Snowden 'a traitor who wilfully betrayed his country' – Intelligence Committee

2016-09-16 14:40
Edward Snowden during an exclusive interview with NBC news. (NBC news, AFP)

Edward Snowden during an exclusive interview with NBC news. (NBC news, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington – Edward Snowden was a "disgruntled employee" and not a "principled whistleblower," according to a report from Congress released on Thursday, which comes amid mounting pressure for a presidential pardon.

The former National Security Agency intelligence contractor leaked thousands of classified US documents in 2013 revealing the vast US surveillance put in place after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Several prominent human rights groups have launched a campaign to convince President Barack Obama to pardon Snowden, who is living in exile in Russia.

The whistleblower is also the subject of an Oliver Stone movie set for release on Friday in the United States.

But according to a summary of the two-year report prepared by the House Intelligence Committee, Snowden "was a disgruntled employee who had frequent conflicts with his managers and was reprimanded just two weeks before he began illegally downloading classified documents".

National security risk

The report also finds that Snowden "did not voice such concerns to any oversight officials" at the NSA, and he should not be considered a whistleblower protected under law.

Although the 36-page report is classified, officials released a shorter, unclassified version.

Snowden "doctored his performance evaluations and obtained new positions at NSA by exaggerating his resume and stealing the answers to an employment test," the report said, adding that he took advantage of its access as network administrator to search hard drives on his colleagues' computers.

"Edward Snowden is no hero – he's a traitor who wilfully betrayed his colleagues and his country," Intelligence Committee Chairperson Devin Nunes said.

Snowden put US service members "and the American people at risk," he added.

NSA and Cybersecurity Subcommittee Chairperson Lynn Westmoreland said Snowden "did more damage to US national security than any other individual in our nation's history".

Snowden reacts on Twitter

Reacting on Twitter, Snowden addressed several specific allegations in the report before categorically dismissing the document.

"Bottom line: after 'two years of investigation', the American people deserve better," he wrote. "This report diminishes the committee."

"Congress spent two years writing a report to discourage you from going to see this film," he tweeted later, referring to the Oliver Stone movie. "It opens tomorrow."

Following Snowden's revelations, widespread outrage prompted Congress to adopt measures in June 2015 to regulate the NSA's collection of Americans' phone call metadata.

However, White House press secretary Josh Earnest dismissed pressure for a pardon on Wednesday, saying Snowden would enjoy legal due process at a trial in the United States, where he faces up to 30 years in prison for espionage and theft of state secrets.

"His conduct put American lives at risk and it risked American national security," he told reporters. "And that's why the policy of the Obama administration is that Mr Snowden should return to the United States and face the very serious charges that he's facing."

Read more on:    edward snowden  |  us  |  wikileaks

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.