Monday, June 10, 2013

I Don't Buy It

Today, published reports reveal the identity of the purported whistleblower, Edward Snowden:

An ex-CIA employee has said he acted to "protect basic liberties for people around the world" in leaking details of US phone and internet surveillance.

Edward Snowden, 29, was revealed as the source of the leaks at his own request by the UK's Guardian newspaper.

Mr Snowden, now believed to be in Hong Kong, said he had an "obligation to help free people from oppression".

The recent revelations are that US agencies gathered millions of phone records and monitored internet data.

Admittedly, this story is unfolding and all the details have not been revealed about Snowden or his responsibilities, but here’s what he’ll admit to:

He told The Guardian he never received a high school diploma and didn't complete his computer studies at a community college. Instead, he joined the Army in 2003 but was discharged after breaking both legs in an accident.

Snowden said he later worked as a security guard for the NSA and then took a computer security job with the CIA. He left that job in 2009 and moved on to Booz Allen Hamilton, where he worked as a contractor for the government in Hawaii.

He told The Guardian that he left for Hong Kong on May 20 without telling his family or his girlfriend what he planned.

So he’s a high school drop out (CNN’s wording), never got even an associate’s degree in computer science, was discharged from the Army at age 20, and was hired by the CIA to do computer security work...after spending most of his adult life shouldering a gun only.

Does any of that even begin to make any sense to anyone? The CIA requires experts in their field, either from experience or from education, neither of which appears to be the case for Snowden, unless he did some bang-up job for the Army fresh out of high school.

And somehow, we’re also expected to buy his story that he had pangs of conscience over the “oppression” of American citizens, after years of data mining, even after he left the CIA and went to work for Booz Allen Hamilton (which is going to suffer an awful lot of consequences over this, I should add.)

A less cynical man than me would think that Glenn Greenwald has been set up.