Should Snowden Have Been Stopped in 2009?

National Security Agency failed to heed a critical C.I.A. report on the whistleblower when they hired him

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Sunshinepress / Getty Images

Edward Snowden (3rd R) receives the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence Award (SAAII) alongside UK WikiLeaks journalist Sarah Harrison (2nd R) who took Snowden from Hong Kong to Moscow and obtained his asylum, on October 9 in Moscow, Russia.

A report critical of Edward Snowden, written by his C.I.A. superior in 2009, could have stopped the now notorious whistleblower in his tracks had it been picked up by his successive employers. According to American officials privy to Snowden’s case, the report aired a suspicion that he was trying to access documents beyond his classification.

Deemed a mild complaint on personal behavior, the report was not automatically forwarded to Snowden’s subsequent employers at the National Security Agency, from where he later leaked vast troves of top-secret material. Law enforcement officials have said that this practice has since been amended.

[New York Times]


Why doesn't time ask if the government should have been stopped from violating the 4th amendment in 2009? Snowden didn't start the illegal spying program, he just shed some light on it.


no, he shouldn't have been stopped in 2009, just like he shouldn't have been stopped in 2013


Like happens all too frequently, the big crime was preceded and indeed forewarned by a smaller one.

One would hope that, in the CIA's future, attempting to access documents beyond one's classification would lead to immediate termination with permanent placement of one's name (etc.) onto a list of folks who can never again work for the agency or even hold security clearances. It's about trust.

Is it known whether the father's record and connections in the intelligence field played any behind-the-scenes role in getting the early misstep expunged from his son's record and ultimately having the son placed in the position from which he did his damage?

The kid is no hero. He is at best a mischief maker, and potentially much more. The apparent eagerness with which he has taken to living in Russia suggests that he himself believes he is "much more." If there is a path to the dad, the dad should also be very careful.


In the photo, there's Sarah Harrison snuggling up to Snowden once again. She really has a thing for bad boys.


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