skip to main content

Listen

Read

Watch

Schedules

Programs

Events

Give

Account

Donation Heart Ribbon

Why Did Edward Snowden Leave The US Army After 5 Months? (Video)

After dropping out of high school, National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden enlisted in the U.S. Army with hopes of joining the service's special forces. He was discharged, however, after just five months.

Army spokesman George Wright confirmed to The Guardian:

“His records indicate he enlisted in the Army Reserve as a Special Forces Recruit (18X) on 7 May 2004 but was discharged 28 September 2004. He did not complete any training or receive any awards."

Snowden has apparently attributed the brevity of his stint in the Army to the fact "he broke both his legs in a training accident," according to the Guardian.

The U.S. Army has not confirmed this.

Snowden has made international headlines for leaking information about the National Security Agency's surveillance program. Snowden was an employee of government contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. For more on Snowden, check out this interview aired by CBS News:

Video

Edward Snowden Speaks Out

Comments

Avatar for user 'tallavery'

tallavery | June 10, 2013 at 2:05 p.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

C'mon, folks. You are not supposed to run in the gutter with Fox/ABC/DailyMail/etc. type headlines. I expect facts, not speculation, from KPBS news.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 10, 2013 at 2:50 p.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

I agree with the above poster, there are so many angles with which to report on this story, this one seems a bit tabloid-ish or even worse, fox "news"-ish.

The man, in my opinion, did the right thing and he should not prosecuted. I keep hearing people on the News shows say he "harmed national security".

How, exactly?

He took the fall so the rest of us can know what our government is really doing with our personal data. I thank him for that.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'DeLaRick'

DeLaRick | June 10, 2013 at 3:41 p.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

The government has every right to know everything about its citizens? Patriarchal garbage.

If your government was defeated by an organization like Al-Qaida, you didn't have much of a government to begin with. Pitiful.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'Mmikey'

Mmikey | June 11, 2013 at 8:05 a.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

if nsa can't keep one of their most important ( damaging to them) info secret, how can we be assured the info they collect won't be compromised by hackers ?

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | June 11, 2013 at 12:53 p.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

Move along, citizen, nothing to see here.

Just kidding.

What really surprises me is that people actually trusted our government all along. Don't people remember ECHELON? Our government has been monitoring us as long as we have had a government. This is just another reason why I am against bigger government. They start to use their power to insure that they won't lose it.

The above wikipedia entry will probably interest most people.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 11, 2013 at 2:42 p.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

I agree. This speculation seems below the normal journalistic standards of KPBS.

But Edward Snowden predicted the media would make it about him rather than PRISM.

I sure hope The Guardian releases the entire PRISM leak. For some reason they decided to only release 5 slides while saying the other 36 are "dynamite stuff".

I can't imagine who would trust the US government after this.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'Roberto Rolando Salinas'

Roberto Rolando Salinas | June 11, 2013 at 3:11 p.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

It's the propagandist and the U.S. governments way, criticize, demonize, and eviscerate. Perception management, from the German high command to the U.S.Department of Defense, in every war we fought. Law enforcement agencies do the same identify a threat, if there isn't one, make one up, then criticize, demonize, and eviscerate. Problem here is that it is legal. There is no legislative, judicial, or any other way these acts are constitutional. Problem is there are no elected officials that will openly admit the acts are illegal, there are no judges or courts that will have the moral will to admit the obvious, and of course the majority of the highest court is constitutionally, and institutionally bankrupt. So at last, the only constitutional course is the power of protest by the people. Demanding that their elected officials act in accordance with their sworn oaths of office, and uphold all the constitution afforded the citizens of this country.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | June 11, 2013 at 3:43 p.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

This is what the second amendment was for!

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 11, 2013 at 3:53 p.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

Demanding that their elected officials act in accordance with their sworn oaths of office, and uphold all the constitution afforded the citizens of this country."
-Roberto Rolando Salinas

===

How on Earth would you get politicians to do that? Call them up an ask them to voluntarily limit their own power?

Your conversation, recorded by the NSA, would be played back at lavish political fundraisers to the comical delight of corporate donors.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | June 11, 2013 at 8:36 p.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

Maybe we should sit around in front of banks playing african drums and smoking pot to "protest". That will surely be effective and make a difference.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 12, 2013 at 9 a.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

It's just a list of meditata, they aren't reading content.

Yet.

I'm not sure why so many - on both sides of the political aisle - don't see a problem with this.

Imagine if Joseph McCarthy had a list like this t his disposal.

Well this number belongs to a "communist" and this person over here called him 2 times last month, lets go get him.

It's dangerous territory, thank goodness for the ACLU who has filed a lawsuit against the government.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | June 12, 2013 at 9:03 a.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

Rand Paul is also filing a lawsuit.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'DeLaRick'

DeLaRick | June 12, 2013 at 9:38 a.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

"I'm not sure why so many - on both sides of the political aisle - don't see a problem with this."

PDSD,

Remember last week's comments about "weapons and authoritarian legislation never encountering a problem?" Case in point. On the other hand, if this were a humanitarian issue, both sides would be fighting tooth and nail.

On 9/11/2011, instead of saying "We're all New Yorkers now." It would've been smarter to say "We're all suspects now."

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'DeLaRick'

DeLaRick | June 12, 2013 at 9:42 a.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

2001 instead of 2011. Ugh.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 12, 2013 at 2:50 p.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

Duck,

It isn't just metadata. Obama is lying to you.

Look at the leaked slides again. They clearly indicate emails, chat, video, photos, documents, file transfers, video conferencing, social networks, and the ability to instantly notify government agents anytime you login and from where. They also included "special requests" which is quite concerning. What more could there be? Remotely turn on your webcam to watch you? Alter outgoing and incoming emails?

DLR,

On 9/11/2001, instead of saying "We're all New Yorkers now." It would've been smarter to say "We're all suspects now."

Well said!

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | June 12, 2013 at 3:27 p.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

Anyone who trusts or believes our government is an idiot.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 14, 2013 at 4:04 p.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

Is it just me or does it seem like both the media and the government have egg on their face over this?

When it first happened, all the government (both Democrats and Republicans with a few exceptions) defended this and claimed it was harmless.

Meanwhile, the media went full-steam on discrediting this man because he got a high school GED, they claimed he was stupid for going to Hong Kong, etc.

There were also preliminary polls showing Americans support this, which gave yet more fuel to the media's smear campaign as well as the government's "nothing to see here, please, PLEASE, move-on" campaign.

Well now, as things unravel, we see more updated polls that show Americans ARE in fact disturbed by this violation of civil liberties, and we also see what I consider some masterful tactics being used by Snowden.

Everyone said he was an idiot for going to Hong Kong, but look what he is doing - it is actually pretty smart:

The U.S. and China have been ensnarled in a bitter tit-for-tat about who is hacking who, with both sides full of denials and accusations that the other is cyber-stealing intellectual property and even intelligence.

Snowden, the same week Obama and Xi meet in person mind you, then releases the leaks and proceeds to give evidence that the U.S. is not an innocent victim in the China-U.S. hacking war.

Now, the Chinese media are eating it up, and Obama and Republicans and Democrats in Congress are looking like deer in headlights not sure how to proceed.

You have Hong Kong officials saying Obama should just leave him alone, the UK declaring him a persona non grata, and the US not filing a single charge as of yet.

I can't say whether this "high-school drop-out" planned this or it's all coincidence, but I must say releasing all this in the midst of the current Sino-American relations and linking the two has been, in a word, brilliant.

And then the side-circus in the U.S. is the media, who in my opinion have handled this story awfully, who now for the most part look like dopes. Initial polls showing Americans are OK with this spurred the U.S. media to think they were just riding the wave of populist opinion when they tried railroading this guy (with pieces like the one here), but then when polls showed Americans ARE actually troubled by this they all started backtracking and giving more balanced coverage that SHOULD HAVE been given when the story first broke.

( | suggest removal )