Edward Snowden, NSA leaker and Nobel Peace Prize candidate, has “literally thousands of documents” that form “basically the instruction manual for how the NSA is built,” and would be “harmful to the U.S. government” if revealed, according to Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian columnist who broke the Snowden story.
The Associated Press reports:
Glenn Greenwald, a columnist with The Guardian newspaper who first reported on the intelligence leaks, told The Associated Press that disclosure of the information in the documents “would allow somebody who read them to know exactly how the NSA does what it does, which would in turn allow them to evade that surveillance or replicate it.” . . .
Greenwald said he believes the disclosure of the information in the documents would not prove harmful to Americans or their national security, but that Snowden has insisted they not be made public.
“I think it would be harmful to the U.S. government, as they perceive their own interests, if the details of those programs were revealed,” he said.
Snowden, currently believed to be living in the transit terminal of Moscow’s Domodedovo airport, also has insurance against retaliation — a “dead man’s pact” that would give others access to Snowden’s documents in the event of his death. However, Greenwald insisted that media descriptions of such a pact have been too simplistic thus far.
“It’s not just a matter of, if he dies, things get released, it’s more nuanced than that,” [Greenwarld] said. “It’s really just a way to protect himself against extremely rogue behavior on the part of the United States, by which I mean violent actions toward him, designed to end his life, and it’s just a way to ensure that nobody feels incentivized to do that.”
Snowden is still searching for asylum.