The National Security Agency said Thursday that Edward Snowden sent supervisors only one e-mail when he worked there, and it did not protest the nature of NSA surveillance programs. In the e-mail to the Office of General Counsel, Snowden posed a legal question about a training program. “There are numerous avenues that Mr. Snowden could have used to raise other concerns or whistleblower allegations,” the NSA said in a statement. “We have searched for additional indications of outreach from him in those areas and to date have not discovered any engagements related to his claims.”
In an interview with NBC News, Snowden said he told the NSA about his concerns about its widespread methods of intelligence gathering.
“I actually did go through channels, and that is documented,” Snowden said. “The NSA has records, they have copies of emails right now to their Office of General Counsel, to their oversight and compliance folks, from me raising concerns about the NSA’s interpretations of its legal authorities. … The response more or less, in bureaucratic language, was, ‘You should stop asking questions.'”
Snowden — who remains in Russia, which has granted him temporary asylum — faces espionage charges in the United States.
This comes on the day John Kerry 68th United States Secretary of State said “‘Man Up And Come Home'”
US Secretary of State John Kerry has challenged Edward Snowden to “man up and come back to the United States”, after the whistleblower admitted he wanted to return home. Mr Kerry’s comments follow the former National Security Agency contractor’s interview with NBC, his first for US media since he fled the country after leaking a huge volume of classified documents. Now living in Russia on a temporary grant of asylum, Mr Snowden told the network he took action in the belief that he was serving his country in exposing the surveillance programs of the NSA. “I don’t think there’s ever been any question that I’d like to go home,” Snowden said in a segment of the interview. “Now, whether amnesty or clemency ever becomes a possibility is not for me to say. That’s a debate for the public and the government to decide. But, if I could go anywhere in the world, that place would be home.” And Mr Kerry, speaking before NBC aired that portion of the interview, said: “If Mr Snowden wants to come back to the United States, we’ll have him on a flight today. A patriot would not run away.
“He should man up and come back to the United States. If he has a complaint about what’s the matter with American surveillance, (he should) come back here and stand in our system of justice and make his case. “If he cares so much about America and he believes in America, he should trust the American system of justice.” Mr Snowden had also said in an earlier part of his interview that he worked undercover and overseas for the CIA and the NSA. He claimed he had a far more important role in US intelligence than the government has acknowledged. “I was trained as a spy in sort of the traditional sense of the word, in that I lived and worked undercover overseas,” he said. National security adviser Susan Rice insisted in a CNN interview that Mr Snowden never worked undercover. Mr Snowden said he never intended to end up in Russia but was forced to go there because Washington decided to “revoke my passport.” In response, Mr Kerry said: “Well, for a supposedly smart guy, that’s a pretty dumb answer, after all. “I think he’s confused. I think it’s very sad. But this is a man who has done great damage to his country.”
All this after:
Edward Snowden: ‘I Worked As A Spy Overseas’
Fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden has said he “trained as a spy” and worked “undercover overseas” for intelligence agencies. In his first interview in American media, he rejected claims he was merely a junior contractor, saying he worked “at all levels from the bottom on the ground, all the way to the top”. The 30-year-old, who has been charged in the US with espionage, was granted asylum by Russia in August, 2013, after instigating a series of leaks on mass surveillance in America and around the world. In the NBC News interview, due to air in full on Wednesday, Snowden defended himself against claims he had minimal intelligence experience before he released classified documents revealing the National Security Agency’s programme of phone and internet surveillance. “I was trained as a spy in sort of the traditional sense of the word in that I lived and worked undercover overseas – pretending to work in a job that I’m not – and even being assigned a name that was not mine,” he said. He said he had worked covertly as “a technical expert” for the Central Intelligence Agency and the NSA, and as a trainer for the Defense Intelligence Agency.
“I don’t work with people,” he said. “I don’t recruit agents. What I do is I put systems to work for the United States. And I’ve done that at all levels from, from the bottom on the ground all the way to the top. “So when they say I’m a low-level systems administrator, that I don’t know what I’m talking about, I’d say it’s somewhat misleading.” After the leaks, Snowden travelled to Hong Kong, then headed to Moscow, where he was holed up in the Sheremetyevo Airport for days before he was eventually granted asylum. Secretary of State John Kerry, reacting to the interview, called Snowden a “man who has done great damage to his country”. “A patriot would not run away and look for refuge in Russia,” Mr Kerry told NBC’s Today. “He can come home but he’s a fugitive from justice.” Snowden is wanted in the US on charges including espionage.