« | »

Snowden Condemned Leakers In 2009 Online Chat

From the New York Times:

Under Snowden Screen Name, 2009 Post Berated Leaks

By SCOTT SHANE | June 26, 2013

Just four years before Edward J. Snowden set off an international firestorm by disclosing highly classified National Security Agency documents, someone using his screen name expressed outrage at government officials who leaked information to the news media, telling a friend in an Internet chat that leakers “should be shot,” according to chat logs made public on Wednesday.

Given Snowden’s reputed expertise in computer security, we suspect he was using his own screen name.

“They’re just like WikiLeaks,” Mr. Snowden — or someone identified as him from his screen name, “TheTrueHOOHA,” and other details — wrote in January 2009 about an article in The New York Times on secret exchanges between Israel and the United States about Iran’s nuclear program.

His unidentified interlocutor replied, “They’re just reporting, dude.”

But TheTrueHOOHA was not mollified. “They’re reporting classified” material, he wrote, suggesting that both the leak and the article were dangerous to national security. “Those people should be shot” in their private parts.

You have to wonder what he would prescribe for his own recent actions.

The chats were hosted on the server of the technology news Web site Ars Technica, which reported on them in an article. The discussion of leaks was among many comments that Ars Technica attributed to Mr. Snowden after obtaining them from other users of #arsificial, a public Internet Relay Chat channel. Other comments show a young American enjoying life in Switzerland — amazed by the high prices, remarking on what he believes is the racism and classism of some of the Swiss, reveling in his own stock market successes.

While Joe Mullin, the reporter who wrote the Ars Technica article, said there was no absolute proof that the user was Mr. Snowden, Mr. Snowden used the screen name TheTrueHOOHA on public Web forums where he posted photographs that clearly depicted him. In addition, the user’s reports from Switzerland between 2007 and 2009 appear to closely match the timing of Mr. Snowden’s service in Geneva as a C.I.A. technician under State Department cover.

“Snowden would soon move into a four-bedroom apartment covered by the agency. He’d blow off parking tickets, citing diplomatic immunity,” Ars Technica reported, summarizing many of the chats. “He’d travel the continent. He befriended an Estonian rock star (‘the funniest part is he’s a SUPER NERD’), raced motorcycles in Italy, took in the Muslim call to prayer from his Sarajevo hotel room, and formed opinions about the food and the women in Bosnia, in Romania, in Spain.” …

The Guardian reported that Mr. Snowden said in an interview that his disenchantment with American intelligence efforts began with his work for the C.I.A. in Switzerland.

Back in 2007.

“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 newspaper. “I realized that I was part of something that was doing far more harm than good.”

He told The Guardian that while in Switzerland, he even considered for the first time exposing government secrets.

In fact, Snowden was especially offended at the CIA fixing tickets for people in order to try get them to do the CIA’s bidding.

But the 2009 chat logs suggest a man who still accepted the conventional government view of leaks or was hiding his doubts.

As two unidentified users defended the Times article as legitimate journalism, the user calling himself TheTrueHOOHA criticized The Times for what he called a “history” of revealing damaging secrets.

Remarking on the article, which reported that the Bush administration had refused an Israeli request for bunker-buster bombs to use against Iran but was working on covert efforts to foil the nuclear program, TheTrueHOOHA suggested that the report would harm a very expensive program.

“I wonder how many hundreds of millions of dollars they just completely blew,” he wrote.

When another user tried to calm him down, he declared that the Times journalists “are the same people who blew the whole ‘we could listen to Osama’s cellphone’ thing — the same people who screwed us on wiretapping,” apparently a reference to a 2005 article disclosing the N.S.A.’s eavesdropping in the United States without warrants.

He wrote that the material was “classified for a reason,” and that the reason was “not because ‘oh we hope our citizens don’t find out,’ ” but to keep Iran from finding out and foiling the covert efforts…

But that was then, and this is now.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Thursday, June 27th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Snowden Condemned Leakers In 2009 Online Chat”

  1. Hahaha. What claptrap.

    Backdating hard drives, chat logs and networks is an old old trick.

    Who’s selling this pile of …? Oh, NYT. That’s not a credible news source.

  2. xdannyh

    Well Gee if ya can’t trust the NYT just who can ya trust???? LOL
    To me if one was a traitor and had valuable info one would sell it to the highest bidder, how do you say Rosenberg, then lay low and enjoy the fruits of the labor. This does not appear to be the scenerio (sp) for Snowden. But we will see… it appears to me that Cheny really jumped the gun on this guy.
    IMHO…I believe that this will be swept under the rug soon forgotten to the relief of the DemocRATs and RepublacRATs…..as the American sheeple get back to their required 7 hours daily of “brain candy” aka Television.Better than sugar and its FREE.




« Front Page | To Top
« | »