TwitterFacebook

Exclusive: NSA Director Was Secretly Briefed on 22 Counter-Intelligence Operations Undermined by Snowden Leaks

New docs show Director of NSA and President were secretly briefed on “significant” damage to CI operations
US News • Views: 21,500

Since Edward Snowden absconded from the National Security Agency last year with hundreds of thousands of classified documents, the NSA has made several public statements on the leaks, citing “grave damage”, “catastrophic impact” and the “worst leak in history”, but refused to comment on the specifics of the damage caused.

But now, thanks to documents declassified as part of a FOIA request, we can exclusively reveal that senior NSA staff secretly briefed their own director and the President that 22 ongoing counter intelligence operations had been impacted as a direct result of the leaks - 11 were “significantly” undermined.

The briefings took place in July last year - within weeks of Snowden’s first leaks reaching the press, and just days after Snowden revealed how the NSA spied on the Russian President.

The documents - obtained by the Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act - centre around an email exchange between Chris Inglis - then Deputy Director and head of day-to-day operations at NSA - who asked Richard Legett - the head of the Media Leaks taskforce for a “no BS” counter-intelligence damage assessment for a classified briefing to the White House.

The redacted document blacks out the specifics of the operations affected, but simple analysis of the redacted areas show the number of operations affected.

In Legett’s document, briefed to the Director of the NSA and later briefed to the President, Legett gave details of 11 counter-intelligence operations that were “significantly impacted” - meaning that the NSA was scrambling to repair the damage. A further 11 CI operations were “moderately” impacted, meaning the NSA thought it could contain the damage, but the damage was still significant enough for the NSA to brief the President on it.

It’s worth remembering that counter-intelligence isn’t just about stopping diplomatic secrets from being leaked: In 2006, British counter-intelligence failed to stop Alexander Litvinenko - a UK citizen - from being assassinated on the streets of London by Russian intelligence.

In 2010 the FBI arrested 10 Russian SVR deep cover operatives operating in the United States - including Anna Chapman - who were tasked with recruiting US policy-makers including White House officials and political fundraisers. Their task was to steal secrets relating to US foreign policy, military weaknesses and “United States policy with regard to the use of the Internet by terrorists”.

The declassified document comes in stark contrast to the sensationalism and absurdity that has bedevilled so much of the past year of revelations. It’s a timely reminder that NSA has important tasks to do - like counter-intelligence - and that the leaking of huge volumes of classified documents about how the NSA targets America’s enemies has inevitable and serious damage to their ability to protect the nation.

It’s also a vindication of all the NSA officials who have spent the past year saying the damage was serious and real, but they were deliberately withholding the details for fear of compounding the damage.

Now at least, we know that’s true.

Also see

Read the email exchange

^ back to top ^

TwitterFacebook

Turn off all ads for a full year by subscribing!
Take advantage of our yearly subscription, and save 50% off the normal subscription price! One-year ad-free subscriptions are just $59.95. Turn off all ads for a full year by subscribing now and save!
Read more...

► LGF Headlines

  • Loading...

► Tweeted Articles

  • Loading...

► Tweeted Pages

  • Loading...

► Top 10 Comments

  • Loading...

► Bottom Comments

  • Loading...

► Recent Comments

  • Loading...

► Tools/Info

► Tag Cloud

► Contact

You must have Javascript enabled to use the contact form.
Your email:

Subject:

Message:


Messages may be published unless you request otherwise.
Tech Note:
Using the Contact Form
LGF Pages

This button leads to the main index of LGF Pages, our user-submitted articles. You can post your own LGF Pages simply by registering a free account with us.

Create a Page

This is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.

Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.

Last updated: 2015-02-13 1:58 pm PST

LGF User's Guide
Recent Pages
Thanos
Is Your State Trying to Outlaw Vaccine Exemptions?
For close to four years, while he underwent chemotherapy, Rhett couldn't be vaccinated against dangerous and contagious diseases like measles and whooping cough. He had to rely on others around him for protection: As long they were vaccinated, transmissions ...

3 hours, 43 minutes ago
Views: 79 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
FemNaziBitch
The ‘War on Women’ Is the Latest War That Republicans at CPAC Want to Win
By this process, you can arrive at a conclusion like this: To win the War on Women, you better put a ring on it. At CPAC, conservatives dedicated an entire panel to "The Future of Marriage." One could be ...

7 hours, 6 minutes ago
Views: 121 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
ಠ_ಠ
Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras doing a Reddit AMA
Earlier today interested Redditors posed questions to Poitras and Greenwald in Los Angeles, while Snowden posted from Moscow. A rare opportunity for average people to directly communicate with the (in)famous leaker.See the entire discussion HERE Redditor masondog13 asks: What's the ...

6 days, 14 hours ago
Views: 630 • Comments: 2
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 2
Rocky-in-Connecticut
Muslims Join Hands At Oslo’s Largest Synagogue
Wait a minute... watching Fox News and the Republican talking heads I learned that all Muslims are bad bad bad and in no way can Islam be interpreted as any sort of peaceful religion. news.yahoo.com OSLO (Reuters) - More than ...

1 week, 1 day ago
Views: 866 • Comments: 2
Tweets: 7 • Rating: 5
BadExampleMan
Help Tel Aviv Roller Derby move forward!
For the last three years it's been my privilege to help coach a dedicated group of young women who have founded the first Women's Flat-Track Roller Derby league in Israel. They've learned, trained, fought, and worked unbelievably hard to bring ...

1 week, 2 days ago
Views: 693 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
Great White Snark
Federal Judge Rules Ban on Interstate Handgun Sales Unconstitutional
Added bold is all mine. this was an awkward way to go about gun control anyway. It clearly impacts the law abiding far more than felons, and is by that definition inefficient and intrusive at best. Gonna have to do ...

2 weeks, 4 days ago
Views: 1,415 • Comments: 3
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 3
Lumberhead
No Escape From History
It has been enlightening to watch this entire spectacle play out over the past week. It has indeed. Remarkably, comments that acknowledge verifiable history are treated as controversial. Meanwhile the complete denial of this history, both recent and long ...

2 weeks, 5 days ago
Views: 1,313 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 5
 Frank says:

The people of your century no longer require the service of composers. A composer is as useful to a person in a jogging suit as a dinosaur turd in the middle of his runway. -- from the Them Or Us The Book