One faction "A" who were allies with a smaller faction "B", got one of their accounts hacked (or forums) by A's rival "C". One of those was A bitching about how small and insignificant B was to some other allies.
So in the forums, C posted an excerpt of that conversation. Leaders of A panicked and decided that to come out ahead, they should just post their own logs of that conversation, which was apparently worse as it went on. Of course, things didn't look good and other groups got pissed off with A.
Turns out that "C" didn't have much more than just the excerpt but "A" ended up looking worse because of their own full disclosure of the convi.
I'm guessing that with the info that Snowden has, this isn't the case for the NSA and they can confirm he has much more, so they want to dump the info first. (But if they didn't know for sure, it would be a funny likeness.)