Snowden damaged security of US, says former prez Bush
Fugitive American intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has damaged security of the country by his actions, former US president George W Bush said on Tuesday.
‘I think he damaged the security of the country,’ Bush said on Snowden, the 30-year-old former technical contractor and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee who worked for Booz Allen Hamilton, a contractor for the US National Security Agency (NSA). Bush said he believes the Obama administration ‘will deal’ with the fallout from the controversy unleashed by Snowden, who is now thought to be holed up in the transit area of a Moscow airport after fleeing there from Hong Kong.
Snowden’s disclosures about the spy programmes carried out by the NSA and other intelligence entities have shaken the US intelligence community and put the Obama administration on the defensive over accusations of government overreach into citizens’ privacy and angered Western governments. But Bush, who was president from 2001 to 2009, refrained from criticising Obama, his successor.
‘I don’t think it does any good,’ he said. ‘It’s a hard job. He’s got plenty on his agenda. It’s difficult. A former president doesn’t need to make it any harder. Other presidents have taken different decisions; that’s mine,’ Bush told CNN.