by David Phinney
Sunday December 10th 2017

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Hiring National Security Contractors Is Dangerous Business

When high-level government officials are reduced to blaming a single, low-level contractor employee for upending U.S. intelligence operations, then those high-level officials have a big problem.

The troublemaker, Edward Snowden, was just one of over a million intelligence private employees with government security clearances. A high school dropout with a GED and some college, Edward Snowden claimed responsibility on Sunday for giving journalists the details of the U.S. government’s top secret program that sweeps up phone records and all things digital belonging to U.S. citizens.

How Snowden may have obtained these secrets apparently is mystifying officials and his previous employer, Booze Allen, but Snowden claims he had “full access to the full rosters of everyone working at the NSA, the entire intelligence community, and undercover assets all around the world.”

If Snowden’s claims are true, then government is running a very insecure, outsourced intelligence operation now costing U.S. taxpayers over $50 billion a year – and much of that money is going to contractors. Handing out jobs to the private sector to do what many would argue is an essential governmental mission is proving to be very dangerous business.

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