Edward Snowden is No Whistleblower

According to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that is. The Committee arrived at this conclusion after their two year inquiry on the former National Security Agency contractor who fled to China and then Russia after stealing 1.5 million classified documents.  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.

Although the Intelligence Committee’s 36-page report, which contains 230 footnotes, is classified, it is available to all members of the House of Representatives. An unclassified executive summary is available here.

Separately, all Intelligence Committee members sent a bipartisan letter to President Obama today urging him not to pardon Edward Snowden. The letter is available here.

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