(K. Brent Tomer),
How America Lost Its Secrets: Edward Snowden, the Man and the Theft. By Edward Jay Epstein. Knopf; 350 pages; $27.95.
THE effects of Edward Snowden’s heist of secrets from America’s National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013 can be divided into the good, the bad and the ugly, writes Edward Jay Epstein in a meticulous and devastating account of the worst intelligence disaster in the country’s history, “How America Lost Its Secrets”.
Even that categorisation is contentious. Mr Snowden’s fans do not believe he did anything wrong at all: he simply lifted the lid on a rogue agency, risking his liberty on behalf of privacy everywhere. For their part, his foes believe his actions lack any justification: he is a traitor masquerading as a whistle-blower, who exposed no wrongdoing but did colossal damage.
These stances rest more on faith than facts. Their adherents regard as secondary the details of Mr Snowden’s career, and the means by which he took millions of pieces of top-secret information from the NSA’s computers. More important for such people is whether you trust American and other Western…Continue reading