Ex-Homeland Security Sec.: U.S. Intel Less ‘Aggressive’ on ISIS Due to Snowden

Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff spoke with Jake Tapper today on the threat of ISIS, and he suggested that U.S. intelligence is less “aggressive” on ISIS than they would normally be because of Edward Snowden causing public outrage over intelligence gathering.

Tapper asked Chertoff why U.S. intel “seems to have so little of a grasp on who these individuals are” in ISIS. Chertoff said firstly, these programs are not “perfect,” and secondly, “One of the problems is that the intelligence community has been distracted for months now with Edward Snowden.”

RELATED: Former NSA Official: Snowden’s Actions ‘Clearly’ Helped ISIS

He argued that U.S. intelligence agencies “are standing back [and] they don’t want to get burned” by doing the kinds of things people have been getting on their case for. A skeptical Tapper asked, “You don’t really think that––whether it was CIA Director Petraeus or the current CIA director or James Clapper––you don’t really think they’re telling people ‘Hold back because of Edward Snowden’? I don’t think they really care.”

Chertoff said it’s not that, necessarily, but just that “there’s just a natural tendency to be cautious” in the CIA and NSA now after so much scrutiny on these agencies overstepping their bounds.

Watch the video below, via CNN:

[image via screengrab]

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