So it just occurred to me that there’s another fishy aspect to this tale. In the last story, about the hot girlfriend that Edward Snowden left behind in Hawaii, the Daily Mail repeatedly throws out one figure for his salary – $200,000 – which they apparently got from the Guardian’s interview with Edward Snowden while he was still holed up in a Hong Kong hotel.
Now, if you weren’t utterly convinced that we have a completely hapless government by the mere fact that we gave a low-level college drop out access to our NSA data and even he was hard up to figure out what to do with it, or that for all the data PRISM was supposedly harvesting from our time on the Internet they couldn’t find one dude in Hong Kong who doesn’t understand that keystroke recording can be done with a virus, you could probably be convinced merely by the fact that we were paying that same guy $200,000 of our money to do what appears to be a menial desk job.
He has had “a very comfortable life” that included a salary of roughly $200,000, a girlfriend with whom he shared a home in Hawaii, a stable career, and a family he loves. “I’m willing to sacrifice all of that because I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.”
Well, we know how he felt about the girlfriend – though Twitter has miraculously come to his defense, as apparently the “Man Code” has a parable containing the nugget, “show me a man with a smoking hot girlfriend and I’ll show you a man who is sick of sleeping with her” – but maybe Snowden’s former employer, Booz Allen Hamilton can also shed some light on the salary part.
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.
That’s not $200,000.
That’s not even close. I mean, it’s still an absurdly high number for a college drop out working in a low-level position, even for a high-powered government contractor like Booz Allen, but it’s just a little more than half of what Snowden claimed he was making when he spoke to the Guardian. It’s possible Snowden was referring to his overall salary, which might have included side jobs, but one thing is for certain, he wasn’t referring strictly to his day job.
It’s not that this is a horribly important detail. People lie about their salary all the time. But it does make you think that someone considers himself a wee bit more important than other people consider him, which could explain why he undertook the mission in the first place.