One of the claims by many of Edward Snowden’s supporters is that what he revealed from the National Security Agency had little to no impact to national security.
According to former Central Intelligence Agency director James Woolsey, nothing could be further from the truth.
Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Monday, Woolsey said Snowden has done “substantial” damage to national security.
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST: How much damage has Mr. Snowden done in your opinion to America's national security?
JAMES WOOLSEY, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: Well, It's a little hard to assess from outside, but I’d say substantial, because what is now being sent out to the terrorists as well as everybody else is how these programs generally operate. And so they know what to pay attention to, what general procedures to follow. It's hard to sort of zero in on any one specific. But it's very damaging when an opponent that you’re trying to get information from, as we try to get information from their communications, terrorist communications overseas, knows that you’re doing it and how generally you're doing it. It helps them a lot. […]
KATHLEEN PARKER, WASHINGTON POST: I wanted to ask in terms of what has happened with Snowden, what is more damaging to the United States: what was actually revealed or the fact that he was able to secure this information and distribute it?
WOOLSEY: I suppose the substance because that's what will help the terrorists keep us from connecting the dots. You remember after 9/11, everybody said the intelligence community didn't connect the dots. Well, that’s part of what's been going on with respect to particularly going after the terrorists here and foreign intelligence collection, and that, the way we were connecting them is now out there and is in the hands of the terrorists. And so they know a lot more about how to plan, how to use telephones and the like. And I think that’s the main problem.