ROGERS: Not that I’m aware of.
KING: Then why are you not answering?
ROGERS: Because I feel it is inappropriate, senator.
KING: What you feel isn’t relevant, admiral.
It’s important to understand the context and the setting. In an oversight hearing, when senators demand non-classified information from administration officials, the officials have limited options. They can (1) answer the question; (2) plead the 5th; or (3) refuse to answer as the result of executive privilege. Michael Rogers, however, adopted his own posture, insisting he didn’t “feel” it was “appropriate” to provide the information.
Coats tried a similar line, saying he doesn’t “believe” it’d be appropriate to answer questions about the president’s alleged request about intervening in an FBI investigation. The Maine senator asked, “What is the legal basis for your refusal to testify to this committee?”
Coats replied, “I’m not sure I have a legal basis.”
Michael S. Rogers is a four-star Admiral in the US Navy. He disgraced his uniform, his service and his shipmates by siding with Trump over the Constitution.
He should resign immediately or be drummed out of the service.