You read the headline right: "Edward Snowden is lying his ass off about the NSA and PRISM." And now I will show you the evidence:
#1. He's lied about his salary already.
Snowden said he was making $200,000 at Booz Allen Hamilton, Booz Allen Hamilton says they only paid him $122,000 - and fired him. Furthermore, he only worked at Booz Allen for three months before taking off, so he didn't even get that much, since that figure is an annual salary.
#2. He's also lied about his job history.
Let's see here: High-school dropout, US Army but discharged for injuring himself during training (having never seen active duty), worked at the NSA as a security guard, quit to hop over to the CIA, merrily skipped back to Booz Allen to subcontract with the NSA again... and every place he's worked at was a few months steady employment at a time. Oh, and he worked undercover all over the world, too. Has anybody else heard of anybody getting such globe-trotting, glamorous mileage out of a GED? Apparently all you people out there sweating four years of college have the system all wrong.
Here's several doubts raised in this Washington Post article:
"For instance, Snowden said he did not have a high school diploma. One former CIA official said that it was extremely unusual for the agency to have hired someone with such thin academic credentials, particularly for a technical job, and that the terms Snowden used to describe his agency positions did not match internal job descriptions.
Snowden’s claim to have been placed under diplomatic cover for a position in Switzerland after an apparently brief stint at the CIA as a systems administrator also raised suspicion. “I just have never heard of anyone being hired with so little academic credentials,” the former CIA official said. The agency does employ technical specialists in overseas stations, the former official said, “but their breadth of experience is huge, and they tend not to start out as systems administrators.”
A former senior U.S. intelligence official cited other puzzling aspects of Snowden’s account, questioning why a contractor for Booz Allen at an NSA facility in Hawaii would have access to something as sensitive as a court order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court."
#3. A freshman high school student could make a better Powerpoint than this.
So far, the entire alleged PPT file has yet to see the light of day. But from what we see of the slides so far, they don't look like anything created by a government entity, no matter how inept government entities may be. They look like they were created by a crazy person who lies a lot and has delusional spy fantasies. (Or, as the media persists in calling him, a "computer whiz". It's like cheez whiz, but with computers.)
The alleged logo, especially?
I was drawing better than this in my first POVRay experiments back in the '90s. If you believe that this is an actual internal logo created by a US government entity to represent their own program, and not something cooked up by a manchild who suffers from mental problems and watching too many Matrix sequels, please go find a marker and write "STUPID" on your forehead as a warning to the rest of us. I want to be sure to give you the right of way when I meet you at an intersection.
#4. He also claims that he, himself, has impossible surveillance powers.
His claim: "But I, sitting at my desk, had the authority to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant to a federal judge to even the president if I had a personal email."
The Director of the NSA himself has declared this untrue. Not just that Snowden wouldn't have had that level of clearance, but that nobody, even God himself, has that level of clearance. In fact, the technology itself sounds far-fetched; being able to punch in an email and have it come up with the correct line, area code, extensions, and all, internal or external, listed or private, would likely take a database bigger than anything on one of Google's server farms. After all, even Google doesn't crawl every web page!
An NSA and CIA lawyer also calls this an outrageous pack of lies. It just doesn't work that way; not that US Intelligence can't intercept data streams, but that there are processes and red tape in the way, like there are in any government operation.
Ditto for Snowden's claim about the NSA being able to just jack into every technology company on earth whenever it whims. That's also not just not happening, but impossible.
#5. Snowden also manipulated the newspapers to rush the story without fact-checking it.
According to this report, Snowden played the Guardian and the Washington Post off each other, threatening to publish with the other if they first didn't publish soon enough without fact-checking.
#6. I, myself, have worked security for a government contractor.
Snowden claims that he was able to steal documents from the NSA using a USB thumb drive, while working as a security guard.
I don't mention it often because it was just my starter job back in the late '80s and early '90s, and not what I consider my finest achievement, but yeah, I worked the rent-a-cop beat too:
Here's my old badge, if you'll permit the silliness of posting its photo for proof. With a Rubik's cube, just like Snowden has. And yeah, I'm an autodidact too. And while working as a security guard, one of the places I was posted at was a Parker Hannifin facility in Irvine, California, an outfit which made (and still makes, maybe) parts for the aerospace industry, including government vehicles of both a military and space-faring nature. OK, granted, I can't prove anything beyond owning this tin badge I've had put away in a drawer for years, but I'm sure a reporter with FACT-CHECKING SKILLS could verify everything I claim in my work history.
I'm doing this to point out that, despite having been promoted up as high as post commander within Pinkerton and despite having obtained both full weapons permits and some rudimentary government clearance, I was NOT given top-drawer access to every nook and cranny of the inner workings of NASA and Army designs. Anybody with the title of "security guard" would most likely be spending most of their time either in the parking lot, a booth at the gate, or a desk at the lobby, with a side order of scheduled patrol rounds - most of them outside.
Granted, I suppose I could have gathered up armloads of equipment from the facility and run out to the street to heave them onto the sidewalk and scream "Look! Secrets!" but then, I'm not a lying thief like Snowden is.
#7. Snowden's a Paultard.
Yeah, I know, that's not proof or evidence of anything that would discredit him...
...but it ought to be. Can there be any surer calling card of the crazies in our society than contributions to Wrong Paul's campaigns?
#8. Snowden is one of you.
Sure as hell isn't one of us.
But one of you... as his interests along his lifetime are reflected in his digital footprint under the screen name of "The True HOOHA." Yes, far from having left a hackerly "small digital footprint" as many are claiming, he has in fact always been right in front of us, being a whore for attention, clowning it up with juvenile fratboy-ish stunts, being a video game and anime fan, and of course being a Paultard online in forums.
Check this. This, ladies and gentlemen, is your International Man of Mystery, your Hombre Secreto, the guy who says he's, quote, "always been a spy," unquote.
I don't lay the blame entirely on him. He's a sick, pathetic, delusional, wasted con artist with serious mental issues and a few crimes to answer for if even half of his stories are true. I blame the media circus that has been built around this figure. I can't think of a single major publication that hasn't fallen for this human firehose of bullshit, and I'm personally never trusting the "reporters" who broke and built and hyped this story ever again, not even if they just say that water's wet.
Finally, I'm blaming all of you for tolerating this shit. You're wallowing in it. It's not funny. Government is serious business, and once again the Internet Hacktivist Hivemind has ruined the serious business of fixing what's wrong with government.
Please go put yourselves to bed without any supper tonight, and then never give this idiot another minute of attention as long as he lives.
UPDATE And lo it came to pass the very next day, Snowden Is Lying, Say House Intelligence Committee Leaders You're welcome for the tip, Slashdot!