Anyone still thinking that Edward Snowden is a hero is a fool.
Just imagine if you’re the Chinese, Russians and Iranians. You spend a lot of effort and money trying to understand America’s intelligence strengths and weaknesses, and you’re never quite sure of your facts.
Then the traitor Snowden comes along and hands it all over.
U.S. spy agencies have built an intelligence-gathering colossus since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but remain unable to provide critical information to the president on a range of national security threats, according to the government’s top-secret budget.
The $52.6 billion “black budget” for fiscal 2013, obtained by The Washington Post from former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, maps a bureaucratic and operational landscape that has never been subject to public scrutiny. Although the government has annually released its overall level of intelligence spending since 2007, it has not divulged how it uses the money or how it performs against the goals set by the president and Congress.
The 178-page budget summary for the National Intelligence Program details the successes, failures and objectives of the 16 spy agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community, which has 107,035 employees.
The summary describes cutting-edge technologies, agent recruiting and ongoing operations. The Post is withholding some information after consultation with U.S. officials who expressed concerns about the risk to intelligence sources and methods. Sensitive details are so pervasive in the documents that The Post is publishing only summary tables and charts online.
“The United States has made a considerable investment in the Intelligence Community since the terror attacks of 9/11, a time which includes wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Arab Spring, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction technology, and asymmetric threats in such areas as cyber-warfare,” Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. wrote in response to inquiries from The Post…
Jonah Goldberg writes this is worse than a team getting it opponent’s playbook:
To me, it’s more like Al Capone getting the budgets, deployments, personnel files, and health records of The Untouchables. Foreign spy agencies would have sacrificed blood and treasure for a few pages of this stuff; now the Russians and Chinese are bathing in the documents like a young Bill Clinton stumbling upon a trunk full of old Playboys.
Two points come to mind here. The Snowden-as-a-heroic-whistleblower storyline is now dead. Whatever limited truth there ever was to that spin, it’s over. This has nothing to do with abuse of domestic surveillance and everything to do with harming the U.S.
Second, lots of people need to be fired. After Pearl Harbor, FDR wisely canned a bunch of generals for the simple reason that he needed fresh blood and accountability. This is the Pearl Harbor of “leaks,” and heads should roll.