In a chat conversation taking place a year before he became a consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton in 2009, Edward Snowden expressed his belief that leakers “should be shot in the balls,” according to records released by Ars Technica Wednesday.
Operating under the username “TheTrueHOOHA”, Snowden went on a fiery rant, trashing reporters who release classified information that harms United States’ national security.
Prompted by a 2009 New York Times article which leaked classified information about President Bush deciding not to aid Israel in a proposed attack on Iranian nuclear sites, Snowden said “WTF NYTIMES… Are they TRYING to start a war?… Jesus christ they’re like wikileaks.”
Snowden further complained that they were “reporting classified shit about an unpopular country surrounded by enemies already engaged in a war and about our interactions with said country regarding planning sovereignity violations of another country… You don’t put that shit in the NEWSPAPER…Who the fuck are the anonymous sources telling them this? … Those people should be shot in the balls.”
When asked by his friends, “is it unethical to report on the government’s intrigue?” Snowden responded, “VIOLATING NATIONAL SECURITY? no…that shit is classified for a reason.”
Ars Technica noted that the difference in his attitude in 2009, when he raged about national security leaks dealing with covert operations in Iran, and in 2013, when he released information on domestic spying programs in one of the biggest intelligence leaks in history.
Snowden’s transformation appeared to occur gradually. “It was seeing a continuing litany of lies from senior officials to Congress—and therefore the American people,” he told The Guardian in an online #AskSnowden chat last Monday. “The consent of the governed is not consent if it is not informed.”