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.