Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, Julian Assange: What They Believe | The New Republic

Sean Wilentz // Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, Julian Assange: What They Believe | The New Republic – After his discharge, Snowden found work as a security guard for the NSA at its Center for Advanced Study of Language at the University of Maryland, and, later, as an I.T. security specialist for the CIA. In 2007, he was posted to Geneva. Writing on Ars Technica, he described Switzerland as “pretty cool” but also “horrifically classist.” (He was, however, impressed with the country’s Nigerian immigrants: “Motherfuckers have been there like eight months and speak all three languages.”)

Snowden has traced his political conversion to the Bush years. And by the end of Bush’s second term, Snowden certainly held the president in low esteem. But not, apparently, his intelligence policies. Nor, it seems, was he drawn to insiders who exposed details of these programs. Quite the opposite: Snowden vilified leakers and defended covert intelligence ops. In January 2009, Snowden lambasted The New York Times and its anonymous sources for exposing a secret Bush administration operation to sabotage Iran’s nuclear capabilities. Such infuriating breaches had occurred “over and over and over again,” Snowden complained. The Times, he railed, was “like wikileaks” and deserved to go bankrupt; sources who leaked “classified shit” to the Times ought to “be shot in the balls.” When an online interlocutor suggested that it might be “ethical” to report “on the government’s intrigue,” Snowden replied emphatically: “VIOLATING NATIONAL SECURITY? No.” He explained, “that shit is classified for a reason.”

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