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Senator McCain is almost certainly referring to compartmentalized intelligence [1].

So he's not saying the spying was egregious, but instead that allowing a contractor like Snowden to have access to the classified info about the spying was egregious.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compartmentalization_(informati...




To be fair, you compartmentalize intelligence so it does not get abused. If you don't have a <need to know>, it is presumed you are going to abuse it somehow. That's the purpose of 'need to know' restrictions. Yes, it also is a policy which increases OpSec. But note His interview reference seems to be wikileaks and Manning, which was a breech of opsec, in theatre. Snowden leaking on the NSA seems to be much more grounded in a principled position, and is in a civillian context. Its hard to infer a position on the latter based upon coments from the former.




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