More importantly, they note that his approach was more successful than theirs:
USA Today has published an extraordinary interview with three former NSA employees who praise Edward Snowden's leaks, corroborate some of his claims, and warn about unlawful government acts....What a tremendous surprise to learn that the government isn't telling the truth about Snowdon and his revelations!
In other words, they blew the whistle in the way Snowden's critics suggest he should have done. Their method didn't get through to the members of Congress who are saying, in the wake of the Snowden leak, that they had no idea what was going on. But they are nonetheless owed thanks.
And among them, they've now said all of the following:
- His disclosures did not cause grave damage to national security.
- What Snowden discovered is "material evidence of an institutional crime."
- As a system administrator, Snowden "could go on the network or go into any file or any system and change it or add to it or whatever, just to make sure -- because he would be responsible to get it back up and running if, in fact, it failed. So that meant he had access to go in and put anything. That's why he said, I think, 'I can even target the president or a judge.' If he knew their phone numbers or attributes, he could insert them into the target list which would be distributed worldwide. And then it would be collected, yeah, that's right. As a super-user, he could do that."
- "The idea that we have robust checks and balances on this is a myth."
- Congressional overseers "have no real way of seeing into what these agencies are doing. They are totally dependent on the agencies briefing them on programs, telling them what they are doing."
- Lawmakers "don't really don't understand what the NSA does and how it operates. Even when they get briefings, they still don't understand."
- Asked what Edward Snowden should expect to happen to him, one of the men, William Binney, answered, "first tortured, then maybe even rendered and tortured and then incarcerated and then tried and incarcerated or even executed." Interesting that this is what a whistleblower thinks the U.S. government will do to a citizen. The abuse of Bradley Manning worked.
- "There is no path for intelligence-community whistle-blowers who know wrong is being done. There is none. It's a toss of the coin, and the odds are you are going to be hammered."