A new assessment of the damage caused by Edward Snowden’s breach of classified U.S. intelligence networks on first glance looks catastrophic. But first impressions can be deceiving.
Sometimes, the three hardest words to say in the English language are: “I don’t know.” For the U.S. intelligence community, those words could be very useful when it comes to Edward Snowden, the NSA-contractor-turned-leaker. Because when it comes to Snowden, the spooks know precious little—despite the over-sized claims made in Congress, allegedly on the spies’ behalf.
Last month, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) completed a classified assessment of the damage caused by Snowden’s breach and began briefing the findings to Congress. The report is now driving a new round of claims by senior U.S. officials and members of Congress about what has been called the worst leak in U.S. history.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said a week ago that Snowden’s activities have placed the lives of intelligence officers and assets at risk. Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, said if one were to stack the documents stolen by Snowden it would be three miles high. On Wednesday, Rep. Mac Thornberry, the Texas Republican who is next in line to be the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said the damage done by Snowden “will certainly cost billions to repair.”
(image via DonkeyHotey)