Greenwald: I think it's pretty extraordinary that anybody who would call himself a journalist would publicly muse whether or not other journalists should be charged with felonies. The assumption in your question David is completely without evidence, the idea that I've aided and abetted him in any way.
The scandal that arose in Washington before our stories began was about the fact that the Obama administration trying to criminalize investigative journalism, by going through the e-mails and phone records of AP reporters, accusing a Fox News journalist of the theory that you just embraced of being a co-conspirator with felonies for working with sources. If you want to embrace that theory that means that every investigative journalist in the United States who works with their sources, who receives classified information is a criminal. And it's precisely those theories and precisely that climate that has become so menacing in the United States...
Gregory replied that "the question of who's a journalist may be up to a debate with regard to what you're doing," but added that he was merely posing a question others have asked, and not "embracing anything."
Meanwhile, the bigger question of how much - if any - serious damage Snowden's revelations to The Guardian and the Washington Post done to our national security was asked to NSA Security Director Gen. Keith Alexander on Sunday. He says it's considerable.
"What Snowden has done has revealed has caused irreversible and significant damage to our country and to our own allies," Alexander told ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
He went on to try to assuage the concerns of Americans who might feel that their privacy has been violated by the Prism program, an NSA program to monitor private Web data. He did so by reading a report from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in support of the 2008 re-authorization of the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court) Amendment Acts that said that there after four years, there had not been a single case in which a government official engaged in anything nefarious.
Regardless of whether one thinks of what Ed Snowden did, the fact that a 29-year-old private contractor had access to such sensitive intelligence has troubled many Americans. Stephanopoulos asked Alexander how the government could prevent another Snowden-type from telling all, considering there are 3.5 million private contractors with top secret classification.
ALEXANDER: Well, this is a key issue that we've got to work our way through. Clearly the system did not work as it should have. He betrayed the trust and confidence we had in him. This is an individual with top secret clearance whose duty it was to administer these networks. He betrayed that confidence and stole some of our secrets.
We are now putting in place actions that would give us the ability to track our system administrators, what they're doing, what they're taking, a two-man rule. We've changed the passwords. But at the end of the day, we have to trust that our people are going to do the right thing. This is an extremely important mission defending our country.