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Latest on Snowden docs: May expose U.S. — Foreign Intel cooperation

Latest on Snowden docs: May expose U.S. — Foreign Intel cooperation

(Photo: The Guardian)

The US has begun the awkward process of notifying intelligence services in some countries that documents obtained by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden contained information about their cooperation with the US.

From the Washington Post:

U.S. officials are alerting some foreign intelligence services that documents detailing their secret cooperation with the United States have been obtained by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, according to government officials.

Snowden, U.S. officials said, took tens of thousands of documents containing sensitive material about collection programs against adversaries such as Iran, Russia and China, operations that in some cases involve countries not publicly allied with the United States.

The process of informing officials in capital after capital about the risk of disclosure they face has been painful and delicate. In some cases, one part of the cooperating government may know about the collaboration while others — such as the foreign ministry — may not, the officials said. The documents, if disclosed, could compromise operations, officials said.

The duty of informing these other intelligence services, according to the Post, has fallen to the the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

This news comes as the administration is on the defensive about allegations that the NSA monitored the cell phone of German chancellor Angela Merkel.  President Obama spoke with Merkel on Wednesday, where he “assured the chancellor that the United States is not monitoring and will not monitor the communications of the chancellor,” according to Politico.

And earlier on Thursday, the Guardian published a report, based on a document provided by Snowden, alleging that the NSA monitored the phone calls of 35 world leaders.

According to TIME, White House spokesperson Jay Carney told reporters Thursday, “The [NSA] revelations have clearly caused tension in our relationships with some countries, and we are dealing with that through diplomatic channels…These are very important relations both economically and for our security, and we will work to maintain the closest possible ties.”

The material referenced in Thursday’s Washington Post report about the collaborative foreign intelligence activities is said to deal with standard intelligence regarding the military capabilities of other countries, rather than with that of NSA surveillance.  Officials expressed concern that it risks damaging future cooperation.  From the Washington Post:

The fundamental issue is one of trust, officials said. “We depend to a very great extent on intelligence-sharing relationships with foreign partners, mostly governments — or in some cases, organizations within governments,” a second U.S. official said. “If they tell us something, we will keep it secret. We expect the same of them. [If that trust is undermined,] these countries, at a minimum, will be thinking twice if they’re going to share something with us or not.”

Snowden’s father Lon recently told reporters that his son has more secrets to share, presumably through journalists with whom the NSA leaker has shared documents.


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“assured the chancellor that the United States is not monitoring and will not monitor the communications of the chancellor…”

Ah, the conspicuous absence of the past tense. We all know what that means.

But at least the chancellor has Obama’s “assurances.” That’s nice.

I believe she could take him in a fair fight.

legacyrepublican | October 24, 2013 at 9:35 pm

What I really would like to know is if the NSA is in bed with the IRS. Given the way things are coming out, that is becoming more and more likely.

Another Snowden story exposing the violation of another American’s rights…NOT!

I have still not seen one story which details such a violation and don’t quote some story about how every phone call in America is recorded. Even if that was true, you would need the entire population of the United States plus some to work all that data. There’s a lot of secret brownie recipes being passed by Aunt Beas all over the U.S. We wouldn’t want to miss those!

Oh, and by the way, I would propose that folks like Angela et al are being a tad bit disingenuous…but they have to say something when such stories are on the front page of the newspaper.

This clown Snowden and his buddy Greenwald are traitors, pure and simple. He is no hero.

    snopercod in reply to NavyMustang. | October 25, 2013 at 5:57 am

    “He is no hero.” Amazing! That was exactly what King George III said about Paul Revere!

      NavyMustang in reply to snopercod. | October 25, 2013 at 6:43 am

      snopercod, Edward Snowden compared to Paul Revere. LOL! More like Benedict Arnold. The guy who was trying his darndest to pass on secret documents to our enemies.

      I work in the business. We do NOT violate the rights of U.S. persons! We do NOT.

      For over 30 years I have been defending the USA, NOT spying against it. We take such violations very, very seriously.

      Do you have a clearance? Considering your comment, I will take a wild guess that you do not. Get one and then we can talk. Until then, those who do not have clearances do not have the full story, just little snippets of things taken out of context.

      Snowden is no hero. He and Greenwald are trying their mightiest to knock the USA to its knees, to weaken us. You know, the same thing that we criticize Obama for doing.

      I have worked with Alexander, socialized with Hayden and I know the man who will probably be the next DIRNSA, Admiral Mike Rogers. NONE of them would condone spying on Americans.

      So, I ask once again. Show me one instance when the rights of a U.S. person (a term of art used in the community to cover citizens and legal aliens) were violated.

        MarlaHughes in reply to NavyMustang. | October 25, 2013 at 8:32 am

        Thank you for your service is an easy reply, but completely heart felt.

          NavyMustang in reply to MarlaHughes. | October 25, 2013 at 9:23 am

          Thank you, Marla. I greatly appreciate the kind words.

          I would like to say that if there were REAL evidence from anyone, not just Snowden and company, of organizational wrongdoing, I would be out front demanding that the culprits’s heads be separated from their bodies. I can tell you that, in over 30 years, neither I or any of the people I worked with spied on U.S. citizens. We would never think of it.

          I find it amusing how quickly people are to say that I and others in my field are “government drones.” If you REALLY knew what we did, you wouldn’t say that. I participated in some extremely high risk operations to protect this country. In the past few years, there are many times that I feel like a chump for having done that.

          Every human endeavor has problems and “problem children.” Snowden is an extreme example. The clowns who decided to spy on their girlfriends less so. The guys spying on their girlfriends are stupid. Snowden and Greenwald are acting with malice and are traitors. No doubt in my military mind.

    I’m still on the fence over him, but so far he has not told us anything about what the nsa is doing to us (citizens) that we didn’t already know.
    been called a timfoiler all my life (ever since I had ex crypto as partner in germany) since I have always told people they are collecting this info.
    now instead of being called tinfoiler I am told I am over reacting.
    go figure.

    now back to Snowden, a quick way to get me off the fence is to continuously undermine our operations against other countries. At that point he becomes another Manning to me.

      Spiny Norman in reply to dmacleo. | October 25, 2013 at 2:16 pm

      …a quick way to get me off the fence is to continuously undermine our operations against other countries. At that point he becomes another Manning to me.

      That’s my thinking. Spying on geopolitical rivals and adversaries like Iran, China, and even Russia, is what the NSA is supposed to be doing. Of course, that is far worse in the eyes of the Guardian and their readers than spying on US citizens, and foreign diplomats cooperating with the NSA in those efforts is also much worse than spying on Angela Merkel (who the Guardianistas despise anyway).

Yeah, we have seen how “seriously” you government drones take the 4th Amendment. Spying on girlfriends? (not to mention reporters and Tea Party members)? Really? I don’t have a clearance any more, but at one time I was cleared to a level above Top Secret. I could tell you what that was but then I’d have to kill you. LOL!

    NavyMustang in reply to snopercod. | October 25, 2013 at 8:15 am

    How did I know you would refer to that story? Pretty lame. The people who did that more than likely do not have a job anymore.

    And where is your evidence that NSA, repeat the NSA, spied on reporters and Tea Party members?

    You were cleared? It’s obvious that you weren’t a SIGINTER. Cause if you were, you would know that violating a U.S. person’s rights is a huge no-no. It is a fundamental part of the culture that we do not violate those rights. And if we do, intentionally, there is hell to pay.

    Oh, and that phrase was old when Tom Cruise said it.

      wonder if the difference is military doing the work vs civilian nsa employees.
      while military, who operate under a ton or rules (ex MP here nuke security + LEO), may take measures to not do this we don’t know if the civilians are doing what their CoC desires.

Well since this revelation occurred in 2006, I am sure Obama and the news Media will be all over it (bark bark bark – it has all been Bush’s fault – no links to Obama bark bark bark).

I really would like to start seeing journalism in the main stream media but that appears to be dead and only Obama sycophants remain. It is great though to at least have blogs addressing issues so that it least we are not like the old USSR with Pravda.

It’s not a case of the government monitoring the trillions of phone calls Americans make. It’s a case of them targeting a citizen and having all this information to use against them. Thereby the fifth goes out the window because they have all the goods already. They’re storing this stuff ad infinitum and had to build a mega storage unit to hold it. This is big brother on steriods.