NSA leaks will lead to Pentagon changes, intelligence official says

Feb. 4, 2014 at 4:34 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Substantial changes will have to be made in the wake of National Security Agency leaks, a leading U.S. intelligence official told a House committee Tuesday.

Defense Intelligence Agency chief Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn told the House Intelligence Committee that former NSA analyst Edward Snowden may be under the influence of Russian intelligence services since Snowden's escape and residency in Russia.

Flynn also said his agency assumes Snowden took every document, largely involving Pentagon programs, he could access, and added since investigators assume all the information is compromised, every branch of the U.S. military must initiate changes.

When asked if Russian intelligence agencies could gain influence over Snowden, Flynn responded, "Yes, they have the capability to do that."

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper pointed out less that 10 percent of what Snowden likely collected concerned domestic surveillance programs, the rest involving military intelligence, calling the leaks "potentially the most massive and most damaging theft of intelligence in our history."

The wide-ranging hearing brought also questions from committee members on Syria, Pakistan, the upcoming Winter Olympics and Ukraine.

When asked if Russian intelligence services are hostile to U.S. interests, Clapper responded, "There are times when we are in confluence, as we are right now with the Winter Olympics (in Sochi, Russia), and there are other times when we are not."

Clapper also said he was "struck by the depth and breadth of the [anti-government] opposition" in Ukraine, noting "we're seeing signs of demonstrations and opposition in the [traditionally Russia-leaning] eastern part of the country," which he called "an interesting turn of events."

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