Home / News from NPR / Lawmaker Says Snowden Leaks Will Cost Country ‘Billions To Repair’
Edward Snowden.

Lawmaker Says Snowden Leaks Will Cost Country ‘Billions To Repair’

By Eyder Peralta NPR

Following a classified briefing on Wednesday, the chairman and the vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said the “majority” of the classified information taken by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden had “nothing to do with the NSA,” or its collection of bulk data.

“Instead [his leaks] specifically [work] to compromise the military capability and defense of the country,” Rep. Mac Thornberry, a Texas Republican and the vice chairman of the committee, said during a press briefing.

Thornberry added the leaks will “certainly cost billions to repair.”

“His actions were espionage plain and simple,” Thornberry said.

Rep. Howard McKeon, a Republican from California and the committee chairman, piled on.

“Edward Snowden isn’t a whistle-blower; he isn’t a hero. He’s a traitor and a criminal,” McKeon said. Americans, he added, would be “shocked and outraged” to learn how much of the information he took had to do with defense issues.

“The damage to the military is not the mark of a whistle-blower,” McKeon said.

These are not the first of those kinds of accusations launched at Snowden. If you remember, Rep. Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House intelligence committee, intimated that Snowden had help from the Russians to steal the data.

Rogers provided no evidence to back that up.

Snowden, meanwhile, called the allegations “absurd.”

None of the news organizations that were given the classified documents taken by Snowden have published stories about the military.

It’s also worth noting that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Congress on Tuesday that they are still trying to assess the extent of what Snowden took.

Defense Intelligence Agency chief Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn told Congress they were working under the assumption that ever document Snowden accessed, he also took.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Check Also

Relatives and victims of Argentine and Uruguayan military dictatorships react as they hear the sentence of Argentina's court in the trial on Operation Condor, at the Argentina's embassy in Montevideo, Uruguay on May 27, 2016.

Argentina’s Last Dictator Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison For Cross-Border Conspiracy

The case focused on a plan known as Operation Condor. This marks the first time a court has ruled that it was a criminal conspiracy to track down and disappear political dissidents across borders.