In 2009 National Security Agency whistleblower/leaker Edward Snowden (aka TheTrueHOOHA) told a chat room that anonymous sources who leak information to journalists “should be shot in the balls,” Joe Mullin of ArsTechnica reports.
The comment was prompted by a New York Times article in which David Sanger, citing anonymous sources, detailed an “expanded American covert program [to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program] and the Bush administration’s efforts to dissuade Israel from an aerial attack on Iran.”
Here’s the January 2009 exchange (emphasis added):
< TheTrueHOOHA> HOLY SHIT
< TheTrueHOOHA> WTF NYTIMES
< TheTrueHOOHA> Are they TRYING to start a war?
they’re like wikileaks
< User19> they’re just reporting, dude.
< TheTrueHOOHA> They’re reporting classified shit
< User19> shrugs
< TheTrueHOOHA> about an unpopular country surrounded by enemies already engaged in a war
and about our interactions with said country regarding planning sovereignity violations of another country
you don’t put that shit in the NEWSPAPER
< User19> meh
< TheTrueHOOHA> moreover, who the f**k are the anonymous sources telling them this?
< TheTrueHOOHA> those people should be shot in the balls.
Four years later, Snowden took a job with government contractor Booz Allen for the specific purpose to get “access to lists of machines all over the world the NSA hacked.”
The exchange and Snowden’s transformation is another example of how Snowden is a walking contradiction.
Here’s what Snowden recently told the South China Morning Post:
“If I have time to go through this information, I would like to make it available to journalists in each country to make their own assessment, independent of my bias, as to whether or not the knowledge of US network operations against their people should be published.”
The 30-year-old is now stuck in a Moscow airport he tries to obtain political asylum in Ecuador.
ArsTechnica has several of Snowden’s chats that Snowden took part in while in Switzerland.
Over the years that he hung out in #arsificial, Snowden went from being a fairly insulated American to being a man of the world. He would wax philosophical about money, politics, and in one notable exchange, about his uncompromising views about government leakers.
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