National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden recently gave an exclusive interview to NBC News anchor Brian Williams that will air tomorrow night.
Williams showed a portion of that interview (video below) tonight on NBC News.
In the interview, Snowden said he had been trained to be a high-tech "spy," lectured for the Defense Intelligence Agency and worked undercover in foreign countries for the CIA and NSA.
This contradicts the U.S. government's claim that Snowden was a low-level "systems administrator" and President Obama calling him a "29-year-old hacker."
“I am a technical specialist," said Snowden. "I am a technical expert. I don’t work with people. I don’t recruit agents. What I do is I put systems to work for the United States. And I’ve done that at all levels, from the bottom on the ground all the way to the top.
“I developed sources and methods for keeping our information and people secure in the most hostile and dangerous environments around the world,” added Snowden. "So when they say I’m a low-level systems administrator, that I don’t know what I’m talking about, I’d say it’s somewhat misleading."
The Defense Intelligence Agency confirmed to NBC News that Snowden had spoken at three of their conferences. the CIA refused to comment, but intelligence sources told NBC News that Snowden had worked for the CIA overseas.
Snowden was en route to Latin America when the U.S. canceled his passport and stranded him in Moscow, Russia, where he has temporary asylum.
Glenn Greenwald, one of the two reporters whom Snowden gave 1.7 million secret NSA documents to, recently announced that he was going to reveal the names of the people whom the NSA has secretly spied on, noted RealClearPolitics.com.
“One of the big questions when it comes to domestic spying is, ‘Who have been the NSA’s specific targets?’" said Greenwald. “Are they political critics and dissidents and activists? Are they genuinely people we’d regard as terrorists? What are the metrics and calculations that go into choosing those targets and what is done with the surveillance that is conducted? Those are the kinds of questions that I want to still answer.”
Sources: RealClear Politics.com, NBC News