Defense Contractor Fires NSA Leaker Edward Snowden


The Guardian

Massive defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton announced today that it has fired Edward Snowden, a contract employee with the NSA's Hawaii office who allegedly leaked classified documents to The Guardian. You can read Booz's statement below: 

Booz Allen can confirm that Edward Snowden, 29, was an employee of our firm for less than 3 months, assigned to a team in Hawaii. Snowden, who had a salary at the rate of $122,000, was terminated June 10, 2013 for violations of the firm's code of ethics and firm policy. News reports that this individual has claimed to have leaked classified information are shocking, and if accurate, this action represents a grave violation of the code of conduct and core values of our firm. We will work closely with our clients and authorities in their investigation of this matter.

Has an actual government employee ever been fired so quickly? 

According to the Washington Post, Booz Allen Hamilton is one of the largest private employers in the D.C. region, with annual income over $5 billion (most of it from federal contracts) and over $3 billion in assets.  

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  1. Nidal Hassan is probably still active duty.

    1. Not probably, is still on active duty and will be until well after he is sentenced, although his pay and benefits will at least stop the day of his sentencing.

      1. There’s no guarantee that everything will stop. Depends on the sentencing – he *may* be discharged from the military as part of the sentence or he may be busted down to E-1.

        He won’t lose GI Bill (assuming he paid for it and hasn’t used it up already).

        1. I know the technicalities of it. But I think it is a pretty fair assumption that he will receive a dismissal and total forfeiture of all pay and allowances.

          1. I may be mistaken, but it was my understanding that a military convict remained in his respective service until his sentence was complete and that the point of “forfeiture of all pay and allowances” was that he wouldn’t get any money while he was confined. Also that any discharge, whether dishonorable or otherwise, would not take affect until the sentence is complete.

            If I am mistaken can someone correct me (John)?

            1. Good argument for the death penalty.

    2. He *is* on active duty, and getting paid – he hasn’t finished his trial after all and we still do believe in the old “innocent until proven guilty” in the military court system (not so much outside of it where commanders do their damnest to get around due process).

  2. $122k is a much more plausible salary than the $200k initially reported, BTW.

    1. Leftists in Good Standing call private sector contractors “Beltway Bandits,” just fyi.

  3. They just fired the guy because of his epilepsy.

    1. In violation of ADA.

  4. OT: can we get some commenting software that will

    1. Remember who you are for more than 2 minutes at a time

    2. When replying to someone and having to login yet again, open the comment block at the comment you are replying to rather than as a new comment

    3. After commenting, return you to the spot you left rather than (if you’re lucky) a dozen or more comments earlier or (just as often) the top of the page.

    1. You sure you have your cookies on? Because I don’t ever have a problem with #1 or #2.

      #3… yeah, that’s a problem.

      1. I don’t know what’s up with Agammammon, but I only have issues with #3.

      2. Then 1 and 2 are most likely my cookies. I can’t seem to get them to work properly. either I have to turn off *all* security or they don’t work right – and I’m not turning off *all* security.

        This is about the only site I *can* comment at.

    2. I used to have this problem. Are you getting a “Disallowed Key Characters” error too? I solved it by completely clearing my cookies. It turned out to be some third party cookie interfering with the commenting software Reason uses

      1. ^ that is regarding issue #1 of being logged out

      2. I’ve never gotten that error – just if I don’t comment or refresh the page every few minutes then I get logged out.

  5. Has an actual government employee ever been fired so quickly?

    No. And now you know why places like the NSA love contractors so much (in addition to the obvious reason of contractors providing high paying jobs to retired NSA employees); they can fire a contractor at any time for any reason.

    And I wish the NSA and Booze Allan good luck in smearing Snowden as a Chinese spy or a nut. If either of those things are true, and they might be, how is it that such a person managed to get access to all of this information? And if you can’t do something basic like hire trustworthy people, why on earth should the NSA be trusted to spy on Americans? This information will never be abused? And we should believe that why? The NSA’s incredible track record of hiring trustworthy people?

  6. He should sue them under the Disabilities Act saying that he has a disability because he is honest and they failed to accommodate his disability..

    1. I can say with authority that honesty is absolutely a career effecting disability in life and certainly in government service.

    2. He probably failed to disclose that when he got hired, so it doesn’t count.

  7. I heard a report on NPR last night that the NSA is the biggest employer in the state of Maryland. This includes a substantial top-secret (that everyone seems to know about) national security lab (whatever that is) at the U of Maryland.

    I’m rarely surprised by stories like this but if this is right….WTF?

    1. It probably is. The NSA is just enormous. And they don’t accomplish a damned thing. To the extent they collect valuable information, they never share it. Remember, the NSA was listening to Bin Ladin talk to the 9-11 hijackers all through the summer of 2001. They knew something was afoot and never told the FBI or anyone about it. Yet, somehow they managed to blame the entire thing on INS for not deporting the hijackers.

      Why do you think the government knew it was Bin Ladin and Al Quada (groups that were hardly the best known terrorists in the world at the time) so fast? It was because the NSA heard damn near the whole thing and never told anyone. Not out of some conspiracy. But because they are grossly incompetent.

      1. To be fair we had all of the information to figure out what “climb Mount Nikita” meant as well. But unfortunately unlike a Tom Clancy novel, there is no Jack Ryan to swoop in and put all of the pieces together. Even if there was such an analyst-hero, at the management level the intel community is seriously biased against information that might cause a kurffufle or runs against the consensus.

        Regarding UBL’s phone calls, the man had not been near anything resembling a phone since it was revealed (by a general officer I believe) that we used his comms to target the tomahawks that we lobbed into Afghanistan after the AQ attacks in Africa.

        All of this is not to say that the intel world is free from incompetence and gross negligence.

        1. My point is that it is easy to put the pieces together after the fact, especially and organization that has a collection capacity that, by several orders of magnitude, far outstrips it’s ability to process and analyze the data.

          1. I am aware of that point. But read the post 9-11 report. They had more than just a few code words. They knew these guys were operatives. They knew they were in the country. Did they know they were going to attack when and how they did? No. But they knew the names, whereabouts and identities of Atta and nearly all of the 9-11 hijackers. But they didn’t turn that information over to DOJ, who could have deported them in a heartbeat. Why? Because they never share anything.

            1. I probably should give that a looky loo but it looks so flipping tedious. Undoubtedly good information to read and understand, but reading is hard.

    2. “substantial top-secret ”

      well, there’s a giant sign on the Baltimore-Washington parkway that reads “NSA”

      1. Yeah, for an agency that the government used to claim didn’t even exist it sure has a highly visible public presence.

    3. Not surprised by that at all, Isaac. Go read Bamford’s, “The Puzzle Palace” or the sequel he wrote to it. The NSA has been very large, for a very long time.

  8. “Beltway Bandit Fires Only Honest Employee”

    I like that headline better.

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