Edward Snowden is 'not a whistleblower,' U.S. government report says
House intelligence committee calls NSA leaker a 'disgruntled employee' who endangered national security
The U.S. House intelligence panel issued a scathing report on Thursday accusing National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden of lying about his background, feuding with co-workers and leaking secrets that "caused tremendous damage" to U.S. security.
The House of Representatives intelligence committee report declared that Snowden was "not a whistleblower" as he has claimed in interviews and that most of the material he stole from NSA outposts was about intelligence and defence programs of great interest to U.S. foreign adversaries.
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The committee only released a four-page summary of what it said was a 36-page investigative report by committee staff that remains highly classified. But the summary contained strong words about Snowden's actions and background.
The report calls Snowden, who is living in Russia, a "disgruntled employee who had frequent conflicts with his managers."
The committee said that while the "full scope" of damage caused by Snowden's disclosures remains unknown, a review of materials he allegedly compromised "makes clear that he handed over secrets that protect American troops overseas and secrets that provide vital defences against terrorists and nation-states."
The House committee's release of the report coincides with the release of Snowden, a Hollywood movie directed by Oliver Stone, which portrays the former intelligence contractor as a whistleblower and hero.
On Wednesday, prominent human rights advocates publicly urged U.S. President Barack Obama to issue a pardon for Snowden before he leaves office — a suggestion Snowden himself made to the Guardian newspaper earlier in the week.
U.S. officials have said that Obama is not considering a pardon for Snowden, who is facing U.S. criminal charges for providing classified information to unauthorized persons, and that there is no discussion of such a pardon inside the Justice Department.
Snowden's actions led to revelations about the NSA's bulk collection of millions of Americans' phone records.
With files from Associated Press