The Washington Post has an interesting article about James Clapper calling intelligence officials around the globe to effectively pre-warn them
that cooperative activities with US intelligence agencies are likely to be revealed in the press before long, thanks to Ed Snowden. It's a worthwhile read, but two things struck me about it:
- It sounds like the NSA might have finally figured out what Snowden took, only five or so months later.
- They seem to know that (contrary to what they've claimed publicly) Russia does not have access to the trove of Snowden docs. That's not stated explicitly, but the following snippet makes it pretty clear:
In one case, for instance, the files contain information about a program run from a NATO country against Russia that provides valuable intelligence for the U.S. Air Force and Navy, said one U.S. official, who requested anonymity to discuss an ongoing criminal investigation. Snowden faces theft and espionage charges.
That statement certainly indicates that the Russians haven't taken those appropriate measures... meaning that they don't yet know about it. Of course, Snowden himself recently insisted that he got rid of the docs before going to Russia, but some chose not to believe him. The statements above suggest not only that Snowden was being truthful, but also that administration and Congressional officials who insist that Snowden gave the documents to the Russian are ignorant or lying.
“If the Russians knew about it, it wouldn’t be hard for them to take appropriate measures to put a stop to it,” the official said.
It's funny how a little sunlight and transparency often has a contagious way of revealing even more over time...