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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.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Apr 8th, 2014 @ 12:56pm

    At this point...

    Snowden has more credibility than the entire U.S. government put together.

    Save for a few individuals, but they're few and far between.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2014 @ 1:17pm

    In before Mike Rogers says that his talking to Vanity Fair is a cover for working with the Russians.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2014 @ 1:25pm

    Any minute now an apoplectic Michael Hayden will claim that Snowden is an emotional sissy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    mcinsand, Apr 8th, 2014 @ 1:30pm

    who's working with the Russians?

    I'm starting to think that Mike Rogers is a Russian mole, with his tireless efforts to undermine the US' credibility.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    limbodog (profile), Apr 8th, 2014 @ 1:56pm

    Re: who's working with the Russians?

    Like Senator Larry Craig, when he bashes homosexuals just after a rousing session in an airport bathroom? Methinks Mike Rogers doth protest too much!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Tom (profile), Apr 8th, 2014 @ 2:02pm

    For some reason...

    ... It's a lot easier to believe Snowden, than the NSA.

    Maybe he just has a trustworthy face.

    Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that he hasn't lied yet, while the NSA and USGov can't seem to stop.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    zip, Apr 8th, 2014 @ 2:02pm

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2014 @ 2:06pm

    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!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2014 @ 2:21pm

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    DB (profile), Apr 8th, 2014 @ 2:25pm

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    OldMugwump (profile), Apr 8th, 2014 @ 2:31pm

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    gezzerx, Apr 8th, 2014 @ 2:32pm

    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-violati on

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Beech, Apr 8th, 2014 @ 2:47pm

    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?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2014 @ 2:54pm

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2014 @ 3:01pm

    Re: Re: What is it

    Look at actual election results, in a safe constituency, the representative of the incumbent party would be re-elected even if they promised to rob the constituents blind, and sacrifice the constituents first born children on the altar of their ambition.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2014 @ 3:09pm

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    David, Apr 8th, 2014 @ 3:13pm

    Re:

    Hayden does not give me the impression of getting off on weak sauce like sex. He's more into patriotic stuff like torturing people to death.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    David, Apr 8th, 2014 @ 3:21pm

    Re: Re: What is it

    Actually, Konrad Adenauer was a German politician with high approval ratings. One of his quotes making headlines was "Was interessiert mich mein Geschwätz von gestern?", "Why should I bother with my babblings of yesterday?"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    David, Apr 8th, 2014 @ 3:23pm

    Re:

    "Official channels" is a euphemism for "whistleblower honeypots".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    David, Apr 8th, 2014 @ 3:47pm

    Re: who's working with the Russians?

    I don't think Rogers a mole. He is more like a grub. Moles make a meadow look bumpy. Grubs kill it off by devouring its roots. You'd rather wish for more rather than fewer moles if you are out to save your pastures.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
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    art guerrilla (profile), Apr 8th, 2014 @ 4:33pm

    Re: Re:

    ha!
    good one...
    probably too true...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    ac, Apr 8th, 2014 @ 4:43pm

    snow den for president.

    Let's just vote for Snowden as President as a nation. He's obviously on our side as citizens and he doesn't technically need to be running for president to play a gag on the Government.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    David, Apr 8th, 2014 @ 5:01pm

    Re: snow den for president.

    He's too young to be eligible yet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    David, Apr 8th, 2014 @ 5:09pm

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    c.f.frost, Apr 8th, 2014 @ 5:15pm

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Apr 8th, 2014 @ 5:41pm

    Re: Fuck Google

    Voted funny, but only because there's no button for "rolling eyes at the nutbar".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    SKT, Apr 8th, 2014 @ 6:12pm

    Re:

    Of course they're capable of recognizing what the truth is. They are lying liars with every intention of deceiving the American people.

    Lie and deny. It's on the very first page of their playbook.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
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    beltorak (profile), Apr 8th, 2014 @ 7:09pm

    does snowden not pay attention to the news? the only email system safe from the NSA is the NSA's!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Shemale Chaser, Apr 8th, 2014 @ 7:20pm

    Re:

    Pictures, or it... No, full motion video uploaded to redtube or it didn't happen.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    David, Apr 9th, 2014 @ 1:07am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
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    art guerrilla (profile), Apr 9th, 2014 @ 5:13am

    Re: Re: snow den for president.

    no, he's too moral to be president of this empire...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
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    JarHead (profile), Apr 9th, 2014 @ 5:19am

    Re: Re:

    There's such thing as BDSM you know....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Just Another Anonymous Troll, Apr 9th, 2014 @ 6:47am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2014 @ 7:39am

    Re: The procedures for the official channels

    Given Ed Snowdens experience, it should be:

    9) travel to country you intend seeking asylum in
    10) leak the evidence to news outlets.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
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    Honest Abe, Apr 9th, 2014 @ 8:11am

    Not surprised that Heartbleed bug came from NSA.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Just Another Anonymous Troll, Apr 9th, 2014 @ 9:18am

    Re:

    I don't believe we have confirmed that it came from the NSA. Don't throw accusations around just because they have on several occasions intentionally weakened encryption and lied to the US citizens... Screw it, it's totally their fault.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2014 @ 9:40am

    lol Snowden? Who really gives a crap what that traitor POS says? He's Putin's problem now.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2014 @ 9:41am

    Re: At this point...

    Credibility among tinfoil hat wearing idiots, maybe... rational people know better.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2014 @ 9:42am

    Re: For some reason...

    Except for, you know, when he lied about taking the job and then lied about leaving and then fled the country to China... yeah, he's a real stand up kind of guy, huh? /rolleyes

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2014 @ 9:44am

    Re: snow den for president.

    Is this hypothetical nation called "Douchebagistan"?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 9th, 2014 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re: For some reason...

    Huh? I'm not sure what lies you're talking about. Can you explain? He lied about taking what job? The admin job? It appears that he did, in fact, take it, since he had it. Lied about leaving what? I really don't knwo what you're referring to.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
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    GEMont (profile), Apr 9th, 2014 @ 1:00pm

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    icon
    BernardoVerda (profile), Apr 9th, 2014 @ 5:32pm

    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...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2014 @ 8:47pm

    Snowden is a smart guy!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 10th, 2014 @ 8:51am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    icon
    OldMugwump (profile), Apr 11th, 2014 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: What is it

    Totally agree. Anybody who never admits mistakes cannot be trusted.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, Apr 14th, 2014 @ 2:40am

    Re: Re: At this point...

    [Citation required]

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Robert, Jun 12th, 2014 @ 5:41am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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