Intelligence Committee of U.S. Approves Snowden Report

Saturday, 17 September, 2016 - 18:15

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence yesterday unanimously voted to adopt an investigative report on Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who fled to China and then Russia after stealing 1.5 million classified documents. The result of a two-year inquiry, the report describes Snowden's background, likely motivations, and methods of theft, as well as the damage done to U.S. national security as a result of his actions.

Contrary to Snowden's self-portrayal as a principled whistleblower, the report reveals that he was a disgruntled employee who had frequent conflicts with his managers and was reprimanded just two weeks before he began illegally downloading classified documents. Although he claims to have been motivated by privacy concerns, the report finds that Snowden did not voice such concerns to any oversight officials, and his actions infringed on the privacy of thousands of government employees and contractors. 

Additionally, the vast majority of the documents he stole had no connection to privacy or civil liberties. Furthermore, Snowden's basic knowledge of NSA programs is thrown into doubt by his failure to pass NSA's basic annual training on Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Snowden's actions did severe damage to U.S. national security, compromising the Intelligence Community's anti-terror efforts and endangering the security of the American people as well as active-duty U.S. troops.

All Intelligence Committee members sent a bipartisan letter to President Obama yesterday urging him not to pardon Edward Snowden.