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by
Bridget Johnson

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February 5, 2014 - 1:45 pm

Leading members of the House Armed Services Committee emerged from a classified briefing on the Edward Snowden leaks Wednesday afternoon “shocked” at the amount of information he reportedly leaked beyond the NSA surveillance programs.

Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chairman of the Armed Service panel’s Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee and also a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said the briefing on the defense consequences of Snowden’s leaks was “very highly classified,” and therefore details couldn’t be discussed.

Thornberry did say that lawmakers “left the briefing disturbed and angered” after hearing that the leaks by the former Booz Allen Hamilton employee “went well beyond programs associated with the NSA and data collection.”

He characterized the leaks as so severe that they “compromise military capability and defense of the country” and “could cost lives” — while they “will certainly cost billions to repair.”

“His actions were espionage, plain and simple,” Thornberry said.

Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) read his statement rather than making comments on the fly “because of the seriousness of this issue and the sensitivity” of the information they’d just heard.

“Ed Snowden isn’t a whistleblower; he’s a traitor,” McKeon said.

No matter what opinion people hold of the data collection programs, he added, people should be “shocked and outraged to find that a substantial amount of the information has nothing to do with the NSA.”

“He’s given our enemies an edge and put American lives at risk,” said the chairman.

McKeon said Americans should “demand” that Snowden be “brought to justice” and not be extended any sort of deal by the government.

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Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
I'm skeptical.

First the chairman of the house intelligence committee accuses Snowden of working for a foreign government, later the committee accuses Snowden's associate of selling access to the documents, now the committee alleges Snowden retrieved military and defense documents.

Drip..drip..drip.

This has EVERYTHING to do with a corrupt congressional committee providing cover and support for blatantly unconstitutional domestic NSA surveillance of american citizens.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'd feel better if our representatives were "disturbed and angered" about the world's most powerful government's massive and secretive espionage on its own purportedly free citizens.

I expect they'll turn into cheerleaders for the surveillance and control bureaucracies as they begin to realize what the NSA has on each of them.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
This government does not trust the American people; NSA surveillance is proof of that.

This government has consistently lied to the American people.

This government has used it's authority and power to harrass American citizens who have done nothing wrong except attempt to exercise thier civil rights.

Now the government is asking the American people to take their word that Snowden is a traitor.

Maybe he is, but I no longer trust the government, and I no longer believe a word it says.


37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (87)
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As narrated by our guide mark Beatrice Preceding (The Progeny' Shailene Woodley), there are those fit into more youjizz [http://youjizz.ws/] than two categories which are labelled 'divergents' and fling out to have life as homeless vagabonds on the pretense that they do not belong.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mossad cyberterrorism false flag?
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
...I seriously doubt that all are intentionally and knowingly. I would not be surprised if there were quite a few not unlike Snowden but less brilliant, more trusting of 'uncle Sam', and more afraid of losing their employment, home, and all ...
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Putting aside the NSA spying for which I am fervently against, there were other ways for Snowden to 'announce' his findings other than going to the Chinese press and conveniently receiving asylum in Russia. That makes it incongruent to assume Snowden acted on his own for the 'good of the people'. And what is particularly alarming is that a Communications Specialist working as a contractor for the Federal Government had access to the so-called "shocking" information. This is a civilian employee who never took an oath to 'protect' the Constitution. No contractor should have access to Secret or Top Secret materials, and Congress should put forth a bill to address this issue.
As an aside, Trey Gowdy (R-SC) is one my representatives and Tim Scott (R-SC) is my Senator. Ive gone to both of them on several occasions regarding Government oversight and other issues. If I "came across the information" as Snowden insists, I would have no problem meeting with either of these men to discuss the ramifications of discovering this information.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Snowden isn't the first NSA whistle blower. Thomas Drake tried to do something similar a few years ago, just without the classified disclosures, and he is still being persecuted in any way possible. He he is telling his story:
NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake speaks at National Press Club:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Wp2BGLMqDM&list=FLdG38DQcX41gu3NOAl_s0Bw&index=4
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
y you really don't seem to understand the predicament Snowden found himself in. Look at the website where he explains matters. ...
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
And I should believe them, why?
The entire government should be prosecuted under RICO...fits the definition of a corrupt organization.
I heard the IRS commish say he would restore trust in the IRS...fat chance...full of the same corrupt people.
III/0317
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
If Snowden did all this, why couldn't team Obama stop him from getting away?

Snowden is just the whipping boy for all Obama's intel incompetence, past, present, and future.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
more obama regime incompetence
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh, great. The same federal govt that brought me the NSA now assures me that it's whistleblower is Satan in the flesh. Next week: a House resolution that leaking government documents is actually a crime against humanity, complete with photos of starving African children. Of course, the greatest irony is that Snowden was just doing what the NSA trains their employees to do to the rest of us.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
They have nothing to fear, if they have nothing to hide....but oh, wait...be afraid, be very afraid. The entire planet should spill the beans on ALL governments and expose these lying sacks for what they are, WE should have rights and be free, these lying dirt bags are the ones to watch, record, and monitor. Perhaps if governments worldwide dealt truthfully, the world wouldn't be in the mess we are in.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's all George Bushes fault.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
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