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Classified Pentagon report finds Snowden's leaks helped terrorists

Jan. 9, 2014 at 1:45 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- A classified Defense Department report has determined secrets leaked by Edward Snowden on National Security programs helped terrorists, officials said.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rodgers, R-Mich., said the Pentagon report concluded Snowden's disclosures prompted terror groups to change tactics and had put U.S. military forces at risk, The Hill reported Thursday.

Snowden's actions "are likely to have lethal consequences for our troops in the field," Rogers said. "Though Mr. Snowden and his defenders claim he is only 'defending civil liberties,' the truth is that most of the documents Snowden stole concern vital operations of the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force. Snowden handed over great insight to our adversaries, endangering each and every American."

The Pentagon report indicated many of the 1.7 million documents Snowden downloaded while he was an NSA contractor were related to ongoing U.S. military operations.

"Snowden handed terrorists a copy of our country's playbook and now we are paying the price, which this report confirms," said Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the intelligence panel. "His actions aligned him with our enemy."

Members of the House Intelligence Committee have not revealed specific leaks that could put U.S. forces in jeopardy.

Meanwhile, a European Parliament committee Thursday voted to allow Snowden to testify at a special hearing via an interactive video hookup from Russia, where he was granted temporary asylum last year.

The Obama administration is seeking Snowden's extradition to face espionage charges.

Snowden presumably would be asked about NSA spying activities on European leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose cellphone was monitored.

The Civil Liberties Committee could hear Snowden's testimony in April if the full European Parliament votes to allow it, Euronews reported.

© 2014 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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