House Intel Report: Snowden ‘Not a Whistleblower’

It's Only Whistleblowing If It's Legal, Report Claims

The House Intelligence Committee has today released a new report, and issued a joint letter demanding President Obama not pardon Edward Snowden, who revealed the existence of myriad NSA surveillance programs. The report itself is classified, though a short summary was released.

The summary mostly just condemns Snowden on a personal level, claiming he was a constant liar who didn’t have a high school diploma and wasn’t man enough to stay in the country to accept his punishment for leaking the documents. The main point, however, is a claim that he was “not a whistleblower.”

That point is downright bizarre, since Snowden is not only the prototypical whistleblower, but likely the most significant one in a generation. The report, however, claims that under US law it’s only whistleblowing if the whistleblowing is legal, and if you report the abuses directly to “appropriate law enforcement or oversight personnel.”

It went on to claim that most of the releases weren’t technically about personal privacy on the grounds that the they were important to national security. The report appears to be bizarre in that it details two solid years of secret committee meetings that appear totally aimless, and appear to just amount to a bunch of reiterations that revealing the NSA’s crimes was illegal and that Snowden is just generally a bad person because of it.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.