The “worship” of leakers like Edward Snowden has triggered the rise of disclosure of America’s secret intelligence, according to CIA Director Mike Pompeo no less.
Pompeo said in an interview with MSNBC which aired on Saturday that: “In some ways, I do think it’s accelerated. I think there is a phenomenon, the worship of Edward Snowden, and those who steal American secrets for the purpose of self-aggrandizement or money of for whatever their motivation may be, does seem to be on the increase.”
The CIA chief believes the country should redouble its efforts to stop the leaks of classified information. Pompeo said: “It’s tough. You now have not only nation states trying to steal our stuff, but non-state, hostile intelligence services, well-funded-folks like WikiLeaks, out there trying to steal American secrets for the sole purpose of undermining the United States and democracy.”
Snowden is famous or infamous for leaking documents revealing extensive U.S. government surveillance. Then there’s WikiLeaks which recently revealed nearly 8,000 documents on secrets about the CIA’s cyber-espionage tools for breaking into computers. WikiLeaks also previously published 250,000 State Department cables which put the U.S. military in an embarrassing position with hundreds of thousands of logs from Iraq and Afghanistan.
There is also the case of recently-released Chelsea Manning, who now identifies as a woman, but was previously known as the Army private Bradley Manning. Manning was convicted in a court martial in 2013 for leaking more than 700,000 secret military and State Department documents to WikiLeaks while serving as an intelligence analyst in Iraq. Manning claimed that she only leaked the documents to “raise awareness” about the war’s impact on innocent civilians.
Just last year, there was also former NSA contractor Harold Thomas Martin III, 51, of Glen Burnie, Maryland, who was accused of removing highly classified information, storing it in an unlocked shed and in his car and home. Investigators seized a conservative estimate of 50 terabytes of information, enough to fill around 200 laptop computers.
The CIA Director says the Trump administration is determined in stopping further leaks of any kind from any agency. He also vowed that the state will run after perpetrators of government leaks. Pompeo said the government will work both on the deterrence- stopping the leaks from happening- and punishing those who will be caught leaking information.