The Daily Mail today condemned the “supreme arrogance” of The Guardian as Edward Snowden suggested he did not read all the documents he leaked to the paper.
The latest attack comes days after the Mail accused The Guardian of “psychotic hatred of the commercially viable free press” after it carried Nick Clegg’s proposals for a UK version of the US first amendment.
Snowden released an estimated 200,000 stolen National Security Agency documents to The Guardian and other newspapers in 2013.
Speaking on US television, Snowden was asked how many of the documents he had read.
He said: “I’ve evaluated all the documents that are in the archive.”
Interviewer John Oliver said: “You've read every single one?"
Snowden: "I do understand what I turned over."
Oliver later said: "You’re giving documents with information that you know could be harmful which could get out there.”
Snowden: “Yes, if people act in bad faith.”
Former First Sea Lord and security minister Lord West told the Daily Mail: "Since the revelations of the traitor Snowden, terrorist groups have changed how they communicate and talk to each other.
"His actions have made us all less safe. No doubt people will die who would not have died had he not been so irresponsible."
Robin Simcox of the Henry Jackson Society told the paper: "This interview seemed to show how little Snowden had thought about the potentially deadly consequences.
“Snowden stole a huge amount of sensitive documents an as a result terrorists and other serious criminals have adapted their methods accordingly."
The Daily Mail said in a leader column today: “Sir David Omand, ex-head of GCHQ, described it as ‘the most catastrophic loss to British intelligence ever’.
"But with supreme arrogance, the Guardian dismissed these concerns, insisting that Snowden and its journalists had vetted all the documents and rejected anything which might endanger life.
"Snowden said: ‘I have to screen everything before releasing it.’
"Yesterday he was forced to admit this was a lie. Not only did he fail to read documents before handing them over, he also confessed in an interview that his treachery had ‘carried dangers’.
"So did he sound the slightest note of regret or contrition? Not a bit of it. With breathtaking complacency he merely said: ‘In journalism some mistakes will be made. This is a fundamental concept of liberty.’ What absolute cant!
"Snowden has made us all less safe and the Guardian, in its self-righteousness, has been his willing accomplice.
"In reporting his interview, the Guardian changed its original website headline from ‘Edward Snowden [says] he did not read all leaked NSA material’ to the less damning ‘Snowden pressed on whether he had read all leaked NSA material’.
"But such attempts at damage limitation are all too late. Security minister Lord West said yesterday that because of the Snowden revelations, ‘people will die who would not have died’. Those who gave him the platform for his deadly treachery should hang their heads in shame.
Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger has defended the Snowden coverage on numerous occasions and said he has yet to see any evidence of harm caused.
Speaking in October 2013 he told Radio 4: "Of course if you are on the security side of the argument you want to keep everything secret and you don’t want to take part in any debate and you don’t want the press or anyone else writing about it.
“You would have to be a terrorist who didn’t know how to tie his shoelaces not to believe that people were watching things on the internet and scooping up telephone calls. I don’t think some of this will come as a great surprise to terrorists.
“What is significantly new about what we have been revealing is the extent that entire populations are potentially being put under surveillance."