Whistleblower Edward Snowden has contradicted the US National Security Agency (NSA) in a recent NBC interview, claiming he initially went through official channels in order to voice his criticisms of the spy agency.
In December 2013, NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines told The Washington Post that "after extensive investigation, including interviews with his former NSA supervisors and co-workers, we have not found any evidence to support Mr. Snowden's contention that he brought these matters to anyone's attention."
However, on Thursday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) seemed to contradict this statement somewhat on its official blog:
"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 agency wrote. "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 ODNI also suggested that there were "numerous avenues that Mr. Snowden could have used to raise other concerns or whistleblower allegations."
In his interview with Brian Williams last Wednesday, Snowden claimed, "I actually did go through channels, and that is documented. The NSA has records, they have copies of e-mails right now to their Office of General Counsel, to their oversight and compliance folks, from me raising concerns about the NSA's interpretations of its legal authorities. ... The response more or less, in bureaucratic language, was, 'You should stop asking questions.'
"I would say one of my final official acts in government was continuing one of these communications with a legal office. And in fact, I'm so sure that these communications exist that I've called on Congress to write a letter to the NSA to verify that they do."