May 29 2014

A Fuller Story

NBC News Confirms Attempt by Edward Snowden to Go Through Channels at NSA

By: Kevin Gosztola, Firedog Lake

Thursday May 29, 2014 10:51 am

One major argument from critics of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has been that he did not go through “proper channels” in government before taking documents on top secret surveillance programs and providing them to journalists. But, during NBC News’ exclusive interview with Snowden, the network indicated that it was able to confirm Snowden had made at least one attempt to go through channels and the network is in the process of obtaining records showing other complaints were made to superiors.

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams asked Snowden, “When the president and others have made the point that you should have gone through channels, become a whistleblower and not pursued the route you did, what’s your response?”

“I actually did go through channels and that is documented,” Snowden answered. “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.”

After this portion of the interview played, Williams informed viewers that NBC News had learned from “multiple sources that Snowden did indeed send at least one email to the General Counsel’s office raising policy and legal questions.” It was working to confirm further details and had filed a Freedom of Information Act request for any other records of Snowden going through channels.

Remarkably, during the post-interview analysis show that streamed on the web, NBC News anchor and correspondent Andrea Mitchell said in April 2013 he sent the one email to the General Counsel, which he talked about. She then acknowledged the NSA could be covering up “other emails” and Snowden could be right-that there is a “paper trail” showing he made “multiple attempts” to take his concerns to superiors.

“I asked one top official, do you think they could be lying to you and not turning it over to the legislative branch? And this person said I can’t be 100% sure,” Mitchell reported. “That is the degree to which what Snowden has revealed has affected supporters of the government surveillance program, their sense of the credibility, because we do think that people are lying to us about it.”

So don’t let people bullshit you.

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