Per a Freedom of Information Act Request lawsuit filed by Vice News, the Department of Defense has released a report on the damaging effects of Edward Snowden ’s 2013 NSA leaks. The only problem? It’s redacted. Entirely. Not a crumb of evidence was present in the “evidence” the government released.
The “assessment” is made up of multiple reports collectively over 100 pages long and was released by the Defense Intelligence Agency, a wing of the Department of Defense. It was made by two dozen DIA analysts and is fully blocked out, save for several headings. For example:
- “Talking Points”
- “Compromised Information”
The redacted reports were constructed from September 2013 to April 2014. According to a declaration signed by the DIA’s FOIA office chair, Aleysia Williams, it was used by DOD “leadership” to “mitigate the harm caused to national security” by Snowden.
David Leatherwood, the DIA’s director of operations, said that to do this, secrecy must be employed (as usual). He alleged:
“To accomplish this goal, the reporting of the task force focuses entirely on identifying the magnitude of the harm.
Much of that reporting, for very legitimate reasons, remains classified. “
Further, at a conference on Monday, NSA chief Mike Rogers claimed of the Snowden leaks:
“Anyone who thinks this has not had an impact… doesn’t know what they are talking about.”
Since Edward Snowden exposed the expansive spying practices of the federal government, authorities like Rogers have claimed that the former CIA and NSA analyst compromised national security.
However, they are yet to provide a single instance of their claims. They have not even been able to prove that the NSA’s bulk data collection has an effect on terrorism whatsoever.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (of the same name as the NSA chair), who had the privilege of reading a different-and apparently less redacted-report last year, insisted,
“[That] report confirms my greatest fears — Snowden ’s real acts of betrayal place America’s military men and women at greater risk… Snowden ’s actions are likely to have lethal consequences for our troops in the field.”
Rather than focusing on what Snowden ’s actions have allegedly done to “troops in the field,” it would be more productive to acknowledge other revelations: America is spying on world leaders, its military has murdered journalists and raped boys in front of their mothers, the CIA botched an attempt to give fake nuclear plans to Iran and later launched a cyber attack while the NSA hacked North Korea long before the Sony scandal.
This is but a handful of the egregious crimes committed by the federal government. They have compromised national security and the safety of American troops exponentially more than Snowden’s revelations ever could. They create ill-will and terrorists through corrupt meddling and violence.
The government’s attempts to deflect the realities of its illegal spying are growing increasingly desperate and pathetic. Those at the DIA and DOD have no evidence to offer of their claims but stacks of blacked out pages and the tired talking point that they are “here to help.”