According to Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., high-profile leaks of the NSA domestic surveillance program is part of a conspiracy to embarrass Barack Obama, Buzzfeed reported Monday.
“There is an attempt by several people to do political harm to this president. I just think this is part of that,” he said.
“I haven’t gotten to where I am in politics without relying on my gut. And my gut tells me this is an effort to embarrass the president,” he added.
But Buzzfeed said that Clyburn has no direct evidence that Edward Snowden, the NSA contractor last seen in a Hong Kong hotel, was actually working to hurt the president.
Nevertheless, Clyburn wants Snowden extradited back to the United States to face charges, something that could easily be done, thanks to a 16-year-old treaty that the Washington Post said “guarantees extraditions between the United States and Hong Kong except under rare circumstances.”
Clyburn also questioned the process that ensured Snowden’s security clearance.
“I have a serious problem figuring out how this guy got security clearance in the first place,” he said.
According to the Atlantic, Snowden received a GED and Doug Ross observed that he started his career as a security guard at the University of Maryland in 2005. He eventually worked his way into a position making $200,000 a year at the Hawaii-based Booz Allen Hamilton.
Clyburn argued that Snowden’s educational background should not have been sufficient for him to have access to such sensitive data, Buzzfeed said.
“Where did he get the intellectual capacity to be allowed access to all this data?” Clyburn asked.
“Clyburn told BuzzFeed he is concerned the leaks may be a result of contractors putting profits ahead of hiring qualified personnel,” John Stanton wrote.
“Everyone is so focused on the bottom line, they’re not looking at who they’re hiring,” the South Carolina Democrat said.
- Report: Air Force orders troops not to read stories on Obama scandals
- Rep. James Clyburn: Obama’s political problems due to racism
- Report: Intel officials allegedly ‘joke’ about making NSA leaker ‘disappear’
- Paul Krugman: U.S. is ‘kind of’ an ‘authoritarian surveillance state’
- New York Times slammed for changing op-ed that says Obama has lost credibility
- Obama’s NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers
- Lindsey Graham: I’m ‘glad’ NSA snooping on millions of Verizon customers
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