Leaker Snowden’s story gets leakier

| June 12, 2013

We all knew there was something fishy about Ed Snowden, the Booz-Allen employee contracted to the NSA who turned over secret documents to Glen Greenwald and the Guardian this last weekend. We could tell his story stank when we heard it as far as his military career went. Now it seems that more journalists are looking into him and the fantasy that he wrapped himself in. To begin with, he told the Guardian that he was hired with a $200k/year salary. It seems that he made about $80k less, not that he worked long enough to collect much of it – he’d only worked there for 3 months before he took off for Hong Kong, leaving his acrobat/poledancer girlfriend to fend for herself in Hawaii.

Some of his friends are saying that he’d been planning to leak this stuff months before he even took the job. Like he had an agenda. Not remarkable for someone who supported Ron Paul in each of the last two Presidential elections.

Snowden, in his interview, said that he had the ability to wiretap anyone he wanted, including the president. That turns out to not be true;

That claim is “absolutely outrageous,” former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden tells The Daily Beast. Snowden “was not a collector,” and no low-ranking contractor like him would have the authority to access anyone’s phone calls or read anybody’s emails.

Robert Deitz, a former top lawyer at the NSA and CIA, agrees that Snowden’s boast is a “complete and utter” falsehood. “First of all it’s illegal,” he tells the Los Angeles Times. “There is enormous oversight. They have keystroke auditing. There are, from time to time, cases in which some analyst is [angry] at his ex-wife and looks at the wrong thing and he is caught and fired.”

Also in the interview, Snowden claimed that he was willing to pay the price for his treachery, but since he’s gone underground and into hiding somewhere in Hong Kong, I guess he’s less willing than the figure he wanted to cut in the pages of the press.

Some folks are questioning his résumé;

Several former CIA officials tell The Washington Post that it seems unlikely that the agency would hire somebody without a high school diploma, especially for a technical job, “and that the terms Snowden used to describe his agency positions did not match internal job descriptions,” The Post says.

According to The Editor, the Washington Post has been quietly editing their story that was first presented as details have emerged when people do the research on the messenger that the Post should have done in the first place;

Gellman declined to publish so quickly, and sought comment from the government. In response, Gellman writes, Snowden approached the Guardian to publish that PowerPoint. Upon learning this, Gellman and the Washington Post accelerated their publication process to try to avoid being scooped. Both papers, in their rush, wound up printing misleading stories about PRISM.

As I’ve written countless times in these pages, people who embellish their military careers are usually guilty of something else, too. It’s just a symptom of the overarching mental disorder. They’re sociopaths and detecting their military lies will reveal deeper problems.

Category: Shitbags

Comments (43)

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  1. PintoNag says:

    Funny; I never thought I’d feel sorry for an agency like NSA, but I do. It must be excruciating to be them right now, having to claim Snowden as one of theirs.

  2. rb325th says:

    How the hell did he get a security clearance?? WTF?? His friends say he had been planning for months to leak this? So they knew about it apparently before hand, and did nothing.

  3. A Proud Infidel & Patriot says:

    Something tells me that only the surface has been scratched on this, and it’s gonna get much deeper an stinkier!!

  4. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    OK …. anyone who works in da gummint deese days knows there are several contractors that provide a large number of analysts (with nat sec clear) to DHS, DoD, NSA, DEA, EPA … ETC … you get the picture.

    Listening to this mug … he is NOT what he says he is.

    What he IS a … liar … thief … traitor … criminal … punk.

    Any questions?

  5. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    Oh one other thing:

    “… but since he’s gone underground and into hiding somewhere in Hong Kong.”

    This stuff make me laugh … REALLY!

    He is being tracked, listended to, followed, observed, redirected (surreptitiously), and delayed …

    Then in the silence and dead of the night … justice will be at his door. It will be swift, exacting, and all good men will cheer!

  6. Reaperman says:

    So where’s *my* 6-figure hawaiian telecommute and acrobat/poledancer girlfriend. Seriously, how did this guy get so far ahead in life–that’s an awfully sweet gig he gave up right there. Do we have a picture of her? No reason, just trying to figure out how envious I am. Also, was what he released classified? It seems like some of the news agencies are suggesting that, but I don’t know if I’ve heard ‘for sure.’ My current and last jobs didn’t meet internal descriptions either, so that doesn’t really get my attention.

  7. PintoNag says:

    @5 It wouldn’t hurt my feelings to see this turkey trussed and brought back here to roast.

  8. streetsweeper says:

    Mother Russia may consider granting asylum if he requests it.


  9. PtolemyInEgypt says:

    Leaky Leakington…opened a can of worms with this one.

    Like Scott Thomas Beauchamp, his whole life story will be eagerly investigated, flayed, and laid bare…should be interesting to see where it leads.

    But yeah- seems like a career/serial quitter if nothing else. Just the guy you want working in intel.

  10. Sustainer says:

    No high school diploma? How did he enlist in the first place? He’s quoted in some press reports as enlisting as a reservist, and breaking both legs in a training accident…hmmm… Has a certain odor to it…

  11. FatCircles0311 says:

    @2: Our federal government is retarded, that’s why. Whether it’s the FBI literally inviting terrorists to tour their anti terrorism center or the secret service unable to do simple background checks on individuals being presented to by the United States President. Our shit stinks and is completely FUBAR. Fed jobs are also rife with nepotism making the problem even worse.

    I think the NSA is breathing a sigh of relief that it wasn’t even worse because it could have been and they know it.

  12. Reaperman says:

    10> As it turns out, the answer to how envious I am is ‘quite.’ Yeah, I don’t think I’d give up that life to blab somebody’s dirty laundry. I could watch the president eat 3 babies a day and I wouldn’t risk my 6-figure hawaiian paradise. To go from GED to that is–just wow. I know it was wrong (or possibly very, very wrong) for him to blab, but as a citizen, I am pretty interested in what he has to say. Even though that picture has confirmed that he actually has to be the goddamn stupidest man in the world. Freaking hawaii not good enough for him…

  13. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    The talk now is that he may disappear. No, really diaappear, as in that bald-headed guy with the bar code on the back of his head has accepted the assignment.

  14. Perry Gaskill says:

    Parts of Snowden’s background which might seem a stretch are plausible if taken in a certain context.

    It’s not unusual for someone working in a data center to not have an advanced degree because what’s actually looked at is platform certification. While working as a security guard, for example, Snowden might have gotten tickets punched for Cisco networking, and Unix systems admin. Working the gig as a guard might also have put him in a position to know what skill sets the CIA or NSA wanted.

    Deitz’s comment about keyloggers is probably true except for the fact that somebody, let’s say a Snowden, has to monitor the keylogger, a kind of scut work that is not rocket science. A situation roughly similar to having the janitor take out the burn bag and assuming he’s going to immediately burn the bag, and not copy the contents first.

    This is not to condone what Snowden did, merely to point out how he might have managed it.

    About the only thing Snowden should get credit for at this point, at least it seems to me, is having a poledancer for a girlfriend even if she is kind of a ditz.

  15. SGT E says:

    Perpetual loser and poser with a clearance gets recruited by a foreign government, and comes up with a brilliant exit strategy. We know he has no honor (he embellished his military career) – it’s less of a stretch to suspect he’s never had honor and had to skip town when his handlers learned the feds were closing in, than to assume he suddenly grew giant honor balls when he turned 29.

  16. DaveO says:

    IF Snowden was SysAdmin, or was your basic M1A1 Security Geek, then Snowden would have access to information that would shock General Hayden.

    You don’t pay a high school drop computer geek $120K to be ignorant of the basic of computers.

  17. WOTN says:

    All things considered: The American People are too easily distracted, and too ignorant of reality, to comprehend the magnamity of what has been disclosed by Snowden, and confirmed by the highest levels of both parties, including Obama, McConnell, Finestain, and Boehner.

    Regardless of how much of a scoundrel Snowden is, the fact remains that the highest levels of govt, of both parties, have stood up and said, outright, that they have a right to know exactly who you talk to, for how long, and where from, in direct contradiction to the 4th Amendment of the Constitution. They claim it is necessary, so that ex post facto, they can target you for prosecution, should they ever need to? Ever made a call to someone that turns out to be a Paulinian tin foil wearing revolutionist? They have the record of how long you talked and from where.

    Does it matter to you that the govt has a record of who you associate with, who is closest to you, and how often you talk? No, because you aren’t a criminal, right? Except, you may have unwittingly befriended a criminal, or you may be one of those gun & bible clingers, or someone who believes in the Constitution, or a Veteran, whom the Secretary of DHS believes to be susceptible to terrorism.

    Big Govt is great, while it stops your neighbor from doing the things you don’t like. It’s not as great when it stops you from doing what you want, on the property you bought, and pay taxes on.

    Yes, Snowden may be a criminal, and a liar. It has yet to be proven, but it is entirely likely. Does that mean the govt has a right to know who you talk to? Or does it mean that he may be a scoundrel that did the right thing for the wrong reason, and in the wrong way?

    The People get the government they deserve.

  18. OWB says:

    Government has no rights. Citizens have rights. Government only has restrictions, which they mostly ignore with increasing regularity.

    Somewhere in the mid to late 70’s it was discovered that a man on death row was actually innocent. The federal attorney assigned the case was interviewed on 60 Minutes (or an equivalent program) and said that while it was very sad that this innocent man would be executed, protecting “the judicial system” was more important than a single man’s life.

    That was a clue to me that “the system” was out of control.
    “The system” is never more important than an individual citizen’s rights.

  19. UpNorth says:

    Snowden claims that the U.S. hacked Chinese computer systems. But, those computers weren’t military computers, they were used by “students”?
    Then, I figured it out, the NSA wanted to find out what Wal-Mart was going to import for the following year. That was it, why would they bother with trying to find out anything about China’s military, they’d certainly be more interested in what One Lo Fat was planning for the weekend, while on spring break, than what the Chinese PLA was planning.

  20. FormerUSN says:

    As an infosec professional with quite a few years experience, I can see how someone with a smattering of hacking or analysis skills could worm their way into a position they might not deserve. The government is so hyped to bolster their cyber-warrior ranks, contractors are probably placing just about anyone who can recite syn/syn-ack/ack (the proverbial 3-way TCP handshake) and fire up Metasploit.

    As far as hacking a Chinese attacker source that was a student computer, that’s highly plausible. If I were allowed to go after my attackers, the first hop is probably going to be some compromised user workstation or hapless website. You recon that box to see who it’s talking to, then visit that system to see who it’s talking to, and so on.

    Who knows. If he really does have any actionable intelligence about hanky-panky at the NSA (such as widespread collection of guns and ammo purchases for nefarious political intent, for example), perhaps someone else there gave it to him.

    So far, I see a strange comedy-drama developing, something Monty Pythonesque. Let’s call it “Keystone Cops meet the Spanish Inquisition”. 🙂

  21. bohica says:

    We, The Undersigned Hereby Resolve, Edward Snowden,be charged with treason under 18 USC § 2381.


  22. AtDrum says:

    Oh no! Everyone get ready it’s about to get serious. HE HAS A THUMB DRIVE!

    And yet at my work we still are not allowed to plug in a thumbdrive. Also, the yearly Informational Awareness briefings. Yay us!

  23. Scubasteve says:

    Snowden is fine. He’s in line behind Benghazi, The Hasan trial, the Breanna Manning trial, and a round or three of golf.

  24. streetsweeper says:

    I’m with former USN within varying degrees. Snowden isn’t the first with a GED that has gone on to eventually better his or her education or gain the required basic skill sets or better to work his or her way in the door. I know of some that have but the difference between them and him is, none of those have ever crossed the line. Just a thought.

    And, he knew full well ahead of time that hopping a flight to HK with his (no longer valid T/S) was going to be placing him on China and Russia’s radars. So far I have seen where the anti-war groups we counter-protested in DC, have been singing his praises, too. If he truly wanted to be a hero, he should have stayed right where he was and not fled oversea’s.

    So much for being a “hero”.

  25. NHSparky says:

    Street–bit of a difference between getting one’s degree, etc., while in and a GED. Not to mention it’s pretty tough to get any kind of distance learning, etc., knocked out when your entire military career spans a whopping 4 1/2 months.

  26. USMCE8Ret says:

    @17 – After Booze-Allen shit-canned him, they said he made about $80K a year, not $120 as he claims. I think the dude is fabricating much of what he’s claiming, up to and including having the ability to listen in on phone calls.

  27. Reaperman says:

    yeah, the guy’s a shitbag and an idiot. (goddamn hawaii thing still really gets me, even if his income level is now creeping closer to mine) But IMO he had something valuable to say that I want to hear. My government clearly has the ability and desire to snoop on ALL of its citizens at once. Good people and bad. Oh they may need a judge to approve some extra something or other, but for all we know, there’s a judge somewhere that shotgun approves these requests electronically a thousand at a time. That may still be tinfoil hat territory, but so was the rest of this garbage about 2 weeks ago. Here’s my deal–the federal government thinks what they’re doing here is legal and right. Time to make some new laws to close those loopholes, IMO. Why isn’t this knee jerk reaction time like the gun thing was? Maybe it’s even time to amend the bill of rights and give us a few new ones instead of just eroding them. Oh yeah, and back on topic, the guy’s an idiot. I wonder how well he was doing at work for those 3 months.

  28. jackchrista says:

    I believe he is a whistle blower, & the chain of command is Booze Allen… Once they find out [ ~ it ]…he is fired .. ..because he automatically loses his security clearance… …hence, convenient to hire gov’t contractors…as you can
    not get rid of gov’t workers ( Even if they are members of the CPUSA ) after thy have been there for about 3 years !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    PS… I fully support the mission of NSA, but w/o this whistle blower, who thinks it will turn into the 5th Reich of America. Ed Snowden might be a liberal thinking about the 4th Amendment… But he still has 5th amendment rights… like gov’t employees have.. I would make some sort of deal with him to address his concerns as well as those of many Americans.

  29. DaveO says:

    #28: $80K, $120K… $120K seems to be the average for the Capitol region.

  30. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    jackchrista. I’m guessing there’s a message in that casserole of letters and wild punctuation. Want to call a do-over and try it again in standard English? Go for it.

  31. LostOnThemInterwebs says:

    @30 I can aasure you for a fact that the fact he was a contractor tells me he had shit access (that tool would constitute a cyber weapon / red team material and you can’t red team for that agency unless you work there), literally if not someone go there and ask him what the fuck is in the gas station in the Baltimore office near the crypto museum .. I’ll wait here while he says something stupid.

    And let’s be honest is not new that the US could sniff half of the world, the bad part is that this administration is blatantly having extra reach on their orders which in time will byte them back.

    And honestly, most of this dudes like jackchrista should buy a fucking clue, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to go to the web site and realize the NSA has no inference on internal matters legally, that would be DHS so it was obvious that this “whistle blower” had a nice little plan huh? as obviously he wanted to work on the agency that looked outside and not inside he wants that eager to protect everyone…

    The saddest part is that these turdlickin’ idiots end up in protective chastity, so they don’t even get bubba or anything, but cost 120k of people’s tax USD. What a waste of space and citizenship …

  32. yatalli says:

    The Snowden affair certainly killed the IRS abuse story, didn’t it? Wonder how the investigation into DoJ wire tapping of AP/Fox is going? Regardless of the rightness of Snowdens actions, the outcome is going to have a serious effect on the ability of the NSA and the other agencies to conduct legal surveillance.

  33. LostOnThemInterwebs says:

    @36 is cool is cool, no worries, the NSA will hear it without stuff anyway ..