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Published On: Fri, Jul 11th, 2014

Brits forced Guardian to destroy Snowden docs, White House

The White House was given a heads up that UK authorities were to force The Guardian newspaper to destroy hard drives containing top secret NSA documents says new July 11 reports.

More details emerge surrounding Snowden papers Photo/Edward Snowden addressing audience at SXSW via Skype

More details emerge surrounding Snowden papers
Photo/Edward Snowden addressing audience at SXSW via Skype

Emails obtained by the Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) indicate that US intelligence officers, particularly then NSA director General Keith Alexander, were notified about Britain’s intent to retrieve and destroy the Edward Snowden papers in July 2013.

The British government threatened arrests to forces the London-based Guardian newspaper to destroy the disks a month after it revealed the top secret information leaked by former NSA contractor Snowden last year.

Following the raid, the White House publicly distanced itself on whether it would make US newspapers destroy their computer data.

When the Guardian revealed it had destroyed several computers a month later in August, the White House spokesman Josh Earnest (now the US Press Secretary) initially remarked it was hard to “evaluate the propriety of what they did based on incomplete knowledge of what happened” but said it would be hard to imagine the same events occurring in the US.

“That’s very difficult to imagine a scenario in which that would be appropriate,” he concluded.

James Clapper  photo/donkey hotey

James Clapper photo/donkey hotey

In a statement to the AP, the Guardian said it was disappointed to learn that “cross-Atlantic conversations were taking place at the very highest levels of government ahead of the bizarre destruction of journalistic material that took place in the Guardian’s basement last July.”

“What’s perhaps most concerning is that the disclosure of these emails appears to contradict the White House’s comments about these events last year, when they questioned the appropriateness of the UK government’s intervention,” the newspaper said.

An email to Alexander from Rick Ledgett, now deputy director of the NSA, has the subject line “Guardian data being destroyed”, and is dated July 19, the day before the actual destruction. Most is heavily redacted, but Ledgett remarks: “Good news, at least on this front”.

Obama’s director of national intelligence, James Clapper emails Alexander under the same subject line, saying: “Thanks Keith … appreciate the conversation today”.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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