“I think that as important and as necessary as this debate has been, it is also important to understand that it has done unnecessary damage to United States' intelligence capabilities and to US diplomacy,” he said. “But I will leave it up to the courts and the attorney general to weigh in publicly on the specifics of Mr. Snowden’s case.”Setting aside, for now, Obama's use of the words "unnecessary damage", begging the question, is there a necessary damage to American interests? It turns out Snowden did not prominently feature in the list of Google's top searches for the year 2013.
This year's National Security Agency revelations have created a firestorm of reports and debates about the state of U.S. surveillance technology and intelligence policy. It set off a brief international manhunt. Entire countries are now building countermeasures to deflect the NSA's gaze. But at least in the eyes of Google, Edward Snowden was hardly a blip on the radar. The search giant's global year-in-review is topped by Nelson Mandela, followed by the late actor Paul Walker and the iPhone 5S. Snowden doesn't make an appearance.Does a lack of public interest (at least among the giant search engine users) in Snowden and his actions, coupled with Obama's expressed public disinterest in the case, reveal Obamas attitude towards the "unnecessary damage" Snowden caused?
In other words. Had the public been more interested in Snowden, would Snowden be in American hands right now?
It's not necessary to look up "unnecessary", to safely discern Obama's use of the word in this case. Obama leads from behind. Obama is not going to make the case as to why Snowden may have damaged our security, because Snowden is "unnecessary" to HIS own security, and, he has Google to prove it.
Ars Technica, Washington Post