Statement/strategy: The US has again suffered a compromise of classified information that damages national security. There is a long history of incidents such as this and while damage does occur in every case the United States suffers no long term damage and counterintuitively is often strengthened by such incidents because they reinforce the strength of our democratic institutions.
Edward Snowden has broken United States law and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
However, the US government has assessed the information that Snowden has leaked. It has also assessed the information that he illegally obtained and is known to be in his possession with an intent to release it publicly at some time in the future. Again, while the release of any classified information is illegal and will be damaging on a number of levels, the US government has mitigated the damage that has and will occur and there is no need to further discuss this information. In fact from the US government perspective any future release of information will be a non-news event. There will be no need for US government personnel to respond to the release. It is understood that the release of this information is merely an attempt to call attention to Edward Snowden and the US government will have nothing to comment on regarding him or has actions until after he is apprehended and given a fair trial.
On the other hand the US government welcomes public debate on the best way to support and defend the Constitution of the United States all enemies foreign and domestic. United States government personnel to include those professionals in the Intelligence Community remain committed to its defense. The information that Edward Snowden released concerned the legal actions of the Intelligence Community as authorized by the elected representatives of the American people. The officials of the US government’s three branches look forward to the robust policy debates that this event may inspire and if the electorate demands changes, changes will be made. But rest assured that the Patriots who serve in government are committed to the defense of our nation. That is the nature of democracy in our great Republic.
However, Edward Snowden, by his illegal actions and by fleeing his country has marginalized himself and forfeited his place in the debate and the US government will no longer respond to his accusations, actions, or the public release of information in his possession and will simply get on with the business of protecting our nation and its people from national security threats.