Edward Snowden

Pentagon Report You Can't Read Claims Snowden's Leaks Have Helped Terrorists

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Credit: Wikileaks' Youtube Channel via Wikimedia

According to a classified report from the Pentagon, NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden's leaks have put American military personnel at risk and helped terrorists.

From The Hill:

Edward Snowden's leaks about National Security Agency programs have put U.S. troops at risk and prompted terrorists to change their tactics, according to a classified Pentagon report.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and ranking member Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Mich.) said that the Pentagon report found a significant portion of the 1.7 million documents Snowden took were related to current U.S. military operations.

Given that the report is classified it is impossible for anyone to independently examine its claims.

Rep. Rogers stressed the severity of the report's finds, saying, "Snowden handed over great insight to our adversaries, endangering each and every American. 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."

Glenn Greenwald, who has been reporting on Snowden's revelations, tweeted a reminder that this sort of rhetoric is nothing new:

Credit: Twitter

Alan Rusbridger, the editor of The Guardian, has defended the newspapers' reporting on the documents leaked by Snowden. Last month, Rusbridger told the British Parliament's Home Affairs Select Committee claims that reporting on Snowden's leaks have endangered national security "tend to be very vague and not rooted in specific stories." According to The Guardian

Rusbridger then quoted senior officials from the UK and the US who "have told me personally that there has been no damage. A member of the Senate intelligence committee said to us: 'I have been incredibly impressed by what you have done … I have seen nothing that you have done that has caused damage."

It wouldn't be surprising if some current critics of the NSA were to change their minds if it was definitively shown that Snowden's revelations had helped terrorists or put the lives of American troops at risk. It would be in the interest of those lawmakers who support the NSA's behavior exposed by Snowden to make some, if not all, of the Pentagon report public, assuming its findings are what they claim they are. Until then, we are going to be left with members of Congress making extraordinary statements based on a report only they and a limited number of other people are allowed to read.