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Ex-NSA Chief Details Snowden’s Hiring at Agency, Booz Allen

Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who leaked information about the agency’s surveillance program, targeted Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. for employment because of its access to national security contracts, said company vice chairman, Mike McConnell. McConnell recounted how Snowden washed out at his NSA job but then got a position with Booz Allen, were he could access millions of documents and then release them to the world. “Snowden has compromised more capability than any spy in U.S. history,” said McConnell. “And this will have impact on our ability to do our mission for the next 20 to 30 years.” McConnell talked candidly about where both the agency and the company made their mistakes in the vetting process. Since unveiling the top-secret information in the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper, Snowden has been heralded as a free-speech hero by some and decried by others as a high-risk traitor. McConnell said Snowden was hired because the government had vetted him. Booz Allen also vetted him but things were missing in his record that became known in hindsight. Shortly after Snowden’s leak was revealed, Booz Allen said that it had fired him “for violations of the firm’s code of ethics and firm policy.”

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