One major argument from critics of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has been that he did not go through “proper channels” in government before taking documents on top secret surveillance
programs and providing them to journalists. But, during NBC News’ exclusive interview with Snowden, the network indicated that it was able to confirm Snowden had made at least one attempt to go through channels and the network is in the process of obtaining records showing other complaints were made to superiors.
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams askedSnowden, “When the president and others have made the point that you should have gone through channels, become a whistleblower and not pursued the route you did, what’s your response?”
“I actually did go through channels and that is documented,” Snowden answered. “The NSA has records. They have copies of emails right now to their Office of General Counsel, to their oversight and compliance folks, from me raising concerns about the NSA’s interpretations of its legal authorities.”
“Now, I had raised these complaints not just officially in writing through email to these offices and these individuals but to my supervisors, to my colleagues in more than one office,” Snowden added. He said he had gone through channels at Fort Meade and in Hawaii.
Snowden claimed, “Many, many of these individuals were shocked by these programs. They had never seen themselves, and the ones who had went, you know, you’re right. These are things that are really concerning. These aren’t things that we should be doing. Maybe we’re going too far here, but if you say something about this they’re going to destroy you. Do you know what happens to people who stand up and talk about this?”
Williams asked for specifics. “What did you report? What was the response?”
“I reported that there were real problems with the way the NSA was interpreting its legal authorities and the response more or less, in bureaucratic language, was you should stop asking questions,” Snowden responded.
According to Snowden, this all happened in the months before he left the NSA with documents.
After this portion of the interview played, Williams informed viewers that NBC News had learned from “multiple sources that Snowden did indeed send at least one email to the General Counsel’s office raising policy and legal questions.” It was working to confirm further details and had filed a Freedom of Information Act request for any other records of Snowden going through channels.
Remarkably, during the post-interview analysis show that streamed on the web, NBC News anchor and correspondent Andrea Mitchell said in April 2013 he sent the one email to the General Counsel, which he talked about. She then acknowledged the NSA could be covering up “other emails” and Snowden could be right—that there is a “paper trail” showing he made “multiple attempts” to take his concerns to superiors
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So it seems that there is proof that Snowden actually did try to go through the "proper sources" to explain the misconduct at first. There is proof that he did this several times, and there is also proof that the US government and the NSA is hiding and censoring the fact that absolutely proves that he did. Cant say, I am not surprised. This just about puts the "oh Snowden should of went through the proper channels" argument.