But several current and former intelligence officials said that the U.S. failure to see into Vladimir Putin’s plans is profound and long-running, and that there is little evidence that Snowden’s leaks allowed Russia to evade U.S. intelligence more effectively than it had already been doing.
“The Snowden leaks had nothing to do with Ukraine,” Fred Fleitz, a former senior CIA analyst, told BuzzFeed on Monday.
“Russia could have pulled this off without Snowden,” said another former CIA analyst.
American foreign policy setbacks are inevitably followed by a round of Washington finger-pointing, a sport that is already well underway. Snowden “is clearly in Moscow under the influence of intelligence services for a country that is expanding its borders today using military force. I think there’s a lot more questions that need to be answered here,” House Intelligence Committee chief Mike Rogers, a leading CIA ally, said on Meet The Press Sunday.