No, Edward Snowden was never a Green Beret

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No, Edward Snowden was never a Green Beret

Well, this story is going in a fairly idiotic direction.

First, for those who haven't watched TV in the past few days, this clip from FoxNews to set the stage:



OK, so the first story came from the Guardian, and contained this tidbit:

By his own admission, he was not a stellar student. In order to get the credits necessary to obtain a high school diploma, he attended a community college in Maryland, studying computing, but never completed the coursework. (He later obtained his GED.)

In 2003, he enlisted in the US army and began a training program to join the Special Forces. Invoking the same principles that he now cites to justify his leaks, he said: "I wanted to fight in the Iraq war because I felt like I had an obligation as a human being to help free people from oppression".

He recounted how his beliefs about the war's purpose were quickly dispelled. "Most of the people training us seemed pumped up about killing Arabs, not helping anyone," he said. After he broke both his legs in a training accident, he was discharged.

Then they followed it up with this one:

The US army has confirmed an aspect of surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden's military service to the Guardian.

As Snowden told the Guardian in announcing his responsibility for detailing multiple mass surveillance efforts by the National Security Agency sweeping up Americans' communications data, Snowden indeed tried to join the elite special forces.

Snowden was unsuccessful.

Unsuccessful would be one way to phrase it, but I would prefer, "Dude didn't even come remotely close" as Politico notes today:

The former CIA computer technician who leaked last week’s explosive details  about American classified surveillance programs spent just five months in the  Army Reserve before he was discharged, records show.

Edward Snowden, the self-proclaimed whistleblower who sent the information to  The Guardian and The Washington Post, joined up in 2004, but separated just five  months later, an Army official told POLITICO.

Special Forces training lasts 2 years, how close did he come....

“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,” the spokesman said.

That means he didn't even make it out of basic training.  It's correct to say he "tried to join Special Forces" but so did I, a venture which lasted about a day and a half back in 1997 when I went to the SFIP with 20th Group at AP Hill.  I don't even bring it up normally because I've slept longer than I was at the SFIP.  (Special Forces Introduction Program, it's an assessment thing before they even consider sending you anywhere.) 

I was a hell of a lot closer than this guy, since I actually graduated basic, but I would be embarrassed beyond belief if anyone brought it up. 

Oh, and his employment with BAH (Booz Allen Hamilton)?   Less than 90 days.

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Just flat out weird. We'll just have to let this one wash itself out and see what the truth is.

However, having a girlfriend who is a pole dancer doesn't make him a Green Beret?

That's OK. I'm a retired G.B. and they wouldn't go home with me.

From the very first day this story broke, I knew this guy was a flake.
He may have wanted to be a Special Forces operative, but he could even complete basic training . Before anyone can even be considered to be accepted into any special schools or training in the Army, they must complete basic training first unless he gets a commission because of college.
This joker only had a GED. He didn't even finish high school. The jobs he had with the CIA and NSA were computer repair ( IT ) jobs. This probably how he was able to steal secured information from the computers. He wasn't a CIA / NSA agent.
I wonder how he was able to get the jobs he had in the first place. H e had to have had some help because looking at his education background alone, this guy didn't even come close to being qualified to work for the CIA or NSA.
He deserves to be prosecuted and sent to prison for a very long time for being a traitor

So what secret exactly did he reveal? It can't be that the US has those technological capabilities because anyone with a rudimentary understanding of computers and networks knew all this was doable 10 years ago. Was it that they were real good at it and they were already doing it? Most people I know think that most of the governments of the world have those kinds of tools and are using them and for sure anyone that the government might be interested in knows that. So what is the issue then? What secret did he reveal?

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.