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Leaker Worked For NSA (Booz) Less Than 3 Mos

From a mixed emotion-ed Associated Press:

NSA contractor says he leaked surveillance data

By KIMBERLY DOZIER |  June 10, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — The man who gave classified documents to reporters, making public two sweeping U.S. surveillance programs and touching off a national debate on privacy versus security, has revealed his own identity. He risked decades in jail for the disclosures — if the U.S. can extradite him from Hong Kong where he says he has taken refuge.

Apparently, Mr. Snowden was unaware that unlike the rest of China, the US still has an extradition treaty with Hong Kong. (See below.) Not that its Communist rulers would ever let that happen.

Edward Snowden, 29, who says he worked as a contractor at the National Security Agency and the CIA, allowed The Guardian and The Washington Post newspapers to reveal his identity Sunday.

Both papers have published a series of top-secret documents outlining two NSA surveillance programs. One gathers hundreds of millions of U.S. phone records while searching for possible links to known terrorist targets abroad, and the second allows the government to tap into nine U.S. Internet companies to gather all Internet usage to detect suspicious behavior that begins overseas…

This second, ‘PRISM’ story, from the Washington Post, is not particularly new, since the claim that NSA has direct access to these companies’ servers has been dialed back. And we already knew that the government was getting information on foreigners from these companies through FISA warrants.

But Snowden claims the programs are open to abuse.

"Any analyst at any time can target anyone. Any selector. Anywhere," Snowden said in a video on the Guardian’s website. "I, sitting at my desk, had the authority to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant to a federal judge to even the president if I had a personal email." …

The programs are clearly open to abuse. But Mr. Snowden’s claims here undermine his credibility. A low level contractor can not ‘wiretap’ anyone via either of these programs without a FISA warrant.

Snowden says he was a former technical assistant for the CIA and a current employee of defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, which released a statement Sunday confirming he had been a contractor with them in Hawaii for less than three months, and promising to work with investigators.

Mr. Snowden has been planning to release this information for more than a month. Which means he got the idea after less than two months on the job.

Snowden could face many years in prison for releasing classified information if he is successfully extradited from Hong Kong, according to Mark Zaid, a national security lawyer who represents whistleblowers.

Hong Kong has an extradition treaty with the United States that took force in 1998, according to the U.S. State Department website…

Again, the Chi-Coms control Hong Kong now. There is no risk of extradition.

Snowden told the Guardian newspaper he believes the government could try to charge him with treason under the Espionage Act, but Zaid said that would require the government to prove he had intent to betray the United States, whereas he publicly made it clear he did this to spur debate.

"My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them," Snowden told the Guardian.

If Snowden wanted to be a whistleblower, there are plenty of ways to do that legally.

The government could also make an argument that the NSA leaks have aided the enemy — as military prosecutors have claimed against Army Pvt. Bradley Manning, who faces life in prison under military law if convicted for releasing a trove of classified documents through the Wikileaks website…

Snowden seems to see Pvt. Manning as a hero.

Snowden told the Post he was not going to hide.

"Allowing the U.S. government to intimidate its people with threats of retaliation for revealing wrongdoing is contrary to the public interest," he said in the interview published Sunday. Snowden said he would "ask for asylum from any countries that believe in free speech and oppose the victimization of global privacy."

Snowden told The Guardian he lacked a high school diploma and served in the U.S. Army until he was discharged because of an injury, and later worked as a security guard with the NSA.

So he got out of the Army on a disability claim.

He later went to work for the CIA as an information technology employee and by 2007 was stationed in Geneva, Switzerland, where he had access to classified documents.

During that time, he considered going public about the nation’s secretive programs but told the newspaper he decided against it, because he did not want to put anyone in danger and he hoped Obama’s election would curtail some of the clandestine programs.

He said he was disappointed that Obama did not rein in the surveillance programs.

"Much of what I saw in Geneva really disillusioned me about how my government functions and what its impact is in the world," he told The Guardian. "I realized that I was part of something that was doing far more harm than good."

In other words, he wanted to start leaking classified material as soon as he was in the position to do so. (Hired in 2007. Obama election stopped him from leaking info.)

Snowden left the CIA in 2009 to join a private contractor, and spent the last four years at the NSA, as a contractor with consulting giant Booz Allen Hamilton and, before that, Dell.

If he was so disillusioned, why did he continue to work as a private contractor for US intel agencies?

The Guardian reported that Snowden was working in an NSA office in Hawaii when he copied the last of the documents he planned to disclose and told supervisors that he needed to be away for a few weeks to receive treatment for epilepsy.

That is, he finished up his document gathering when he had been at Booz for less than two months.

He left for Hong Kong on May 20 and has remained there since, according to the newspaper. Snowden is quoted as saying he chose that city because "they have a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent", and because he believed it was among the spots on the globe that could and would resist the dictates of the U.S. government.

Yes, China is famous for its "spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent."

"I feel satisfied that this was all worth it. I have no regrets," Snowden told The Guardian.

Something tells me Mr. Snowden hopes to be the next Julian Assange.

All that said, it’s still a very good thing to be reminded of the vast powers that NSA and the other intel agencies have to monitor the internet. FISA warrants are almost never turned down.

After all, the IRS vs. Tea Party scandal should shows how dangerous such invasive power could be in the wrong hands. And they are  almost certainly in the wrong hands with the Obama administration.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Monday, June 10th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

7 Responses to “Leaker Worked For NSA (Booz) Less Than 3 Mos”

  1. It may be that the strange synchronicity between the president and the permanent bureaucracy is mere happenstance and not, as it might sound to the casual ear, the sinister merging of party and state. Either way, they need to be pried apart. When the state has the capability to know everything except the difference between right and wrong, it won’t end well.”

    Mark Steyn

  2. Rusty Shackleford

    “Snowden is quoted as saying he chose that city because…” , etc.,etc.

    Something tells me that Snowden is not long of this world. The thugocracy of the white house is more than likely extremely p*issed at this guy and will, in a fast & furious manner work to extinguish him post-haste.

    I’m thinking that right now, captain you-didn’t-build-that is on the phone with Eric the Red, trying to figure out how to cut a deal to get this guy extricated from Hong-Kong and sent back to the US for “trial”. Sadly, there’s no video he made to use as evidence of his wrongdoing.

    But they will pay BIG BUCKS to China to get him. They will expose their own weakness and China will take note on how to get Obama to do their bidding; not that they need much in the way of assistance on that.

    Pretty sure the national socialists are furious. Not at the spying, the overzealous prying or overreach of the party to see what we’re all doing and who we are, but because of the exposure. Thus, they will make no statements about culpability, responsibility and guilt about the oversight of such intrusions but instead, flame-shrouded statements about Snowden’s “anti-Americanism”, lack of patriotism and such. It’s as if the national socialists have never read or understood what liberty is.

    But that includes RINOs too. McCain, I’m sure, is just as livid as the boy who sits in the president’s chair. Graham-nesty as well.

    You can tell a lot about people by what angers them..and how they react to it.

  3. mr_bill

    Isn’t PRISM the replacement for Project Echelon? Government has been doing this for quite some time. I think the big difference is that prior to this administration, presidents weren’t using these capabilities against their political opposition. Yes, the government could monitor the daily goings-on of any individual, butit hasn’t got the interest or resources to monitor everybody. Most people are simply not that interesting and government resources were likely aimed at individuals with higher profiles. That said, I don’t think government should have this Orwellian capability, but the fact that it does is not a surprise to me..

    In the wake of the recent news about PRISM and other US intelligence agencies’ prying eyes, I am suddenly suspect of some comments made by some politicians. There was a period where several high-ranking democrats made some statements which amounted to predictions of the outcomes of political events, such as Pelosi’s comments on the outcome of the obamacare SCOTUS decision. Could it be that this administration has been using intelligence agencies to do political snooping? I think this is the big issue here. The government has been spying on people, in violation of the 4th Amendment all the way back to J. Edgar Hoover and before that. What the government has been doing with this information is what concerns me. Just last week, Eric WithHolder refused to comment on the record as to whether the government was spying on Congress. To me, this speaks volumes.

  4. Noyzmakr

    Honestly, this can’t suprise anyone. It was all predicted long ago.

    The only thing that bothers me about all this is that anyone who considers opening a business, running for office, testifying in court or before congress and any miriad of other scenarios has to worry whether or not their entire lives will be exposed by whoever the opposition might be.

    It’s sort of like the IRS scandle in that the result is the quieting of your opposition out of fear of reprisals. Except in this case they’ll expose every aspect of your life whether it be public or private. Who you talk to, where and what you buy, where or even if you worship, do you drink or smoke, what diseases or ailments your DNA shows you to be predisposed to, how much money you spend, who you support politically, what you read and write and everything we, as americans, hold close to our hearts as the very meaning of freedom.

    It’s frightening but not suprising. Especially from a progressive regime. That’s what they do!

  5. canary

    Obama says he doesn’t know if people e-mails and phone calls are being monitored, But….
    He is positive it’s not being done to Americans.

  6. preparing4theworst

    Ok, so I had a thought….this weekend why don’t we all take a short trip several area codes away and pick up a burner phone. After having a good lunch and driving home we call back and forth to ourselves a dozen or so times a day (use your favorite accent). Then just make it really interesting we set our alarms a couple of times a week and call back and forth between 1 and 3 AM…..could be really fun

  7. canary

    Noyzmakr, Snowden is not the first to tell of this invasion into phone calls and all. And Facebook admitted around the time Egypt was liberated that they were giving freely giving information to the govt so I don’t know why they they are saying they had nothing to do this. These Arab Spring revolutionaries all used facebook.

    There is an new organization just formed this new A M P A C. A M is American Muslims. They are planning a Million Muslims March 9/11/14 to the White House. It’s a new club and site. That is insult to injury. That should be entertaining if it takes off.

    Interesting footage is the protests in the UK over the soldier getting his head slit off and run over.

    The protestors which there is footage of are calling it their “English Spring”. Their purpose is to point out they are tired of this violent religion taking over their streets.

    I thought calling it “The English Spring” was cute and clever I thought.

    But, I can’t image what it would be called in the USA to be such a catchy phrase.

    The USA Spring? Anyone?


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