On Monday Mark Hosenball of Reuters reported that Edward Snowden has a “doomsday” cache of documents he stole from the NSA, which is set to dump onto the Internet and/or into the hands of selected journalists if “something happens” to Snowden.
Several officials told Hosenball that the documents contain the names of specialists and intelligence agents.
So the intelligence community is freaking out for good reason: releasing those names would have deadly consequence.
Former NSA officer John Schindler hearkened back to previous defectors, “Back in the 1970s, Ed’s forerunner Phil Agee, a former CIA officer who got in bed with Cuban intel & KGB and authored 3 books that exposed CIA ops mostly in Latin America (sound familiar?) blew the covers of several hundred US intel officers abroad, who had to be pulled back. Also got the CIA station chief in Athens killed.”
“Same thing would happen now – huge problem if true,” Schindler wrote via email.
Schindler took great pains in our email correspondence to note his “scepticism” that Snowden has a list of names. Others are not so sceptical.
Both The New York Times and The Guardian make reference to a secret wiki spies used to communicate, though they make reference to Signals Intelligence “listeners” and not necessarily field agents. Certain unnamed sources insist to Reuters the documents do contain names and resumes of intelligence personnel.
Were those documents released, and were they to contain the names of field agents, case officers, or station chiefs, the results would be disastrous.
When Valerie Plame was outed as a non-official cover (NOC) officer, all her contacts were then outed as potential spies.
Damage like this has a cascading effect, often affecting the lives of people several degrees separated from the intelligence agent.
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