Snowden Says NSA Is Lying When It Claims He Didn't Raise Concerns Through The Proper Channels

from the blow-that-whistle dept

In a new interview with Vanity Fair magazine, Ed Snowden seems to be hitting back at nearly every bogus claim made by his critics. He kicks it off by responding to the claims that if he were a real whistleblower, he should have just gone through “official channels.” He claims that he did that and nothing happened. In fact, he suggests that Congress ought to ask the NSA about that.

The N.S.A. at this point not only knows I raised complaints, but that there is evidence that I made my concerns known to the N.S.A.’s lawyers, because I did some of it through e-mail. I directly challenge the N.S.A. to deny that I contacted N.S.A. oversight and compliance bodies directly via e-mail and that I specifically expressed concerns about their suspect interpretation of the law, and I welcome members of Congress to request a written answer to this question [from the N.S.A.].

How about the silly claim that he took 1.7 million documents? As we’ve mentioned this number keeps going up. First it was 50,000 documents. Then 70,000. Then 1.5 million. And the latest is 1.7 million. And all of it seems based on a faulty assumption that every document Snowden has ever “touched” he took with him. That is almost certainly false. And, as we’ve also noted in the past, Snowden has made it clear that he no longer has any of the documents. He reiterated that to Vanity Fair:

Snowden cautions about some of the numbers that investigators have publicized, especially the 1.7 million figure, which, he tells Vanity Fair, is “simply a scare number based on an intentionally crude metric: everything that I ever digitally interacted with in my career.” He adds, “Look at the language officials use in sworn testimony about these records: ‘could have,’ ‘may have,’ ‘potentially.’ They’re prevaricating. Every single one of those officials knows I don’t have 1.7 million files, but what are they going to say? What senior official is going to go in front of Congress and say, ‘We have no idea what he has, because the N.S.A.’s auditing of systems holding hundreds of millions of Americans’ data is so negligent that any high-school dropout can walk out the door with it?’ ”

“I know exactly how many documents I have,” Snowden continues. “Zero.”

There’s more in the publicly released summary, and apparently the full story (not yet released) will have even more. Of course, it won’t stop the NSA’s defenders from making the same old claims again and again without proof.

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Comments on “Snowden Says NSA Is Lying When It Claims He Didn't Raise Concerns Through The Proper Channels”

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48 Comments
Robert says:

Re: For some reason...

Not only have the NSA and US government lied, they have lied about lying and when caught out and, then go on to pretend like it never happened.
In fact they spread propaganda to attempt to justify what they were lying about and more propaganda to justify the lying.
Of course not them alone but the Five Eyes in it up to their necks, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States (alphabetical order) all playing, we don’t spy on our own citizens whilst getting other countries to do it for them or at least pretending too.
How many prosecution for all the crimes exposed, zero, not one, even those committed under oath.

zip says:

some speculation

If Snowden had been filing complaints (through official channels or otherwise) then his career would likely have been seriously damaged as a result. In most any organization, people who make waves (especially young employees or new hires) are going to be branded as troublemakers – and dealt with accordingly. It’s a lesson many of us learn before we ever reach Snowden’s age: to keep your mouth shut, be a “team player” and ignore all the things you see around you that you know are wrong. (at least if you want a career there)

This is pure speculation, but Snowden might have decided to quit his job because, not only were his complaints going nowhere, but in addition he was feeling the backlash from his attempts at reform.

David says:

Re: some speculation

If Snowden had been filing complaints (through official channels or otherwise) then his career would likely have been seriously damaged as a result.

You haven’t been paying attention. Snowden had been filing complaints through official channels, and his career had been seriously damaged as a result.

That’s why he had to move to a contractor position and off to Hawaii in order to be able to put together a complaint to the employer of the government, the American people.

Either way, he has to deal with a schizophrenic paranoid megalomaniac.

Anonymous Coward says:

i’m waiting for it to be said that Snowden was really a cross dresser and got all his information by sleeping with the likes of Hayden, Clapper and a few others!
he’s being accused of as many things as possible just in case he gets forced back to the USA. like that there will have to be a charge that they can use against him!

Anonymous Coward says:

The US government as well as the security branches and the apologists that support them don’t seem to be able to recognize what telling the truth is. They seem to be incapable of getting past lies. This has been proven over and over again.

Given past performances by various officials, I’d sooner trust Snowden to at least know what the truth was.

DB (profile) says:

Well, Vanity Fair is part of the New York liberal media. And we all know that they are all secretly Reds.

And Snowden, well, there is no proof that he is working with the Russians. But there is no proof he isn’t. So he must be. He definitely can see Russia from his back porch. And seeing Russia from your back porch makes you guilty. Or a viable candidate for president. Or something.

OldMugwump (profile) says:

What is it

What is it about having a position of power, especially in government, that makes it so impossibly difficult to say “I was wrong”?

What was the last time the US government, or its official representatives, ever admitted being wrong – about anything?

Are they supernatural perfect beings who never make mistakes?

Just admit it – we did wrong. We exceeded our constitutional authority. We’re sorry. We’ll fix it and we won’t do it again. And Snowden was the whistleblower who showed us that we needed to change.

When I hear someone in government admit they were wrong, I’ll starting thinking about believing them.

Beech says:

Re: What is it

Unfortunately, that’s not how humans work. Any single person involved in this who admits to being wrong will never be re-elected. The clip of the apology will be played in an attack ad by someone from the opposing party with the caption “Elected Represenative X DOES THINGS WRONG! Vote for ME! I have yet to admit ever being wrong!!” And we the sheeple will vote accordingly because who wants to “throw away” their vote on a guy who was wrong once?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: What is it

What is it about having a position of power, especially in government, that makes it so impossibly difficult to say “I was wrong”?

Many people in power, and especially those in government base their decisions on their beliefs, rather than any form of actual evidence. Any admission of error is an admission that their beliefs are wrong, which undermines the foundations of their lives. It is the same problem as trying to discuss things with proselytizing religious people, they are just not open to argument, or discussion of their beliefs and actions based on their beliefs.

BernardoVerda says:

Re: What is it

Admitting that you are wrong or have (personally) been in error, is seen as an admission that you’re weak, which is an admission that you’re not suitable to hold your position?

It’s nuts — but that is also the behavioural pattern we’ve consistently been selecting for when we vote…

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: What is it

I recognize the truth in that, but it is crazy and I’ve never really understood it. Admitting error is a sign of strength, not weakness.

It is very difficult to trust someone who never admits to mistakes. Either they are suffering from a crippling lack of judgement and self-awareness, or they are liars.

gezzerx (profile) says:

Pay Back

Time for some PAYBACK, don’t vote for Democrats or Republicans send a message they can’t ignore & will understand hold them accountable, Both parties have been complicit in this NSA criminal conspiracy. Also demand prosecution !

Some will say they don?t want to waste their vote, but you are already wasting your vote on Democrats & Republicans because they are the ones who have already betrayed us. This should be a joint effort on the part of all Americans , Democrats Republicans & Independent voters ! Organize now before its to late ! Your liberty is at stake and that of your children & grandchildren !

No more lies, excuses rationalizations,or justifications, the public also needs to hold these officials to account to the fullest extent of the law under Title 18 sec. 241 & 242 (Google it), so any future CRIMINALS will know there will be consequences to such behavior.

REMEMBER: POLITICIANS, BUREAUCRATS AND DIAPERS SHOULD BE CHANGED OFTEN AND FOR THE SAME REASON. !

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Crimes committed by both Democrats & Republicans and some reasons not to vote for them ! These crimes are a violation of the Constitution, US Laws & International Law ! See link below.

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/22887-un-human-rights-committee-finds-us-in-serious-violation

Disclaimer: Be advised it is possible, that this communication is being monitored by the National Security Agency, GCHQ or other third party organizations. I neither condone nor support any such policy, by any? Government authority or organization that does not comply, as stipulated by the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

c.f.frost says:

Re: Fuck Google

[…] (Google it) […]

Hell, no. You “Google it” ? I’ll keep performing my searches on DuckDuckGo, Ixquick, Privatelee, Qrobe.it, and other non-NSA-collaborating PRISM participants looking to “monetize” me by undermining my privacy.

Quit shilling for surveillance-state profiteers.

Anonymous Coward says:

He kicks it off by responding to the claims that if he were a real whistleblower, he should have just gone through “official channels.”

All senior managers, government bureaucrats and politicians would love to limit whistle blowers to official channels only. That way they can make sure that their actions are never made public.

David says:

Stupid dare.

I directly challenge the N.S.A. to deny that I contacted N.S.A. oversight and compliance bodies directly via e-mail and that I specifically expressed concerns about their suspect interpretation of the law, and I welcome members of Congress to request a written answer to this question.

N.S.A. officials have demonstrated their willingness to blatantly lie to Congress whenever they find it convenient, and they are the ones in possession and control of all the purported evidence. While there may be copies in the document stash in the hands of Greenwald et al, they will be hard put to cite them in a form that can’t be just refuted as fabrication.

Just Another Anonymous Troll says:

The procedures for the official channels

1. Find evidence of abuse.
2. Report evidence to your supervisor.
3. Be ignored by supervisor.
4. Report evidence to oversight.
5. Wait for oversight board to cover up evidence, be chastised by your boss for going over his head.
6. Report evidence to Congress.
7. NSA will intimidate Congress into keeping the evidence on the down low, after all they have a record of everything every congressman has sent over the internet.
8. Get threatened by government goons.
9. Leak evidence to news outlet because the government is not going to let this out any other way.
10. Flee country, get called terrorist and Russian spy by Mike Rogers.

GEMont (profile) says:

Lies VS Truth

“Of course, it won’t stop the NSA’s defenders from making the same old claims again and again without proof.”

Actually, this disclosure should escalate the official “Snowden is a Traitor” claims as well as the number of VIPs making them publicly.

And it may just earn Snowden an Obama-drone.

(I can’t help but picture Obama sitting in the Star Trek Room, in the Captian’s chair, yelling “Arm Photon Torpedoes”, as he watches the drone’s final appraoch to target.)

Standard Operational Procedure dictates, “When you’re caught in a Very Big Lie, tell it more often and louder and get many very important people to swear it is the truth, so help them gawd.”

When you have Meta-Dirt on everyone, its real easy to “convince” VIPs that its in their best interest to lend their support and lie to the public using their best “sincere” face.

Remember, it is these officials and these VIPs whose statements will eventually make up history, and thus form the basis for the truth as it is known to future generations. And it really works. This is why we are always doomed to repeat history’s errors.

It is absolutely impossible for the Fed and its tri-letter agencies to admit the truth. Policy dictates that they must escalate and embellish the lie when confronted by truth, regardless of the evidence that supports it.

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