NSA leaker comes forward

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WASHINGTON — Risking prosecution by the U.S. government, a 29-year-old intelligence analyst who claims to have worked at the National Security Agency and the CIA was revealed Sunday as the source of The Guardian’s and The Washington Post’s disclosures about the U.S. government’s secret surveillance programs.

The Guardian said it was publishing the identity of Edward Snowden, a former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, at his request. The Post also identified Snowden as its principal source for its reporting on intelligence operations that put the White House and the administration on the defensive.

“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.

He told The Post that he would “ask for asylum from any countries that believe in free speech and oppose the victimization of global privacy.” For now, he is in Hong Kong.

“I’m not going to hide,” Snowden told The Post. “Allowing the U.S. government to intimidate its people with threats of retaliation for revealing wrongdoing is contrary to the public interest.”

A spokesman for the Director of National Intelligence did not have immediate comment on the disclosure.

The NSA has been collecting the phone records of hundreds of millions of Americans each day, creating a database through which it can learn whether terror suspects have been in contact with people in the U.S. The NSA program does not listen to actual conversations. Separately, an Internet scouring program, code-named PRISM, allows the NSA and FBI to tap directly into U.S. nine U.S. Internet companies to gather all Internet usage – audio, video, photographs, e-mails and searches. The effort is designed to detect suspicious behavior that begins overseas.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper decried the revelation of the programs as reckless and said it has done “huge, grave damage.” President Obama, Clapper and others have said the programs are authorized by Congress and subject to strict supervision of a secret court.

Snowden told The Guardian that he lacked a high school diploma and enlisted in the U.S. Army until he was discharged with broken legs after a training mission.

After leaving the Army, Snowden got his foot in the door with the NSA at a covert facility at the University of Maryland, working as a security guard.

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 with what he knew about the nation’s secretive programs. He decided against it, he told the newspaper, 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 said. “I realized that I was part of something that was doing far more harm than good.”

Snowden left the CIA in 2009 to join a private contractor. He spent the past four years at the National Security Agency, the intelligence arm that monitors electronic communications, as a contractor with consulting giant Booz Allen Hamilton and, before that, Dell.

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.

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.

“I feel satisfied that this was all worth it. I have no regrets,” Snowden told the newspaper.

The Guardian said Snowden has been monitoring news coverage of the leaks and asked to be identified after several days of interviews.

“I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong,” Snowden is quoted as saying.

Rep. Mike Rogers, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said the journalists who disclosed the operations did not grasp the consequences.

“He doesn’t have a clue how this thing works,” Rogers told ABC’s This Week on Sunday. “Neither did the person who released just enough information to literally be dangerous.”

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KSL
143390
Points
KSL 06/09/13 - 02:54 pm
5
4
Cudos

To Mr Snowden.

KSL
143390
Points
KSL 06/09/13 - 02:56 pm
4
3
I hope he stays safe.

I hope he stays safe.

specsta
7137
Points
specsta 06/09/13 - 03:04 pm
6
2
Mr. Snowden

This man has sacrificed everything because he saw that freedom and privacy were being obliterated in ways that should not be happening in the USA. There are very few people willing to stand up for something at the expense of their comfortable jobs and cushy lifestyle.

galaxygrl
1350
Points
galaxygrl 06/09/13 - 03:23 pm
6
1
Good Luck!

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.
Thomas Jefferson

Dixieman
17266
Points
Dixieman 06/09/13 - 03:39 pm
3
8
I disagree with the posters above

This is treason and espionage. He deserves the death penalty. My family and I are less safe today than we were a week ago because of this self-righteous egoist's acts.

RedQuinoa
2913
Points
RedQuinoa 06/09/13 - 03:49 pm
2
7
Agree 100% w/Dixieman

By his "altruistic" disclosures this low-life Snowden has put many citizens' lives in future jeopardy. What an outrage. It gives our adversaries yet another advantageous piece of a very complex puzzle. I hope to see Snowden prosecuted.

Riverman1
93326
Points
Riverman1 06/09/13 - 04:02 pm
6
2
There were ways he could have

There were ways he could have voiced his concerns without releasing the info to the public. He could have gone to the IG or Congressional oversight committees.

chascushman
6653
Points
chascushman 06/09/13 - 04:04 pm
3
6
“This is treason and
Unpublished

“This is treason and espionage. He deserves the death penalty.”
Dixieman, I hope you being sarcastic. If not you trust the lying politicians in Washington a lot more than me.

galaxygrl
1350
Points
galaxygrl 06/09/13 - 04:09 pm
5
1
IG or Oversight Committees

Riverman,
I respect your opinions ,but in this day and time I don't think there is any shelter left. I beleive the IG or the Congressional Oversight Committee would have turned him over. CorpGov can not be trusted any more. It's about them, not us.

KSL
143390
Points
KSL 06/09/13 - 04:16 pm
3
3
Trust our government??? After

Trust our government??? After the revelations of recent???

JRC2024
10381
Points
JRC2024 06/09/13 - 04:18 pm
5
3
No one should ever ever give

No one should ever ever give away or disclose secret information about our adversaries. That is what keeps us safe. I hope he is charged with treason.

KSL
143390
Points
KSL 06/09/13 - 09:56 pm
3
1
Bodhisattva
7146
Points
Bodhisattva 06/10/13 - 03:59 am
1
1
If he is to be judged equally

If he is to be judged equally under the laws of newspaper commenters, he should be tossed in the same cell and receive the exact same treatment as Bradley Manning.

justthefacts
24950
Points
justthefacts 06/10/13 - 06:47 am
2
0
Bradley Manning

The information he released was classified "secret". Snowden's was "top secret". I think the gov't treats the latter more seriously.

internationallyunknown
5018
Points
internationallyunknown 06/10/13 - 08:32 am
2
0
False flag events and freedom.

Did all of this originate with the Patriot Act?
Did we give away many of our freedoms with the biggest false flag event in history?

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759
US author, diplomat, inventor, physicist, politician, & printer (1706 - 1790)

...wait...should I type this....

nocnoc
49121
Points
nocnoc 06/10/13 - 09:28 am
2
0
Just because documents are

Just because documents are classified means nothing in itself.
I have seen coffee break areas stamped Classified or Secret.

Over the years I noticed Low End Security rated people are free to add low end rated ratings to the their documents. Secret is a dime a dozen clearance. Unlike a Presidential Yankee-White ticket holder, which would sound like the highest but it ain't. There are things that any Administration(s) does not know and or purposely does not want to be directly/officially connected as knowing. It is called deniable plausibility reasons in political circles.

The Real Question Becomes:
Since this guys security ticket allowed access to the CIA & the NSA, and "others places" covert ops for so long, why wasn't his feelings or motives, uncovered during one of his many Polygraphs, that he had to of taken to get and maintain his security ticket?

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