Congressional report slams NSA leaker Edward Snowden

The House Intelligence Committee on Thursday sent a bipartisan letter to President Obama urging him not to pardon Edward Snowden, asserting that the former National Security Agency contractor carried out "the largest and most damaging" leak of classified information in USA history.

The House Intelligence Committee on Thursday will urge President Obama not to issue a pardon for former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden.

The Edward Snowden portrayed in that trailer by actor Joseph Gordon-Leavitt, Rooney says, is not the serial exaggerator and fabricator the committee's report says he is.

Snowden, who said he reviewed every one of the thousands of documents he took to make sure disclosure was in the public interest, is seeking a presidential pardon, arguing his actions helped the revealing domestic surveillance programs involving the bulk collection of Americans' phone records.

While he has claimed that statements made by US intelligence official James Clapper at a March 2013 congressional hearing amounted to a "breaking point" for him, the report said Snowden began to download classified documents eight months earlier.

The report also finds that Snowden "did not voice such concerns to any oversight officials" at the NSA, and he should not be considered a whistleblower protected under law. "He put our service members and the American people at risk after perceived slights by his superiors". The report says Snowden claimed to have obtained a high school graduation equivalent, but in fact never did.

"After years of 'investigation, ' the committee still can't point to any remotely credible evidence that Snowden's disclosures caused harm", Wizner said.

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If Obama pardons Snowden, then how does the intelligence community keep secrets in the future? Together, the film and the campaign, called "Pardon Snowden", opened a new chapter in the debate about the surveillance Snowden revealed and about whether his leaks will go down in history as whistleblowing or treason.

The ACLU is fighting for Snowden and they are making a plea to Obama for the pardon.

The endorsement is not a surprise since the real Edward Snowden has been living in hiding near Moscow as a guest of the Putin administration enjoying the scandal that vexed his American counterpart.

"Presidents normally take some of the most hard actions of their eight years in office in the final months", Anthony Romero, the American Civil Liberties Union executive director, said during the NY news conference on Wednesday, along with representatives from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

The rights groups launched the campaign on the heels of a release of a biopic thriller, "Snowden", by anti-establishment director Oliver Stone.

Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said that despite the White House's "not very positive reaction" initially, "we think it will change with the public's response" to the campaign.

Snowden said he could not receive a fair trial in the United States because a law he was charged under, the 1917 Espionage Act, does not let him explain to a jury his reasons for leaking.

  • Sonia Alvarado