RT stated on January 2014 that

Revelations made possible through documents leaked by former contractor Edward Snowden could cause the deaths of United States diplomats, citizens and soldiers, government officials said

Business Insider claimed in November 2013 that if certain documents obtained by Edward Snowden, then (still?) unreleased were released, "and were they to contain the names of field agents, case officers, or station chiefs, the results would be disastrous."

In October of 2013, the Wall Street Journal published an article with the title NSA Chief: Snowden Leaks Will Cause Deaths. (I'm not a subscriber, so I can't read the whole article.)

Years later, are there any verifiable deaths related directly to The Guardian's publication of the US Government's secret surveillance programs?

closed as off-topic by Jan Doggen, Oddthinking Jun 12 at 16:03

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Skeptics Stack Exchange is for challenging notable claims, such as pseudoscience and biased results. This question might not challenge a claim, or the claim identified might not be notable." – Jan Doggen, Oddthinking
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  • Why do you think that the decisions as to what is identifiable information, made by you or by journalists, is correct? – DJohnM Jun 8 at 22:27
  • 1
    Do you have a "notable source" you can cite that claims that such deaths have occurred?? – Daniel R Hicks Jun 9 at 1:11
  • 3
    It's weasel words all through. – daniel Jun 9 at 4:09
  • 1
    I don't see any notable / verifiable claim in quotes that are about "could" and "would" (and have an agenda of pushing FUD), and "heard from an NSA employee that went 'that's confidential' about the details" is rumor at best... – DevSolar Jun 11 at 8:52
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    Picking my nose when the wind is blowing from the south could, potentially, cause the death of someone, somewhere. If pressed, I could not give you any kind of plausible, linear cause-effect connection, though. But, it COULD, right? I'm with daniel on his assessment of this one. – PoloHoleSet Jun 11 at 19:21

Right idea, wrong target.

We have a pretty good idea which Russian diplomats are affiliated to their various intelligence agencies, and they ours—without help from Snowden. That's how we know whom to expel. Note we didn't assassinate them. I recall in 1975, an American columnist identified a Soviet "journalist" known as Yuri Barsukov as a top spy. (I knew Barsukov because he frequented Washington D.C. chess tournaments.) No one was shocked.

The people who are at risk are not diplomats and others with official cover, but Russians working for our intelligence services. Two Russians working in cybersecurity were recently convicted of sharing classified data with Western intelligence. Whether they were exposed by Snowden, by Trump currying favor with Russia, by someone else, or by Russia's own counterintelligence personnel was not announced, nor would such a statement be credible, anyway.

Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

  • I can't see how this addresses the question. Are you claiming that the Russians know the names all the "field agents, case officers, or station chiefs" that were leaked (if any)? You need to show that with evidence. – Oddthinking Jun 12 at 16:05
  • All? How would one show that? But by hypothesis, we are talking about diplomats, and there haven't been reports of American ambassadors or military attachés (often spies) being assassinated. Compare a case where a CIA Station Chief was assassinated in Athens: this was major news and resulted in a law protecting CIA identities, even though Welch was under a thin cover and was well-known to be an intelligence agent. I concede the connection between Snowden and loss of our assets is speculative, how else could it be? – Andrew Lazarus Jun 12 at 16:11
  • Sorry - the burden for evidence here is on the answerers. If you can't meet the burden, you can't answer. "By hypothesis" isn't an answer. – Oddthinking Jun 13 at 3:39
  • I mean "by hypothesis" as part of the hypothesis of the question. It's right there in the title. The idea accredited American diplomatic personnel are being killed in Russia without notice is tinfoil stuff. Just the arrest (not death) of an American businessman with rather curious background was well-covered. 1/2 – Andrew Lazarus Jun 13 at 16:54
  • The problem with this question is that it pre-supposes that Russian intelligence agencies needed Snowden to tell them who the CIA Station Chief, and other high-ranking agents, are in Moscow. They didn't. They'd be complete, total amateurs if they didn't know. It's Russians working for us who are at the most risk. 2/2 – Andrew Lazarus Jun 13 at 16:56

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