After Edward Snowden released his treasure trove of leaked data from the National Security Agency (NSA) many statists asked why he didn’t go through “proper” channels. Snowden said that he did raise concerns numerous times to no avail. It has been over a year since Snowden let us in on the NSA’s surveillance game and now the agency is claiming that Snowden never filed a complaint:
In response to claims by Edward Snowden that he raised concerns about NSA spying in emails sent to the spy agency’s legal office, the NSA released a statement and a copy of the only email it says it found from Snowden.
That email, the agency says, asked a question about legal authority and hierarchy but did not raise any concerns.
“NSA has now explained that they have found one e-mail 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 NSA said in a statement. “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. There was not additional follow-up noted.
“There are numerous avenues that Mr. Snowden could have used to raise other concerns or whistleblower allegations,” the statement continued. “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.”
Let me get this straight. The NSA, one of the most unscrupulous agencies of the United States government (and that’s saying a lot, expects us it when it says Snowden never filed a complaint? I’m guessing that the NSA has been busy scrubbing all records of Snowden’s filed complaints just so it could claim that he never filed any.
But let’s assume he didn’t file any complaints, why does it matter? Anybody who has dealt with government bureaucracy knows that “proper channels” is synonymous with memory hole. It’s impossible to get anything done within a government agency by using the agency approved channels. The only way to get a government agency to change its ways is to create public outrage and even that isn’t a guarantee that anything will improve.