Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: The NYT reports that when Edward Snowden was working as a CIA technician in Geneva in 2009, his supervisor wrote a derogatory report in his personnel file, noting a distinct change in the young man’s behavior and work habits, as well as a troubling suspicion that Snowden was trying to break into classified computer files to which he was not authorized to have access. But the red flags went unheeded and Snowden left the CIA to become a contractor for the NSA so that four years later he could leak thousands of classified documents. In hindsight, officials say, the report by Snowden's supervisor and the agency’s suspicions might have been the first serious warnings of the disclosures to come, and the biggest missed opportunity to review Snowden’s top-secret clearance or at least put his future work at the NSA under much greater scrutiny. Had Booz Allen or the NSA seen Snowden's CIA file before hiring him, it almost certainly would have affected his employment says Dashiell Bennett. “The weakness of the system was if derogatory information came in, he could still keep his security clearance and move to another job, and the information wasn’t passed on,” says a Republican lawmaker who has been briefed on Snowden’s activities. It's difficult to tell what would have happened had NSA supervisors been made aware of the warning the CIA issued Snowden in what is called a “derog” in federal personnel policy parlance. “It slipped through the cracks,” says one veteran law enforcement official. The Snowden affair "seems to have been a result of malicious intent on Snowden’s part and staggering incompetence on the part of the CIA and NSA," writes Seth Mandel. "If the NSA wants the president to use his pulpit to defend the broad powers of the NSA, they’re going to have to give him more that’s worth defending."
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