Snowden: “I Was Trained as a Spy.”

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
May 27 2014 8:45 PM

Snowden: “I Was Trained as a Spy.”

Edward Snowden dismissed the notion he was just some peon hacker as portrayed by the U.S. government following his disclosure of documents outlining the NSA’s surveillance programs. Snowden, a former government contractor, in an interview with NBC News’ Brian Williams, said he has also worked as a spy, even working under an assumed name.

Here’s more from Snowden:

“I was trained as a spy in sort of the traditional sense of the word, in that I lived and worked undercover overseas — pretending to work in a job that I’m not — and even being assigned a name that was not mine,” Snowden said in the interview.
Snowden described himself as a technical expert who has worked for the United States at high levels, including as a lecturer in a counterintelligence academy for the Defense Intelligence Agency and undercover work for the CIA and National Security Agency.
“But I am a technical specialist. I am a technical expert,” he said. “I don’t work with people. I don’t recruit agents. What I do is I put systems to work for the United States. And I’ve done that at all levels from — from the bottom on the ground all the way to the top.”
Two intelligence sources tell NBC that Snowden worked for the CIA at an overseas station in IT and communications.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.