How Snowden Blindsided The US Government In One Quote

ObamaREUTERS/Jason ReedGovernment officials sometimes first learn about specific documents stolen by Snowden from reporters preparing their articles for publication.

Over the last six months, estimates for the number of classified files Snowden stole from NSA systems have been upwardly revised from 10,000 to “as many as 200,00” to a staggering 1.7 million.

But according to a new report by Mark Mazzetti and Michael Schmidt of The New York Times, the U.S. government really doesn’t know how many files the 30-year-old took because of outdated systems in Hawaii and Snowden’s ability to cover his tracks.

From The Times:

“They’ve spent hundreds and hundreds of man-hours trying to reconstruct everything he has gotten, and they still don’t know all of what he took,” a senior administration official said. “I know that seems crazy, but everything with this is crazy.”

What they are certain of is that the “hacker got into the store room,” and the subsequent theft could turn out to be the largest breach of classified information in American history.

Adding insult to injury, Snowden fled to China, reached out to WikiLeaks, and now lives under the supervision of Russia’s intelligence services.

In short, the NSA’s nightmare has just begun.

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