Did Edward Snowden Lie About His Contacts With Chinese Intelligence?

He may have been more than just a “whistle-blower”
World • Views: 21,957

A Daily Beast article by Gordon Chang has some explosive allegations about Edward Snowden’s possible connections to Chinese intelligence: Snowden Lied About China Contacts.

“I have had no contact with the Chinese government,” Snowden wrote in a Q&A on the Guardian website while taking refuge in Hong Kong in June. “I only work with journalists.”

That’s far short of the truth. By the time he wrote those words in the online chat, Snowden, according to one of my sources in Hong Kong, had at least one “high-level contact” with Chinese officials there. Those officials suggested he give an interview to the South China Morning Post, the most prominent English-language newspaper in Hong Kong. This is significant because, as the Post noted, Snowden turned over to the paper documents that contained detailed technical information on the NSA’s methods. Included in these documents were Hong Kong and Chinese IP addresses that the NSA was surveilling. The disclosure of those addresses was not whistle-blowing; that was aiding China.

[…]

One of my sources indicates that Chinese intelligence, either directly or through FBI personnel working for China, tipped Snowden off that NSA investigators were closing in on him.

Moreover, evidence suggests that Beijing orchestrated Snowden’s flight from Hong Kong. Albert Ho, one of Snowden’s lawyers, believes Chinese authorities contacted him through an intermediary to pass a message that it was time for Snowden to leave the city. “I have reasons to believe that… those who wanted him to leave represented Beijing authorities,” he was quoted as saying.

[…]

Beijing may also have encouraged Snowden to leave Hawaii. One of my sources indicates that Chinese intelligence, either directly or through FBI personnel working for China, tipped Snowden off that NSA investigators were closing in on him.

Gordon Chang appears to have significant connections in China, but I’m a bit skeptical of this article because of the anonymous sourcing — and the headline does appear to overstate the case. Still, these scenarios are certainly not unthinkable or ludicrous … even though Glenn Greenwald wants you to think so:

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