Edward Snowden's Unaired Remarks About September 11

Tyler Durden's picture

There was much said in last week's primetime interview between Edward Snowden and NBC's Brian Williams. But perhaps more interesting than what was said in the one hour time-slot, was what was contained in the three extra hours of conversations that were not broadcast, such as Snowden's questioning of the American intelligence community’s inability to stop the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. One such segment, as transcribed by RT, involves the former NSA contractor's response to a question from Williams on how to prevent further attacks from Al Qaeda and other "non-traditional enemies" in which Snowden suggested that United States had the proper intelligence ahead of 9/11 but failed to act.

“You know, and this is a key question that the 9/11 Commission considered. And what they found, in the post-mortem, when they looked at all of the classified intelligence from all of the different intelligence agencies, they found that we had all of the information we needed as an intelligence community, as a classified sector, as the national defense of the United States to detect this plot,” Snowden said. “We actually had records of the phone calls from the United States and out. The CIA knew who these guys were. The problem was not that we weren’t collecting information, it wasn’t that we didn’t have enough dots, it wasn’t that we didn’t have a haystack, it was that we did not understand the haystack that we have.”

Or, as some have suggested over the years, it was not that "we" did not understand the haystack. Quite the contrary. Which is precisely why the attacks took place. But back to the accepted narrative:

“The problem with mass surveillance is that we’re piling more hay on a haystack we already don’t understand, and this is the haystack of the human lives of every American citizen in our country,” Snowden continued. “If these programs aren’t keeping us safe, and they’re making us miss connections — vital connections — on information we already have, if we’re taking resources away from traditional methods of investigation, from law enforcement operations that we know work, if we’re missing things like the Boston Marathon bombings where all of these mass surveillance systems, every domestic dragnet in the world didn’t reveal guys that the Russian intelligence service told us about by name, is that really the best way to protect our country? Or are we — are we trying to throw money at a magic solution that’s actually not just costing us our safety, but our rights and our way of life?

This goes to the fundamental argument that made Snowden blow the whistle in the first place: by overreaching to a level not fathomed even by the author of "1984", and by scrambling to collect every piece of electronic communication and data exchange, or said otherwise, shotgunning and focusing on the bulk instead of isolating actionable data, what is the tradeoff?

We do know that handing all private data to the NSA on a silve platter has certainly resulted in an abuse of personal privacy by those tasked with protecting Americans as we detailed in the past in "NSA Agents Used Company Resources To Spy On Former Spouses." Who knows how else this epic trove of private data is being abused by the government for its own ulterior motives, while letting, as Snowden suggested, critical information about the protection of US citizens - the very premise behind the NSA's existence - slip through its fingers.

Indeed, the director of the NSA during Snowden’s stint there, Gen. Keith Alexander, reportedly endorsed a method of intelligence gathering in which the agency would collect quite literally all the digital information it was capable of.  “Rather than look for a single needle in the haystack, his approach was, ‘Let’s collect the whole haystack,’” one former senior US intelligence official recently told the Washington Post. “Collect it all, tag it, store it. . . .And whatever it is you want, you go searching for it.”


In recent weeks, a leaked NSA document has affirmed that under the helm of Alexander, the agency was told it should do as much as possible with the information it gathers: "sniff it all, know it all, collect it all, process it all and exploit it all,” according to the slide.  “They're making themselves dysfunctional by collecting all of this data,” Bill Binney, a former NSA employee-turned-whistleblower himself, told the Daily Caller last year. Like Snowden, Binney has also argued that the NSA’s “collect it all” condition with regards to intelligence gathering is deeply flawed.


“They've got so much collection capability but they can't do everything. They're probably getting something on the order of 80 percent of what goes up on the network. So they're going into the telecoms who have recorded all of the material that has gone across the network. And the telecoms keep a record of it for I think about a year. They're asking the telecoms for all the data so they can fill in the gaps. So between the two sources of what they've collected, they get the whole picture,” Binney said.


Although NBC neglected to play Mr. Snowden’s remarks to Williams in which he questioned the efficiency of modern intelligence gathering under the guise of being a counterterrorism tool, it did air on television other remarks from the former contractor concerning the terrorist attacks.

Stepping back, this really is a debate about government efficiency, incentives and motives. The biggest problem with the NSA, or rather its modus operandi, according to Snowden is not that it does not have the architecture to use the data already in its possession to isolate and prevent incidents of terrorism: it did, and arguably it had enough facts in its (and the CIA's) possession to prevent the September 11 attack, and it certainly was equipped with enough surveillance to prevent the Boston Marathon bombing, yet it didn't. In the meantime, the information grab is expanding until Big Brother, under the guise of (failed) protection now knows everything about its citizens. Simply said: this is merely government bloat in its most purest - spending ever greater amounts of money to become increasingly more inefficient, in the process destroying the concept of individual privacy.

Or as Snowden himself said it in a fragment that was aired,

"It’s really disingenuous for the government to invoke and scandalize our memories to sort of exploit the national trauma that we all suffered together and worked so hard to come through to justify programs that have never been shown to keep us safe, but cost us liberties and freedoms that we don’t need to give up and our Constitution says we don’t need to give up."

Sadly, until the people themselves wake up to this conclusion which prompted one person to speak up against a broken system, all of his efforts will have been largely in vain.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
bubblemania's picture

American Patriot!

clymer's picture

More like American Psyop



You left out some details, Ed.

mvsjcl's picture

If he doesn't come right out and say that the whole of the 911 tapestry as woven by the government is a travesty, then this is all just meaningless noise and bluster.

Anusocracy's picture

Government actions are only concerned about maintaining control.

THX 1178's picture

9/11 was an inside job

9/11 was not an inside job

jbvtme's picture

fast eddie, you're embarrasing yourself. fuck the haystack, you need to look down the rabbit hole.

I am more equal than others's picture

9/11 was a hand job

9/11 was a blow job

BobPaulson's picture

If he is implying we should believe somebody who knew about 9/11 was not actually planning it, then Snowden is a psiops plant.

Leonardo Fibonacci2's picture

Snowden is a True American Patriot.  God Bless him!!!

Ignatius's picture

NSA whistleblower Russ Tice said more and earlier:


The difference is that Snowden has documents.  The few that have been released, anyway....

svayambhu108's picture

If 9/11 was an inside job, was done by an inner circle, so don't expect someone to step out and say we did it, maybe PRISM is for the guardians too to keep them busy till they forget that they are in a prison. A spy that doesn't have to look in a garbage is a rather powerfull person.

0b1knob's picture

Snowden is just a ventriloquest dummy.   So is Choomboy.

But who has their hand up their asses?  That's the question.

TheMeatTrapper's picture

The mantra that 'everything and everybody' is 'controlled' and is a 'psyop' is nothing but an excuse to do and say nothing. To give up. 

The idea that Snowden is willing to give up his life on a secret government mission to release millions of it's most classified documents in some sort of psyops mission is pathetically absurd. 

It makes no sense, which is why the 'Snowden is a plant' crowd just posts mindless one liners and never offers a shred of coomon sense or proof to backup such statements. 

Governments cannot control everybody and everything. We have free will. We have choise. Snowden is no plant. Grow the fuck up. 

SilverIsKing's picture

The government can't control everything but they can control NBC.

Why allow the interview? Why allow it to be broadcast?

DaddyO's picture

Constant Distractions?!?

I've watched for Years now, how the hits just keep coming.

This regime is masters at the MOPE and how they use every scandal to their advantage.

Just stand back and watch and learn grasshopper.


Ocean22's picture

new video on how the elite are killing us slowly MUST watch!



Think for yourself's picture

yeah right, electronic currency stored on platforms out of your control zooming across a network out of your control on devices out of your control running OSes that you didn't design running on chips you didn't print.

Sounds real smart. 

Mad Muppet's picture

How cute....Tfy is feeding the troll! Feeding those less fortunate than oneself is the sign of a pure heart.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Snow Den

Snowed In

Kash Karri

Cash Carry

General Alexander? The great?

No co-incidences. All of these names, all of these NUMBers, 911, 777.....

Learn the game or drop out. No other way.


SafelyGraze's picture

meet the "telegraphone"


recording your phone calls since 1906

alexei graham bellkov 

Overfed's picture

I would sure love to see that from a more credible source than Veterans Today.

SAT 800's picture

Corect. the titles alone cover the subject perfectly.

A Nanny Moose's picture

“The problem with mass surveillance is that we’re piling more hay on a haystack we already don’t understand, and this is the haystack of the human lives of every American citizen in our country,”

The surveillance state doesn't bother me one bit, precisely because of this. If a bunch of overpaid, government voyeurs couldn't interpret the data at 9/11 levels, how is adding to the white noise going to improve their ability to pinpoint the actionable data at the right moment?

IMO, this all just adds to the already top-heavy inverted pyramid of the state, and hastens its demise. All we need to do is help it along.

SAT 800's picture

Controlling NBC; would be done in public view; it wouldn't be done in private. it's less of a problem to just let it roll. they know full well, that a.) you're in denial, and b.) you won't do shit about it. so, why bother?

Milton Freewater's picture

Good point.  If know one tells us about big brother then how are we supposed to fear him!

putaipan's picture

i find it useful to observe from both perspectives ..... use ellsberg as an example: sure he 'helped' end the vietnam war, but remember- 'they' were ready to end the war.

as for snowdens revelations this round.... ain't it obviuos they were on the 'hands off' list? i can't remember the name of the senator that just revealed that precious tid bit, but god bless him for the single best counter terrorism move in recent history.

CheapBastard's picture

Condelezza Rice ["Condi" as her friends know her] testified to Congress she told Bush she had "credible evidence" there would be a devastating attack very soon, but she said Bush waved her aside saying he preferred going on his summer vacation.

Richard Clark also testifed basically the same thing and said he was ignored by Bush. I remember watching his testimony frm my hotel room in Las Vegas while eating a pizza and remember being shocked that none of the Congressmen were shocked.

TrustbutVerify's picture

A plain cheese pizza or with peppers?  (Just want to keep up with what's important.) 

tony wilson's picture

meat trapper some good points

this guy is a james bond geek a genius on computers with billions of bits of intel.

what has he given

maybe on those usb sticks he would have answers 50 fucking years of uk,usa and israel smokin guns.

assange and snow blow are mossad these cunts never disclose on israel cos they are all on the same team disclosing on syria and libya and optimum times for fuck sake.

no intel ever on israel plots and nuclear blackmail

no intel earth quakes filling in the blanks from past history no mention of haarp or tesla weapons

fuckin nuttin

SAT 800's picture

No mention of haarp or tesla weapons because they aren't insanely ignorant retards like you; who believe in comic book stories like these. not difficult to understand; once you find out you're an idiot.

tarsubil's picture

I believe the point of his data dump was to expose the violation of 4th amendment rights. I'm not sure how disclosing stuff about Israel and weapons would do that. If 9/11 was an inside job, I dunno, I myself wouldn't keep it in the files ever at any time. I'm not sure the Jews who are controlling everything are that stupid.

SAT 800's picture

"grow the fuck up?"/ think rationally ? perhaps ? you're on the wrong forum. this is where the retards have a temper tantrum if you question their latest paranoid fantasy.

Oxbo Rene's picture

If you people don't stop gossiping about this, you could be neutralized ! ! !
Nothing to see here, move along ! ! ! !

aVileRat's picture

You have no idea how funny your comment actually is when placed in a larger context.


VAD's picture

As much as I'd like to believe Snowden without question, I have a creeping feeling you're right.  I've not been able to put my finger on it, but I am suspicious that it's just another psy-op.  I hope I'm wrong...

disabledvet's picture

The search for truth is filled with twists and turns...but always begins with the same question "what don't I know?" And then you go from there.

We don't know who was behind or knew in advance of the attacks on 9/11.

Be interesting to see what George W Bush has to say of them actually.

Here's what we do know: "the NSA has admitted to being surprised by them"(they are the only Agency to say that) and I absolutely believe this to be true because they shoved "their boss the President" onto Air Force One and flew him to "the Command Bunker in Nebraska."

In short "the NSA went full retard."

And apparently still is.

Here is another fact for you to dwell on: "who is responsible should the NSA act in a manner that is clearly unconstitutional...and indeed criminal"?

(Cue "scary/mystery television music scene" with Hercule Poiroit staring blankly into camera.)

Basically..."the whole thing was a set up" in my view...but unless and until "W" says something "we just keep rockin and rollin" here.

In short "who wouldn't want to blame the President?"

SAT 800's picture

"elements of the Cia, and the Mossad knew; because they planned it and carried it out. Bush knew what he alwalys knows on a day to day basis; nothing. why should he? the NSA? a non-functional government bureacracy; useful mainly for wasting money. The CIA/Mossad as the perpetrators is obtained by the process of elimination. there isn't anyone else even on the list. It was organized; an organized, planned, technical, demolition, that made use of airplanes as a cover story. So, you get to pick an organization. The Boy Scouts of America? The Republican Political Party? The PTA? there isn't even any other organization on the list; CIA/Mossad. lot's of evidence.

SAT 800's picture

Well, you can relax now; you're wrong. go ahead and believe him.

boogerbently's picture

NOT reacting on prior knowledge.

Like Pearl Harbor.

Drifter's picture

It doesn't matter if 9/11 was inside job or not.   99% of Americans believe it wasn't, and the other 1% wouldn't do anything about it if they could prove it was.

Knowledge doesn't yeild results.  Action yields results, and the action won't ever happen.

Cathartes Aura's picture

once you realise they're lying about everything - including corporate "nationstates" - and the aim is to grow the sheeple whilst extracting their "cut" along the way via taxes, corporate profits, "health" care, etc.

then it all seems rather simple.

Cathartes Aura's picture


fancy meeting you here. . .

((hope you're doing well))

Oldwood's picture

And so is our government. Its just too damn big!

This subject demonstrates the critical issue with governmental systems. Outside of corruption every government failure leads it to only become larger rather than actually solve the problem. This growth perpetuates even more failure as the solution was never truly resolved and if it were actually studied they would have found that size was the problem all along.

The intelligence agencies failed and the only response was to become larger and collect even more data that became even more impossible to analyze. Its just plain stupid but as they see their mission to act, they will, even if it means the end of freedom and the end of America.

TheMeatTrapper's picture

"The intelligence agencies failed and the only response was to become larger and collect even more data that became even more impossible to analyze. Its just plain stupid but as they see their mission to act, they will, even if it means the end of freedom and the end of America."


disabledvet's picture

"No POW's" and "blame the President." Not a question of who did it but who didn't.