Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Edward Snowden

"Unsurprising that [the] report is rifled with obvious falsehoods. The only surprise is how accidentally exonerating it is," whistleblower Edward Snowden tweeted in response to the House Intelligence Committee report. (Photo: Gage Skidmore/cc/flickr)

House Intel Report Is 'Accidentally Exonerating,' Says Snowden

'After three years of investigation and millions of dollars, they can present no evidence of harmful intent, foreign influence, or harm. Wow.'

Nika Knight

The House Intelligence Committee on Thursday released a heavily redacted, declassified version of its report on National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden, and Snowden charges that the "parade of falsity" contained in the report is "accidentally exonerating."

The report was several years in the making. A summary of it was published in September of this year just as Oliver Stone's sympathetic biopic of Snowden was released in theaters—part of a growing campaign that seeks a presidential pardon for the whistleblower.

At the time, Snowden slammed the summary of the report—and he wasn't alone. "The report is not only one-sided, not only incurious, not only contemptuous of fact," wrote journalist and author Barton Gellman after it was it published. "It is trifling."

In the full report (pdf), the intelligence committee neglects to mention Snowden's well-documented critique of the Russian government at the same time that it charges—with no evidence—that the whistleblower is in contact with Russian spy agencies.

The committee also seems to characterize Snowden as a bad employee for his repeated efforts to report concerns to higher-ups, but then goes on to argue that Snowden should have reported the NSA's mass surveillance practices to the NSA inspector general (despite documented retaliation against whistleblowers at multiple government agencies, including the NSA).

"Bottom line: this report's core claims are made without evidence, and are often contrary to both common sense and the public record," Snowden tweeted.

In a statement, Snowden's lawyer Ben Wizner, who also directs the ACLU's Speech, Privacy & Technology Project, dismissed the report as he defended his client's motivation for leaking the information to journalists.

"The House committee spent three years and millions of dollars in a failed attempt to discredit Edward Snowden, whose actions led to the most significant intelligence reforms in a generation," Wizner said. "The report wholly ignores Snowden’s repeated and courageous criticism of Russian surveillance and censorship laws. It combines demonstrable falsehoods with deceptive inferences to paint an entirely fictional portrait of an American whistleblower."

Read the whistleblower's full takedown of the report on Twitter here:


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'Stop Line 5': Valve Turner Forces Shutdown of Enbridge Oil Pipeline in Michigan

"We are here to protect the water, land, and air that support all life, including our own. Line 5 poses an immediate threat to our lives and these actions are taken out of necessity and in self-defense."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Delay Is the New Denial': Study Confirms 99.9% of Scientists Agree on Climate

"It's pretty much case closed for any meaningful public conversation about the reality of human-caused climate change."

Brett Wilkins ·


Exposed: How Pfizer Exploits Secretive Vaccine Contracts to Strong-Arm Governments

"Pfizer has used its monopoly on a lifesaving vaccine to extract concessions from desperate governments," said the report's author, urging action from the Biden administration.

Jessica Corbett ·


'A Toxic Presence in the Party': Ocasio-Cortez Joins Calls for Jay Jacobs to Resign

"India Walton is the Democratic nominee for mayor of Buffalo. No amount of racist misogyny from the old boys' club is going to change that."

Brett Wilkins ·


New Multimedia Report Details Unprecedented 'Permian Climate Bomb' in Texas

"If the Biden Administration wants to be serious about its promise to demonstrate U.S. climate leadership, it must first clean up its own backyard."

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo