I cited Mike Morrell, former deputy CIA director, previously speaking out against Edward Snowden during a radio interview:
HH: Mr. Morell, on Page 293, you talk about the treacherous Snowden. He’s just a traitor, and you write, “I believe that the Snowden disclosures will go down in history as the greatest compromise of classified information ever. Period. Full stop. The damage done has already been significant. And it will continue to grow.” And I only spent a year with SCI and a couple of years on the fringes of it. But even in that, in counterintelligence at the Department of Justice, it had to be a massive blow that the average American has no idea what he did.
MM: He basically, as I say in the book, backed up a tractor trailer and filled it up full of documents, 99.9% of them that he had not read, and 99.9% of them that he didn’t know anything about, and gave them away, right? And we don’t know, we only know what the media has published. We don’t know how many of those documents have gotten into the hands of Russian intelligence or Chinese intelligence or other intelligence services, but you can bet a good chunk has. We don’t know, we don’t fully understand, yet, the damage. We haven’t even fully seen the damage yet, but it is extensive, and will be extensive.
Well, now we may know some of that extensive damage. Mike Morrell previously claimed that Snowden’s leaks played a role in the rise of ISIS.
Morrell in Politico:
Michael Morell: First, ISIS went to school on how we were collecting intelligence on terrorist organizations by using telecommunications technologies. And when they learned that from the Snowden disclosures, they were able to adapt to it and essentially go silent … And so, part of their rise was understanding what our capabilities were, adjusting to them so we couldn’t see them. No doubt in my mind. And the people who say otherwise are just trying to defend Edward Snowden.
Two—and much more damaging: The Snowden disclosures created this perception that people’s privacy was being put at significant risk. It wasn’t only the Snowden disclosures about [Section] 215 [of the PATRIOT Act, allowing for the mass collection of telephone metadata] that created that, it was the media’s handling of it. The media went to the darkest corner of the room, the CNNs and the FOXes etc. of the world, those people who have a 24/7 news cycle. In those early days, if you were watching CNN, they were saying the NSA is listening to your phone calls. It’s reading your emails. When you call your grandma in Arkansas, the NSA knows. All total bulls–t. They made the public more concerned about the privacy issue than the legitimate facts should have done. And so, the result of that was everything you’ve seen. The constraining of 215. The IT companies building encryption without keys. That is all, at the end of the day, back in Snowden’s lap, in my view.
As far as Paris goes, we don’t know for sure yet how these guys communicate among themselves and how they communicated back to the ISIS leadership in Iraq and Syria, but I’m fairly confident we’re going to learn they used these encrypted communication applications that have commercial encryption and are extremely difficult for companies to break—and which the companies have made the decision not to produce a key for. Even if the government goes to them with a warrant, they can’t give them anything because they don’t have a key. These companies made these decisions about encryption when they were finding it very difficult to sell their products overseas because the Snowden disclosures created the impression that the U.S. government was inside this hardware and software produced by them. They needed to do something to deal with the perception.
Hirsh: And did this reduction in our intelligence capability open the way to the attacks in Paris?
Morell: Here’s what I do. I listen to what U.S. officials say, and I’m able to read between the lines based on my experience. I think I’m seeing an attack that was conceived, planned an organized from Raqqa, from the ISIS leadership. i think I see a Mohammad Atta-like character in this guy who’s still at large. The kind of mastermind. You put all that together and what this is at the end of the day is the first ISIS-directed attack in the West. They’ve had directed attacks elsewhere, in Kuwait for example, and every day in Iraq. This is the first one outside the region … That’s what makes this so significant. What [CIA Director] John Brennan said yesterday is really important. He said we know they have other attacks in the pipeline. We also know that nine to 12 months ago, they made a decision to build an attack capability in western Europe, and what we saw in Paris was the first manifestation of that.
Here’s a link that will lead you to Brennan’s speech, referenced by Morrell. In that speech, Brennan says he believes ISIS was decimated under Bush and grew by 4,400% under Obama.
The Politico interview concludes:
Morell: Because there’s one great lesson from history we need to keep on re-learning. It is that sometimes your adversaries tell you exactly what they’re going to do. How many times did [Osama] bin Laden say prior to 9/11 that he was coming after the U.S.? ISIS made clear that when they established their caliphate in Iraq and Syria, they were coming after the United States too.
Should the U.S. be hit by ISIS or any other enemy for that matter, will Snowden have blood on his hands? Does he already have blood on his hands?
The damage he has single-handedly done to our national security is enormous.
A former fetus, the “wordsmith from nantucket” was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1968. Adopted at birth, wordsmith grew up a military brat. He achieved his B.A. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles (graduating in the top 97% of his class), where he also competed rings for the UCLA mens gymnastics team. The events of 9/11 woke him from his political slumber and malaise. Currently a personal trainer and gymnastics coach.
The wordsmith has never been to Nantucket.