Dec 22, 2016
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:
\u201cUnsurprising that HPSCI's report is rifled with obvious falsehoods. The only surprise is how accidentally exonerating it is. 1/x\u201d— Edward Snowden (@Edward Snowden) 1482421021
\u201cAfter three years of investigation and millions of dollars, they can present no evidence of harmful intent, foreign influence, or harm. Wow.\u201d— Edward Snowden (@Edward Snowden) 1482421021
\u201cAn indicator of HPSCI's slant is the knowing omission of my strident, well-documented criticisms of Russian policy: https://t.co/rbAUeGZPd7\u201d— Edward Snowden (@Edward Snowden) 1482421021
\u201cDespite this, they claim without evidence I'm in cahoots with Russian intel. Everyone knows this is false, but let's examine their basis:\u201d— Edward Snowden (@Edward Snowden) 1482421021
\u201cA quote from a Russian guy who just this week claimed NATO assassinated Russia's Ambassador. Not kidding: https://t.co/wYuKWyF0bb\u201d— Edward Snowden (@Edward Snowden) 1482421021
\u201cMoreover, Klintsevich states clearly in the audio (which NPR omits from English translation) that he's only speculating ("Ya dumayu sto...")\u201d— Edward Snowden (@Edward Snowden) 1482421021
\u201cThis is the standard of evidence the worst claims they level are based on, after three years and millions of dollars. But it goes on.\u201d— Edward Snowden (@Edward Snowden) 1482421021
\u201cThey document me going, again and again -- over years, despite punishments -- to superiors to report complaints of waste, fraud, and abuse.\u201d— Edward Snowden (@Edward Snowden) 1482421480
\u201cNot one page mentions this journalism won the Pulitzer Prize for Public service, reformed our laws, and changed even the President's mind.\u201d— Edward Snowden (@Edward Snowden) 1482422226
\u201cYet they argue at length I should have gone to NSA's Inspector General. That he would end these abuses and protect whistleblowers.\u201d— Edward Snowden (@Edward Snowden) 1482422502
\u201cBut George Ellard, the NSA Inspector General, was just fired for retaliating against a whistleblower just like me. https://t.co/Udl9YK38XF\u201d— Edward Snowden (@Edward Snowden) 1482422823
\u201cJohn Crane, who worked for DOD's IG, claims they intentionally destroyed exculpatory evidence about @Thomas_Drake1. https://t.co/7kU0ISjaXE\u201d— Edward Snowden (@Edward Snowden) 1482422918
\u201cBottom line: this report's core claims are made without evidence, and are often contrary to both common sense and the public record.\u201d— Edward Snowden (@Edward Snowden) 1482423317
\u201cWas I a pain in the ass to work with? Perhaps; many technologists are. But this report establishes no worse.\u201d— Edward Snowden (@Edward Snowden) 1482423888
\u201cTechnologists are difficult because principles are binary.\u201d— Edward Snowden (@Edward Snowden) 1482426525
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