The Guardian's Glenn Greenwald on Monday defended the 29-year-old who served as the source of one of the biggest intelligence leaks in history, arguing that the revelations of the National Security Agency's sweeping surveillance programs only harmed "those in power who want to conceal their actions and their wrongdoing" while also foreshadowing future bombshells.
During an appearance on MSNBC'S "Morning Joe," Greenwald said his bombshell reports — based on information provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden, a former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton — were of "great public interest."
"The reality is that U.S. government officials for many decades now — and certainly over the last ten years — have been abusing their secrecy power to shield from the American public, not programs that are designed to keep America safe and not to prevent disclosures that would help the terrorists, but to conceal their own actions from the people to whom they're supposed to be democratically accountable," Greenwald said. "What we disclosed was of great public interest, of great importance in a democracy that the U.S. government is building this massive spying apparatus aimed at its own population, and it harms nobody. Anyone who wants to say that any of these stories or disclosures have harmed national security, I defy anybody to say anything that we've published that does that in any way. The only people who have been harmed are those in power who want to conceal their actions and their wrongdoing from the people to whom they're supposed to be accountable."
Greenwald also appeared to suggest that more disclosures are imminent. Greenwald wrote on Friday that more revelations were "coming shortly" and, later that day, broke a story on a tool wielded by the NSA to track surveillance data worldwide.
"Well, there are several programs that we've reported on so far and there's a lot more coming," Greenwald said on MSNBC.
Greenwald took to Twitter on Monday to assert that Snowden has "way, way more" than "just some slides" that detail the NSA's programs.
This post has been updated.