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: 20,836

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:
The Snowden Operation: Assessing the Damage

Read the email exchange

^ back to top ^

TwitterFacebook

Turn off all ads for a full year by subscribing!
For about 33 cents a day (per month) or 22 cents a day (per year), our subscription option turns off all advertisements at LGF!
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: 2014-03-07 2:19 pm PST

LGF User's Guide
Recent Pages
Randall Gross
Emma Watson Delivers Powerful Speech on Feminism
Emma Watson turned heads for something other than acting and fashion over the weekend, delivering what many described as a powerful speech on feminism and acceptance at a United Nations meeting in New York over the weekend. The 24-year-old ...

31 seconds ago
Views: 17 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
FemNaziBitch
Women want a men’s movement. We are literally dying for it. —Gloria Steinem
It's way past time to put on the pads, guys. We've got to put our shoulders to the wheel of change if we're going to stop domestic and sexual violence. Are you ready to suit up for the big ...

11 hours, 42 minutes ago
Views: 126 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
Cheechako
Election Day Might Not Decide Who Wins Senate Control
By Charles BabingtonThe Associated Press WASHINGTON -- A suspenseful election night is one thing, but what if it stretches for a month? Or into next year? A handful of tight races in some states make for the possibility that Election ...

12 hours, 38 minutes ago
Views: 111 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
Souliren
Cape Breton fiddler Andrea Beaton
Celtic Colours Festival 2010 Everyone seems to be having fun here.

2 days, 13 hours ago
Views: 287 • Comments: 4
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 3
Bubblehead II
LOHAN Coming to the States
Cool. Due to Spain being a jerk, the Registers bringing their LOHAN project to the States. More specifically, New Mexico's Spaceport America Don't let the cheesy writing style and Brit humor of the Registers reporters put you off. There is ...

2 days, 15 hours ago
Views: 303 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 2
theliel
AEI Decides to Weigh in on #GamersGate
So Polygon showcases the AEI's anti-femminist response to #gamergate talking about how games are for dudes and dudes need that space to continue being dudes and bitches should get back in that kitchen where they belong. Link is to Polygon ...

5 days, 15 hours ago
Views: 466 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
CriticalDragon1177
Alternet - Nicholas Wade’s Flawed Book Rewrites the History of Scientific Racism
Jon Phillips takes on Nicholas Wade's claims, and proves once again that so called "scientific" racism is little more than a pseudoscience. This was originally posted in September 2014 edition of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report, ( ...

6 days, 10 hours ago
Views: 640 • Comments: 3
Tweets: 3 • Rating: 5
Lumberhead
Angry Letters to the One Member of Congress Who Voted Against the War on Terror - the Atlantic
My first attempt at a page - so here we go: The article is a little long but well worth while. I found it to be nicely balanced with interesting excerpts from supporters as well as detractors. Barbara Lee was ...

1 week ago
Views: 663 • Comments: 2
Tweets: 1 • Rating: 7
The War TARDIS
Doctor Who “Listen” Open Thread
I'm back. Last week, I couldn't do this thread, as something more important was going on. One of my best friends, a sweet, and very devout Christian, is going to the UK to help a Christian Group in Oxford, and ...

1 week, 2 days ago
Views: 610 • Comments: 42
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 3
Rightwingconspirator
Are Higher Frame Rates Really a Better Moving Image in Cinema?
As a guy who scratches the surface of this medium with humble indy efforts and some industrial video experience I have to watch carefully. If I commit to the wrong camera or format, it can hurt financially. Once I had ...

1 week, 3 days ago
Views: 813 • Comments: 7
Tweets: 25 • Rating: 7
 Frank says:

DENSE, PUTRID VAPORS from a SMOKE GUN (we rent it) -- From another Zappa graphic, this time a poster advertising a concert: "Therapeutic Abortion with the Mothers..."