WASHINGTON, October 11 (RIA Novosti) – The top US spy agency raised red flags about the behavior of Edward Snowden in 2009, but the fugitive intelligence leaker was nonetheless given access to details of secret government surveillance programs that he disclosed to the media this year, The New York Times has reported.
“It slipped through the cracks,” a veteran law enforcement official said about a negative report written by Snowden’s supervisor at the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Times reported on its website Thursday.
The CIA suspected that Snowden was attempting to access classified computer files that he was not authorized to see, the Times cited two senior US officials speaking on condition of anonymity as saying.
Snowden was hired by the CIA in 2006 for a technology job and later worked under the cover of the US State Department in Geneva, Switzerland, the Times reported.
Snowden told the Guardian newspaper in June that much of what he saw in Geneva “really disillusioned me about how my government functions and what its impact is in the world.”
“I realized that I was part of something that was doing far more harm than good,” he told the paper.
The negative report by Snowden’s CIA supervisor was apparently not passed on to the US National Security Agency (NSA), which later hired him as a contractor and gave him access to troves of classified documents about the US government’s widespread electronic surveillance of American citizens, the Times cited intelligence and law enforcement officials as saying.
Snowden was granted temporary one-year asylum by Russia in August after he arrived in Moscow on a flight from Hong Kong where he fled after disclosing reams of the classified documents to the media.
Many civil rights activists in the United States and around the world have described Snowden as a whistleblowing hero. US officials however have described his actions as extremely damaging and say media outlets have mischaracterized some of the information in the leaked documents.