Editor’s note: This essay is adapted from the author’s coda to the forthcoming volume “Whistleblowing Nation: Disclosing U.S. National Security and the Challenge of Dissent,” edited by Kaeten Mistry and Hannah Gurman, Columbia University Press.
Latest in Edward Snowden
The New York Times has published a declassified version of a 2016 report from the Defense Department Inspector General that assesses the reforms implemented to improve security of the NSA's most sensitive systems after the Snowden disclosures.
Reminder: Hoover Book Soiree: Privacy & Power: A Transatlantic Dialogue in the Shadow of the NSA-Affair
The next in our series of book soirees at the Hoover Institution will take place from 5-7 pm tomorrow, Tuesday, April 18, when Benjamin Wittes will join Russell Miller (professor of law at Washington & Lee University School of Law) and Ralf Poscher (professor of law at University of Freiberg) to discuss their contributions to a new book of essays, Privacy & Power: A Transatlantic Dialogue in the Shadow of the NSA-Affair.
The next in our series of book soirees at the Hoover Institution will take place from 5-7 pm on Tuesday, April 18, when Ben will join Russell Miller (professor of law at Washington & Lee University School of Law) and Ralf Poscher (professor of law at University of Freiberg) to discuss their contributions to a new book of essays, Privacy & Power: A Transatlantic Dialogue in the Shadow of the NSA-Affair. All three contributed to the volume, and Russell Miller is the editor.
The House Intelligence Committee has made public its full 36-page report on Edward Snowden, which was previously classified. The Committee approved the report in September and previously released an unclassified executive summary. The document is included in full below and is also available here.
Prior to last week, one might have been forgiven for thinking that Edward Snowden had fallen out of the news. Now, however, Oliver Stone’s new film Snowden and the ACLU-Amnesty International campaign to obtain a presidential pardon for the eponymous whistleblower have jointly revived the long-dormant debate over Edward Snowden’s fate.
Jack Goldsmith’s response to my call for a pardon for Edward Snowden deserves a reply. I also have a few thoughts on what Susan Hennessey and Ben Wittes have now added to the debate.
Let’s start with an obvious point: As Jack Goldsmith pointed out last week, President Obama is not going to pardon Edward Snowden. It’s just not going to happen. Period. And everyone involved in the campaign for a pardon for the Moscow-based fugitive is fully aware there is no hope it will come to fruition.
The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence voted unanimously on Thursday afternoon to approve a report on Edward Snowden finding that he "did tremendous damage" to U.S. national security. The executive summary of the report is unclassified and is available here and below; the full report is 36 pages and is classified.
I have signed on to the letter asking President Obama to pardon Edward Snowden that was released today. I know this will be an unpopular position among many of my former colleagues in the national security community. My reasons for doing so are not fully captured by that letter. They are different from those who see Snowden simply as a hero and the NSA as the villain.