NSA Pushes Back: Snowden Didn’t Come To Us With Security Concerns

Edward Snowden sits down for an interview with NBC News.
May 29, 2014 5:47 pm

The National Security Agency on Thursday released an email that Edward Snowden sent to the agency in response to claims by the former NSA contractor repeatedly that he expressed concern about surveillance practices through internal channels before taking his leaks to the media.

The NSA said in a statement along with the released email that while Snowden did contact the agency before he leaked documents, he did not bring up his concerns about surveillance issues.

“NSA has now explained that they have found one email inquiry by Edward Snowden to the Office of General Counsel asking for an explanation of some material that was in a training course he had just completed. The e-mail did not raise allegations or concerns about wrongdoing or abuse, but posed a legal question that the Office of General Counsel addressed,” the statement on the Office of the Director of National Intelligence Tumblr reads. “There are numerous avenues that Mr. Snowden could have used to raise other concerns or whistleblower allegations. We have searched for additional indications of outreach from him in those areas and to date have not discovered any engagements related to his claims.”

In the email, Snowden asks the agency if “Executive Orders have the same precedence as law,” and an NSA employee replies with a brief explanation.

On Wednesday night, Snowden appeared in an interview with NBC News, in which he spoke about the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and argued that he is a “patriot.”

Here’s the email released on Thursday:

Masthead Masthead
Editor & Publisher:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Senior Newswriters:
Editor at Large:
General Manager & General Counsel:
Executive Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Publishing Associate:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer: