Four Years Ago, Snowden Said Leakers 'Should Be Shot'

Wednesday, 26 Jun 2013 07:53 PM

By Greg Richter

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Four years ago, NSA leaker Edward Snowden thought people who leaked national security information should be shot, according to transcripts of webchats he engaged in.

"Those people should be shot [between the legs]," Snowden wrote in a January 2009 chat, according to The Washington Post.

At the time, Snowden was upset that The New York Times had reported on secret negotiations between the United States and Israel on how to handle a suspected Iranian nuclear program.

"Are they TRYING to start a war? Jesus christ. They're like wikileaks," Snowden wrote in the chat. "You don't put that s— in the NEWSPAPER."

"They have a HISTORY of this s—," Snowden continued. "These are the same people who blew the whole 'we could listen to osama's cell phone' thing. The same people who screwed us on wiretapping. Over and over and over again."

Snowden said in the webchat he had no problem with ethical reporting, but not what he saw as violations of national security, the Post reports.

"That s— is classified for a reason. It's not because 'oh we hope our citizens don't find out.' It's because 'this s— won't work if iran knows what we're doing," he wrote.

A user with the screen name TheTrueHOOHA posted the comments. It is a name known to have been used by Snowden, and personal details TheTrueHOOHA gave about himself match those of Snowden, the Post reports.

Snowden's thoughts four years ago seem at odds with his actions in the past few weeks, but Snowden might simply agree with many observers who say spying on other countries is acceptable, but spying on American citizens not suspected of crimes is not.

Snowden's leaks of National Security Agency documents involved the U.S. PRISM program, which keeps records of Americans' online activities. The information is not used, NSA officials say, unless it involves terrorist activity.

One thing Snowden definitely has changed his mind on is WikiLeaks, the publisher of secret information he blasted in his online posts. That organization now is helping him seek asylum.

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