Republicans and Democrats in the House serving on the GOP-led Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence have a strong message for Edward Snowden and his supporters: He’s a traitor who deserves prosecution, and not a whistleblower.
In a stinging rebuke, the committee said in a report issued this week that the content of the 1.5 million documents the former National Security Adviser contractor removed from the government’s network was more national security in nature than previously reported.
The Blaze reported the story:
“A House intelligence committee report issued Thursday condemned Edward Snowden, saying [he] is not a whistleblower and that the vast majority of the documents he stole were defense secrets that had nothing to do with privacy. …
“Snowden was an NSA contract employee when he took the documents and leaked them to journalists who revealed massive domestic surveillance programs begun in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. The programs collected the telephone metadata records of millions of Americans and examined emails from overseas. Snowden fled to Hong Kong, then Russia, to avoid prosecution and now wants a presidential pardon as a whistleblower.”
Snowden said his revelations helped the American people understand how the government was spying on innocent civilians – and how fruitless those surveillance operations were toward maintaining the safety of the country, and rooting out terrorism.
The chairman of the committee, Rep. Devin Nunes, said Snowden deserves prosecution for betraying America, however.
And the other committee members agree.
“Separately, all members of the committee sent a bipartisan letter to President Barack Obama urging him not to pardon Snowden,” the Blaze reported.
“‘The vast majority of what he took has nothing to do with American privacy,’ Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said.
“‘The majority of what he took has to do with military secrets and defense secrets,” Schiff said in an interview Thursday for C-SPAN … ‘I think that’s very much at odds with the narrative that he wants to tell that he is a whistleblower.’
“The Obama administration has urged Snowden to return to the U.S. and face trial. Justice Department spokesman Marc Raimondi has said “there is no question his actions have inflicted serious harms on our national security.”
“The committee report says that he was a ‘disgruntled employee who had frequent conflicts with his managers.'”
Yet, at the same time, the committee acknowledged this, the Blaze reported:
“Publicly revealing classified information does not qualify someone as a whistleblower, the report said. The committee ‘found no evidence that Snowden took any official effort to express concerns about U.S. intelligence activities to any oversight officials within the U.S. government, despite numerous avenues for him to do so.'” …
“Snowden insists he has not shared the full cache of 1.5 million classified documents with anyone. However, the report notes that in June, the deputy chairman of the Russian parliament’s defense and security committee publicly conceded that ‘Snowden did share intelligence’ with his government. …
The report was released one day ahead of Friday’s opening of director Oliver Stone’s film, ‘Snowden.'”