National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed on Saturday what he thinks it’ll take to fix the “secret-document scandals” now looming over two presidents: a hard reset.
Snowden, a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee and NSA contractor, shared his idea via Twitter.
“One way of resolving all these secret-document scandals is to acknowledge that after 75 years of experimentation, the chief accomplishment of the ‘classification system’ has been to make our government less trustworthy and our country less free,” he wrote. “Abolish and reform it. All of it.”
Over the past several days, the media has reported on the discovery of classified documents in a locked garage at President Joe Biden’s Delaware home, as well as an earlier batch in Washington, D.C., at his former office. Although the materials from the office had been found days ahead of the midterm election, the public didn’t learn about them until earlier this month.
One way of resolving all these secret-document scandals is to acknowledge that after 75 years of experimentation, the chief accomplishment of the “classification system” has been to make our government less trustworthy and our country less free.
Abolish and reform it. All of it.
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) January 14, 2023
Snowden previously weighed in on Biden’s documents debacle, claiming that the “real scandal” isn’t that they’d been in the president’s possession. Rather, he alleged that the Department of Justice (DOJ) prevented the bombshell from dropping ahead of November’s midterm elections, thereby “conferring a partisan advantage.”
Former President Donald Trump has dealt with his own classified documents headache. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) raided his Mar-a-Lago estate last summer, where agents searched for a cache of materials, including some that reportedly pertained to nuclear weapons. Trump, however, has maintained his innocence in the matter.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and then-President Donald Trump are seen on November 4, 2020. Inset: Edward Snowden, a former intelligence contractor, is seen in Moscow in December 2013. Snowden recently weighed in on the documents scandals surrounding Biden and Trump.
ANGELA WEISS and MANDEL NGAN / AFP; Barton Gellman/Getty Images
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Thursday fielded reporters’ questions about the documents. She insisted that Biden takes such materials “seriously,” adding that the administration is cooperating with the DOJ.
“We are confident that a thorough review will show that these documents were inadvertently misplaced, and the president and his lawyers acted promptly upon discovery of this mistake,” Jean-Pierre said.
Afterward, Snowden shared a video of the moment, along with the sarcastic caption: “Man, I should have thought of that one.”
Roughly a decade ago, Snowden provided journalists with classified information relating to the widespread surveillance of citizens conducted by intelligence agencies, according to NPR. Russia granted Snowden permanent residency in 2020, and he remains overseas to this day to avoid U.S. espionage charges.
Snowden has also compared Biden’s alleged mishandling of classified documents with other whistleblowers. In a tweet on Wednesday, he name-checked Reality Winner, a former NSA contract worker and Air Force member who was sentenced to more than five years behind bars after leaking “just one document” detailing Russian interference during the 2016 presidential election.
“Meanwhile Biden, Trump, Clinton, Petraeus… these guys have dozens, hundreds,” Snowden tweeted. “No jail.”
Worth noting that the President seems to have absconded with more classified documents than many whistleblowers. For comparison, Reality Winner was sentenced to 5 YEARS for just one document.
Meanwhile Biden, Trump, Clinton, Petraeus… these guys have dozens, hundreds. No jail.
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) January 11, 2023
Newsweek reached out to the DOJ for comment.
Source : Newsweek