Over the last few days we have seen a flurry of attention drawn again to the plight of government secrets leaker, Edward Snowden, as a result of his first public appearance since his flight from American jurisdiction.
Snowden was photographed at the ‘Sam Adams Associates Integrity in Intelligence’ awards ceremony in Russia, where he accepted an award for his leak, since described by officials at GCHQ as the “largest and most disastrous leak of British intelligence files ever.”
No matter who has given him an award for what, there is a clear consensus amongst those who recognise the responsibility of the U.S. and UK intelligence services, that what Edward Snowden did lacked basic intelligence.
The absolutist view that Snowden has adopted in his actions – the notion that all information should be open to everybody – will and shall pose a palpable risk to those intelligence services, as well at the citizens of the countries which operate them. To go with the lack of intelligence in Snowden’s actions, however, I would go one further; there is also a lack of integrity.
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The fallout from Snowden’s release of classified intelligence is by its nature, like the Bradley Manning cables, un-measurable, in the sense that we can never really know what damage shall come of their release. But the possibility of that damage is more than just a hypothetical. One thing we can be sure of is that the Putin-ite regime, in essence a dictatorship, and the pseudo-Communists in Beijing can now dissect the information stolen from two of the few democracies in the world that actually endeavours to make the rest of the world a better place.