Pertinent congressional committees received a classified Defense Department report concluding that NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s release of information has already caused harm to the U.S.
The report concluded that Snowden downloaded approximately 1.7 million intelligence files, the single largest leak of secrets in American history.
The Pentagon found that much of the information included in the leak pertained to U.S. military operations, even though the NSA surveillance programs got most of the press. “Snowden’s disclosures have already tipped off our adversaries to the sources and methods of our defense, and hurt U.S. allies helping us with counter terrorism, cyber crime, human and narcotics trafficking, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,” said the House Intelligence Committee’s unclassified summary of the report’s findings.
“The compromise of this information significantly impacts capabilities of each of the U.S. Armed Services – meaning Snowden’s theft and leaking of US classified material has the potential to jeopardize the lives of real American military men and women working overseas, and risks the failure of current US military operations.”
Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said the report “confirms my greatest fears – Snowden’s real acts of betrayal place America’s military men and women at greater risk. Snowden’s actions are likely to have lethal consequences for our troops in the field.”
“Though Mr. Snowden and his defenders claim he is only ‘defending civil liberties’, the truth is that most of the documents Snowden stole concern vital operations of the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force. Snowden handed over great insight to our adversaries, endangering each and every American,” Rogers continued. “Make no mistake, Snowden is no patriot and there is no way to excuse the irreparable harm he caused to America and her allies, and continues to cause.”
Ranking Member Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) said “Snowden handed terrorists a copy of our country’s playbook and now we are paying the price, which this report confirms.”
“His actions aligned him with our enemy,” Ruppersburger said. “We have begun to see terrorists changing their methods because of the leaks and this report indicates that the harm to our country and its citizens will only continue to endure.”
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) said the report proved Snowden is the opposite of a whistleblower — “a spy and a traitor.”
“One wonders how Mr. Snowden had the time to review the 1.7 million documents he stole, to deem which he felt were constitutional and which were unconstitutional, before stealing them,” McKeon said. “A whistleblower selectively reports on information that is relevant, and doesn’t reveal information that is irrelevant. One wonders what the details of military operations and capabilities have to do with alleged constitutional concerns.”
“A whistleblower contacts the authorities to stop illegal or unsafe conduct, only after unsuccessfully raising those concerns through his chain of command. One wonders what jurisdiction the media, and the Russian and Chinese governments have over the defense of the United States.”
The reporter who broke the Snowden story slammed the Defense Department for not making the report public.
A secret Pentagon report I haven’t seen reportedly said X, so now I assume X is true even though I have no evidence for it #Authoritarianism
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) January 10, 2014