Edward Snowden, the NSA leaker who has been formally charged with espionage by the U.S. government, was the subject of an anonymously sourced story at CNN on Monday that, among other things, pushes back it the idea that Snowden was able to obtain the inner secrets of the surveillance agency. It's apparently in direct response to journalist Glenn Greenwald's earlier claim that Snowden had the "blueprint" for the agency at his fingertips. "Just because you have the blueprints doesn't mean you have the manual," the anonymous official told CNN, while floating the idea that the former contractor for the agency might not know what to do with what he has.
Earlier this month, Greenwald outlined the scope of Snowden's NSA stash, indicating that the whistleblower had refused to release some of the most sensitive information in his hands, based on what he described as Snowden's "careful and judicious journalistic test weighing public interest versus harm." That information includes the "blueprint" for the NSA, (which, contra the anonymous CNN source's zing, Greenwald also described as an "instruction manual"). So now that Greenwald and Snowden's version of events are out there, the U.S. is pushing back.