House Intel Committee releases declassified Snowden report
On December 22, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released a declassified version of its investigative report on Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who fled to China and then Russia after stealing an estimated 1.5 million classified documents.
The report, including redactions for classified information, was the result of a two-year inquiry into 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. The report was completed in September 2016 and submitted to the Intelligence Community for a declassification review.
Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said, “I’m gratified that, with the completion of the declassification review, the American people can now get a fuller account of Edward Snowden’s crimes and the reckless disregard he has shown for U.S. national security, including the safety of American servicemen and women. It will take a long time to mitigate the damage he caused, and I look forward to the day when he returns to the United States to face justice.”
Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff said, “Snowden and his defenders claim that he is a whistleblower, but he isn’t, as the Committee’s review shows. Most of the material he stole had nothing to do with Americans’ privacy, and its compromise has been of great value to America’s adversaries and those who mean to do America harm. Whistleblowers are important to proper oversight and we will protect them from retaliation, and those who engage in civil disobedience are willing to stay and face the consequences.”
NSA and Cybersecurity Subcommittee Chairman Lynn Westmoreland said, “The American people have every right to know the extent of the damage Edward Snowden did to our national security, and I applaud the declassification of the House Intelligence Committee’s report. Not only did Snowden endanger American servicemembers, threaten critical relationships across the globe, and reduce our allies’ ability to counter terror attacks, but repairing the damage he did cost a tremendous amount of taxpayer dollars and more importantly, used up valuable time and resources that should be spent keeping our country safe. This extensive report shows Snowden is no hero, and that he should be brought to justice for his reckless actions.”