(AP) AP sources: foreign help to US could be exposed
By KIMBERLY DOZIER
AP Intelligence Writer
Two Western diplomats say U.S. officials have briefed them on documents obtained by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden that might expose the intelligence operations of their respective countries and their level of cooperation with the U.S.
Word of the briefings by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence comes amid questions swirling around overseas surveillance by the National Security Agency, which has angered allies on two continents and caused concern domestically over the scope of the intelligence-gathering.
The two Western diplomats said officials from ODNI have continued to brief them regularly on what documents the director of national intelligence believes Snowden obtained.
The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the intelligence briefings publicly.
The Washington Post, which first reported on the matter Thursday evening, said some of the documents Snowden took contain sensitive material about collection programs against adversaries such as Iran, Russia and China. Some refer to operations that in some cases involve countries not publicly allied with the United States.
The Post said the process of informing officials about the risk of disclosure is delicate because in some cases, one part of the cooperating government may know about the collaboration, but others may not.
Meanwhile, the government of Germany said Friday that German officials will travel to the U.S. “shortly” for talks about spying allegations, including whether Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone was monitored by the NSA.
The heads of Germany’s foreign and domestic intelligence agencies will participate in the talks with the White House and NSA, government spokesman Georg Streiter said _ though he later said the exact composition of the team had yet to be determined.
He did not give a specific date for the trip, saying it was being arranged on “relatively short notice.”
Lisa Monaco, assistant to the president for homeland security, wrote in a USA Today op-ed published Friday that “no one disputes the need for careful, thorough intelligence gathering. Nor is it a secret that we collect information about what is happening around the world to help protect our citizens, our allies and our homeland. So does every intelligence service in the world.”