If this situation would not be the responsibility of agencies breaking the law in the first place, it is no excuse for the state to break fundamental rights of citizens.
Didn't happen from the leaks that did show executive overreach and abuse, so it would always make sense to make this protective claim and therefore it looses any credibility.
There were no repercussions for the agencies to employ mass surveillance. This is a danger that is magnitudes greater than leaks being dangerous for spies, who know about the dangers of their profession.
>Didn't happen from the leaks that did show executive overreach and abuse, so it would always make sense to make this protective claim and therefore it looses any credibility.
It doesn't need to have credibility if it's obviously true. If the Guardian has information on things such as sensitive military information or CIA operative locations and identities, revealing it could obviously result in loss of life and may not directly involve private US citizens in any capacity.
The idea that the pre-existing dangers of a profession are a justification to put people's lives in danger is just so ridiculous. If you put a bullet in the head of an enlisted man, just because he knew signing up his life might be at risk one day doesn't absolve you of being responsible for their death.
until of course it is the government itself who discloses the sensitive info - in such cases even that weak argument is just thrown out the window like in the cases of Scooter Libby/Valerie Plame or Trump/Oleg Smolenkov.