Officials alert foreign services that Snowden has documents on their cooperation with U.S.
Ouch, this had to cause some serious heartburn over at the NIA.
It must have been quite the dilemma, tell 'em or burn 'em?
Someone had to decide whether or not to tell these other intelligence agencies that Snowden had the goods on 'em and could possibly "drop a dime" on 'em.
By Ellen Nakashima, Published: October 24
U.S. officials are alerting some foreign intelligence services that documents detailing their secret cooperation with the United States have been obtained by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, according to government officials.
Snowden, U.S. officials said, took tens of thousands of military intelligence documents, some of which contain sensitive material about collection programs against adversaries such as Iran, Russia and China. Some refer to operations that in some cases involve countries not publicly allied with the United States.
The process of informing officials in capital after capital about the risk of disclosure is delicate. In some cases, one part of the cooperating government may know about the collaboration while others — such as the foreign ministry — may not, the officials said. The documents, if disclosed, could compromise operations, officials said.
The notifications come as the Obama administration is scrambling to placate allies after allegations that the NSA has spied on foreign leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The reports have forced the administration to play down operations targeting friends while also attempting to preserve other programs that depend on provisional partners. In either case, trust in the United States may be compromised.
This may have taken so long to come to light because of all the people who had to be found that were involved, opening Top Secret case files and finding a way to contact all these rat bastards without tipping their hand to unwanted attention from unauthorized government agencies in other countries. If you stop and think about what a monumental task this actually is you can understand why it may have taken so long.