Reporter for The Washington Free Beacon Lachlan Markay debated the possibility a leaked document from Edward Snowden compromised U.S. intelligence on Russia's intentions with respect to invading Crimea Monday on Fox Business.
Markay, in contrast to the rest of The Independents panel, emphasized it would be a mistake to dismiss Snowden's possible contribution to the Crimea crisis given the intelligence community's collective shock when Russia actually invaded.
The Wall Street Journal spoke with military and intelligence officials who suggested Russia may have used knowledge about America's surveillance techniques gleaned from Snowden to mask their intentions prior to the Crimean incursion.
"I think it's safe to assume Russia sort of reevaluated their internal communications [following the leak]," Markay said.
LACHLAN MARKAY: I think there might be a kernel of truth on the Snowden theory. Not that he’s working with the Russian government, but he did release a document that revealed we had monitored phone calls made by President Medvedev, and I think it’s reasonable to assume —
KMELE FOSTER: Or monitored phone calls made by everyone?
MARKAY: Right, but we had specifically and intentionally intercepted phone calls from the Russian president.
KENNEDY: What’s the connection between that and Crimea?
MARKAY: Well the intelligence officials in U.S. were totally caught off guard, the day before they invaded Crimea, they would say no, they would never do that, it’s just not in their interest, we can never see that happening.
FOSTER: You’re saying that’s the case because they stopped monitoring phone calls, because —
MARKAY: I’m saying that we might have been more aware of what Russia was planning had these documents not been released, and I think it’s safe to assume Russians sort of reevaluated their internal communications.
KENNEDY: So we stopped listening to Russian communications because —
SOLTIS: If we would still be able to listen to Russian communications —
MARKAY: Right, they would I have to imagine sort of readjusted how they go about internal communications in order to avoid that.
FOSTER: Because they were afraid Edward Snowden would tell on them again, who was actually in Russia —
MARKAY: No, because they were afraid the U.S. was listening as documents from Snowden revealed.