New Information Suggests Edward Snowden Might Have Given Intel to the Russians and Chinese

Xi_Jinping_Vladimir_PutinMost people who follow me know I’m not exactly a fan of Edward Snowden. Many of his supporters simply focus on the fact that he shed light on some rather questionable practices being carried about the NSA as it pertains to collecting the personal information of Americans, but I’ve never been convinced that stealing 1.7 million documents while fleeing to China and Russia are the characteristics of a “patriot” or someone we should admire.


Besides, Snowden stole and released a hell a lot of more information than just that which pertained to the Constitutional rights of Americans. He released scores of information pertaining to how we track terrorists, how other countries conduct their intelligence gathering and even tried to use some of this information to get asylum in Brazil by offering intel concerning how the U.S. has spied on Brazilian citizens.

Those are the actions of a traitor – not a patriot.

Well, new information seems to indicate both China and Russia have decrypted some of the information he stole, either thanks to Snowden’s sloppy handling of the intelligence – or with his help. This has prompted officials in the U.K. and the U.S. to move intelligence agents out of fear that their lives were now in jeopardy.

According to the BBC:

The government source said the information obtained by Russia and China meant that “knowledge of how we operate” had stopped the UK getting “vital information”.

BBC political correspondent Chris Mason said the problem for UK authorities was not only the “direct consequence” that agents had been moved, but also the “opportunity cost” of those agents no longer being in locations where they were doing useful work.

Senior government sources confirmed that China had also cracked the encrypted documents, which contain details of secret intelligence techniques and information that could allow British and American spies to be identified.

Keep in mind, this all follows Snowden’s repeated promises over the years that Russia, China or even the U.S. couldn’t break his encryption.

“Well, we are told authoritatively by people in Downing Street, in the Home Office, in the intelligence services that the Russians and the Chinese have all this information and as a result of that our spies are having to pull people out of the field because their lives are in danger,” said Tim Shipman, who co-wrote the Sunday Times story that originally broke this information.

But it still begs the question, how would China and Russia (the only two countries Snowden has been to since he left the U.S.) have obtained the information?


A source within the British intelligence agency seems to have an idea, telling The Guardian, “Putin didn’t give him asylum for nothing. His documents were encrypted but they weren’t completely secure and we have now seen our agents and assets being targeted.”

They also went on to say that both Russia and China will be going through this information for “years to come.”

But this source said what I’ve felt from the very beginning. That is, I can’t imagine Vladimir Putin letting someone who stole that many documents pertaining to U.S. intelligence into his country to stay in his country, seemingly indefinitely, without expecting something in return.

And this story seems to confirm that. Whether it was because of Snowden’s own incompetence, or because he just outright turned over some of the information, both Russia and China obtained stolen sensitive intelligence that jeopardized the safety of U.S. and U.K. operatives.

While there’s still plenty of information that I’m sure we’ll find out about this in the coming days or weeks, all of this just solidifies my belief that Snowden is someone who should be viewed as a criminal who betrayed his country.

Because whether Snowden outright gave this intelligence to Russia and China, or his incompetence led to them obtaining and decrypting it, he is the reason why Russia and China now have an unknown amount of sensitive documents that weaken our national defense and put lives in danger.

And his supporters can try to spin this however they like (and I’m sure they will), but that doesn’t change the fact that because of him, classified information that has nothing to do with the Constitutional rights of Americans is now in the hands of the Russians and the Chinese.



Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Snowden’s stated mission was to out domestic spying programs, yet they released information that had nothing to do with it again and again.

    I have asked Greenwald on many occasions why he leaked information on OPS that had nothing to do with domestic spying and he has responded by blocking me on Twitter. I suspect the leaks were to accomplish two things. Keep attention on Snowden and to generate fame and money for Greenwald and his new website.

    Snowden is no hero and if this story is true. Snowden is more then just a criminal. On a good note, if this story is true then there is zero reasons to negotiate Snowden’s return to the USA. The cats out of the bag and the damage is done, so there is nothing to be gained by getting him to come home with the documents. If it is true the only way Snowden comes back to the USA is in handcuffs with a long prison term in his future.

  • Keith

    I will always be a Snowden supporter. I am way more afraid of my own government than some foreign government. The hero of my age, the Vietnam era, Daniel Ellsberg says Edward Snowden is a Patriot His opinion means more to me than Allen Clifton’s. Allen, they do not know how many documents he has, that is why he is still alive. Snowden may very well be the best spy we ever had, he was one step ahead of them at every turn.

    • You got one thing right. Snowden was a spy and not a whistle blower. Ellsburg at least had the integrity to stay and defend what he did. Snowden ran and not only did he run. He ran to our two biggest opposition governments. If what has been reported is true he not only betrayed our country. He put people’s lives in danger. That is something Ellsburg never did.

      • Pipercat

        Bravo! This has always been my contention regarding this issue. Ellsberg created the template, why was that template not followed?

      • Keith

        Ellsberg holds Edward Snowden in high regard and also says that running was Snowden’s only choice.

      • Pipercat

        Ellsberg, like the rest of us, is entitled to his opinion. I think there are (were) plenty of Senators who would have listened and taken the role of a contemporary Mike Gravel. Leaving the country has always raised doubts as to what Snowden’s ultimate goals were. Assuming the BBC reports are verified, then Snowden did no one, including himself, any good by running.

      • Keith

        Snowden is free, prison is hell, Snowden did himself a huge favor by running and after the patriot act he would have had no legal protections. Ellsberg was right, Snowden was left with no other choice but to run.

      • Pipercat

        The patriot act does not supersede Constitutional protections. That’s a red herring. There are whistle blower protections and Snowden chose to run instead of use the system. He wanted to have his cake and eat it too. Now, he’s stuck in Russia with no place to go. Snowden didn’t do his homework before taking the data and then taking off with it. He’s either a tremendous fool or got some really bad advice. I lean towards the latter.

      • Keith

        That is where you are wrong

      • Pipercat

        Ad lapidem response. If I’m wrong, then it takes more than just telling me so. You see, first thing that goes unmentioned in all this excitement is the simple fact that Snowden didn’t really expose anything. Prism/TIA has been public knowledge since at least 2002. There have been articles that have claimed the initial concept was devised more than 40 years ago. I first heard of TIA and the term “data mining” in early 2003. Also, the whole hub bub involving the warrant-less wiretapping scandal of the mid 2000s was all about what the NSA was doing; culminating with the picture of the box in San Francisco ATT switch building. In essence, Snowden disseminated old news.

        What gets lost here is that, publicly, no one actually knows what Snowden copied. Being abroad and offered immunity in a belligerent state only exacerbates the issues.

      • Keith

        What he exposed is the fact that the NSA was breaking the law. Spying is fine, spying on citizens is not. He exposed Clapper as a liar. He exposed the fact that the FBI and the NSA were spying on the people that were supposed to be watching those agencies for the American people. Trying to excuse the NSA by saying that “everyone should have known” is just stupid. It was not old news.
        Because they do not know what all he stole is probably the only reason he is still alive. Snowden is probably the best spy America ever had. He stayed one step ahead of the FBI, NSA and has even been able to avoid the CIA ever since he made the choice to tell America the truth.
        By the way, my response was not a fallacy, it was a description of your last comment.

      • Pipercat

        It was still ad lapidem. Now you’re creating a straw man. I’m not excusing anybody notwithstanding your appeals to emotion. There’s a big difference between spying and data collection. FISA and both Patriot acts, as well as, the re-authorization of said acts this decade made TIA perfectly legal.

        So while all the conspiracy theories and hero worship go ad nausem, the only real remedy to Prism and the like are to lobby Congress to change or repeal the aforementioned laws.

      • Keith

        repeating yourself does not make you right. The NSA was breaking the law. Collecting Data is not all they were doing. James Clapper was ask “how do you respond to the recent news about the actions of the NSA?” “The recent allegations by Edward Snowden seem to be in direct conflict with your testimony yesterday before this committee.” James Clapper replied, “the lies I told you yesterday were closer to the truth than any of the other lies you heard during the days testimony”

      • Pipercat

        Circumstantially ad hominem and disingenuinous. The correct question asked by Ron Wyden, at first, that started this was this exchange:

        “I hope we can do this in just a yes or no answer, because I know Sen.
        Feinstein wants to move on. Last summer, the NSA director (Keith
        Alexander) was at a conference and he was asked a question about the NSA
        surveillance of Americans. He replied, and I quote here, ‘The story
        that we have millions, or hundreds of millions, of dossiers on people is
        completely false.’ The reason I’m asking the question is, having served
        on the committee now for a dozens years, I don’t really know what a
        dossier is in this context. So, what I wanted to see if you could give
        me a yes or no answer to the question: Does the NSA collect any type of
        data at all on millions, or hundreds of millions of Americans?”

        Clapper responded with, “No sir.”

        Subsequent testimony only involves Clapper’s response and not the bigger picture. Regardless, it does not prove that what Prism/TIA is/was doing illegal, it only proves Clapper could be charged with lying to Congress. Moreover, it does not exonerate Snowden, assuming he copied other documents that were not germane to the issue of TIA/Prism collection methods. If he did copy other non-relevant information and that information has been disseminate by the Russians and Chinese, then Snowden can be easily charged under the espionage act.

      • Keith

        You will never see the danger of our secret government, and I will never give them the benefit of the doubt. I am far more wary of our own government than I am of some marauding army or terrorists. You are arguing that they were operating within the guidelines and following protocol, Edward Snowden says they were not. I believe and support Edward Snowden.

      • Pipercat

        Belief, that’s the difference between you and me. See, I use something called deductive reasoning. Top down logic, if you will. I believe nothing in front of me and I critically challenge all of the assertions on both sides. This includes yours, Snowden’s and the various governmental entities. My original assertion was in support of another comment that hypothesized the difference of Snowden staying or bolting. Of course, the original reply was hypothetical, but it had a valid premise and proposition. I agreed with the proposition basically due to historical context.

        You never countered that proposition anywhere along the way during this entire thread; and yes, you used fallacious logic in all of your replies. Furthermore, you never countered any of my assertions other than telling me I was wrong or you tried to pivot the argument.

        Also, know this: If you bring a butter knife to an artillery duel, don’t be upset at the outcome.

      • Keith

        You are as full of chit as a Christmas turkey, you proved nothing to me and your kind never will.

      • Pipercat

        It’s spelled shit, you can actually use profanity on these boards. My kind huh? What kind would that be? I guess I should rephrase and say, plastic butter knife…

      • Charles Vincent

        It’s not gentlemanly to spar with someone who is quite obviously unarmed.
        http://gawker.com/author-of-that-horrible-snowden-article-has-even-worse-1711406342#

      • Pipercat

        I think he pokes himself in the eye when he’s not stepping on rakes. I shoulda called him, “chief!”

      • Charles Vincent

        Well I am happy to see I am not the only one that gets the “you know it is stupid for you to try to classify my comments. what kind of passive aggressive bull chit is that anyway? I am educated and internet intellectuals do not impress me at all.”

        Or some other variation.

      • Pipercat

        Only when they cross a line, Chief! 😉

      • Charles Vincent

        What???!!! Why wasn’t I notified of this line they must cross????!!!!

      • Pipercat

        That line for you Chief, is the first letter of the first word, in the first sentence of the first reply/comment!!!!!

      • noah vail

        read as… “my mind is made up. don’t confuse me with facts”…tea party rationale

      • Keith

        do you belong to the tea party? I am surprised you can even turn on a computer.

      • Keith

        so 100 comments, I guess you got banned and had to start over, What are your troll duties anyway? Who are you pimping for?

      • Keith

        you know it is stupid for you to try to classify my comments. what kind of passive aggressive bull chit is that anyway? I am educated and internet intellectuals do not impress me at all.

      • Pipercat

        Stop classifying mine and you’ll be amazed as to the result. Really, ad hominems are such a dead end.

      • Keith

        so, when did you get out of the third grade?

      • Pipercat

        Nice, can’t play with the big boys so you resort to this.

      • Keith

        No I didn’t get a childhood like most of your piss chunks on the internet I celebrated my nineteenth birthday in Phuoc Long. You have no fukin idea what a big boy is

      • noah vail

        you and tens of thousands others…don’t try to use that as an excuse for your lack of a reasonable response

      • Keith

        dip shit, it is not an excuse. can you even tie your shoes yet?

      • noah vail

        exactly the type of response to which i was referring…dipshit

      • Keith

        low life cunt, why are you bothering me?

      • Keith

        actually 2.5 million of us, over 50,000 did not come home alive and about 2500 Missing in Action

      • Pipercat

        Actually, I don’t give a shit where you were at 19. Like most of your rhetoric, it’s irrelevant. You can’t stand being bested by things like logic, facts and reason, so instead, you lash out with this shit; all the while, assuming I’m some wet behind the ears whelp.

      • Keith

        piper, one thing you never have to worry about is besting someone with your logic.

      • Pipercat

        Indeed, I don’t worry about things like that.

      • Norm Messer

        You are right, the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. But the government is, has been, and continues to violate the law. Constitutional protections don’t mean shit when the government disregards the law.

      • Pipercat

        Unfortunately, the government, in this case, never had a chance to violate the law. Snowden bolted. So all that is left is unfettered speculation on what might of happened.

      • Norm Messer

        Because in Ellsberg’s day, whistleblowers weren’t tortured and imprisoned (see Chelsea Manning). Any other questions?

      • Pipercat

        I was wondering when the “hareng rouge ala Chelsea” was going to be served. Big problem with that recipe, Ellsberg wasn’t in the military and honestly, I’d much rather face Obama’s Justice Department instead of Nixon’s.

      • Keith

        He ran, and as Daniel Ellsberg said, it was his only option.

    • Leon E Lewis

      You’re not too bright, are you?

      • Keith

        Actually I am brilliant, and I can understand the game. You however are suspect.

      • noah vail

        it’s amazing that only you have all the correct answers,yet when queried about facts all you have are puerile and inane responses…drink much kool-aid lately?…brilliant?..hardly

      • Keith

        Noah, if only you had gained some wisdom with those years. I don’t have all the answers or the only answer, that is my point all along. Sometimes the correct response is, “that is true too” What about my comment did you not understand? It is clear you did not understand my statement or its intent if you found them puerile and inane.

  • Norm Messer

    “Progressive” website cites criminal liars’ allegations against the whistleblower that exposed them as incontrovertible proof that whistleblower is bad.

    • strayaway

      Last year at a hearing on surveillance, Sen. Ron Wyden asked director of national intelligence JamesClapper whether the NSA collected “any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans” — to which Clapper said “No, sir … not wittingly.”

      Snowden produced documentation showing that Clapper had lied to Congress under oath. Whether or not Snowden is guilty of releasing information, we do know that James Clapper lied to Congress and was not punished for doing so.

      This week, we found out that Chinese hackers have hacked their way into to personal records of federal employees. This was a huge asymmetrical warfare victory for China over the US. Perhaps the allegations against Snowden this week were designed to redirect attention away from this stinging US defeat. About a month ago, Anonymous declared that it planned to take down some IS websites making me wonder why our government leaves them up. Maybe our federal computer competence should be redirected from trying to keep track of Americans to protecting ourselves from foreign enemies.

      • Clapper didn’t have a choice, but to lie. It was classified information. Wyden knew the answer and knew it was classified, but he still asked him in open court knowing he couldn’t answer truthfully.

        And maybe we keep IS websites up, because we have the capability of tracking who is saying what to whom and if we take them down we lose that capability.

      • strayaway

        You certainly have low standards for government officials. Which school taught you that? Clapper violated his oath of office and committed a crime. Wyden didn’t know the answer until Snowden provided it because our administration was lying and massively violating provisions of the 4th. Amendment.

        If you want to get into “maybees”, then maybe the reason the US government allows IS recruiting and propaganda websites to remain online relates to why it also gives weapons to “moderates; who in turn give those weapons to IS, why it funds anti Assad rebels although Assad is our #1 anti-IS ally, and why the US bombing campaign against IS is so ineffectual.

      • Norm Messer

        He was testifying before Congress. Perjury in Congressional testimony is a felony. Clapper is a criminal who belongs in jail.

  • Norm Messer

    “The whole article does literally nothing other than quote anonymous British officials. It gives voice to banal but inflammatory accusations that are made about every whistleblower from Daniel Ellsberg to Chelsea Manning. It offers zero evidence or confirmation for any of its claims. The “journalists” who wrote it neither questioned any of the official assertions nor even quoted anyone who denies them. It’s pure stenography of the worst kind: some government officials whispered these inflammatory claims in our ears and told us to print them, but not reveal who they are, and we’re obeying. Breaking!

    Stephen Colbert captured this exact pathology with untoppable precision in his 2006 White House Correspondents speech, when he mocked American journalism to the faces of those who practice it:

    But, listen, let’s review the rules. Here’s how it works.The President makes decisions. He’s the decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Just put ’em through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration? You know, fiction!”

    • strayaway

      “The Murdoch-owned Sunday Times published their lead front-page Sunday article, headlined “British Spies Betrayed to Russians and Chinese.” -Glenn Greenwald

      That makes a Murdoch publication the font of truth this Progressive article is based on. What could possibly go wrong believing undisclosed unquestioned sources as reported by Murdoch? Why, pretty soon, the sand will probably blow off those WMD’s Saddam hid so well.

  • tracey marie

    Great article about a traitor.

  • Richard L Bittner

    This article completely mischaracterizes Edward Snowden’s conduct. He pilfered the documents and gave them to newspapers and reporters who decided what to print.This article presents a perspective promoted the DemPublicanCFR ruling elite and their so called main stream media that attempts to distort and demean Mr Snowden’s courageous and Patriotic acts.