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Offline mystery-ak

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« on: June 10, 2013, 04:38:57 PM »

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Offline Cincinnatus

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« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2013, 06:11:20 PM »
The idea that a defense contractor who was discharged from the Army Reserve after just five months, and worked for Booz Allen Hamilton for less than three months, could have access to so many sensitive secrets is already raising serious questions about how easy it is for contractors to get that kind of information.

Snowden's story reminds me so much of a similar situation from over 40 years, Christopher Boyce. Like Snowden, Boyce was only a high school graduate. He went to work for TRW, an aerospace firm in So Cal. After a short period, Boyce was promoted to a sensitive job in TRW's "Black Vault" (classified communications center) and like Snowden he received a top secret security clearance. While working in the "Black Vault" he was privy to cables from the CIA, which he wasn't supposed to see, outlining CIA operations in Australia and other democratic, industrialized allies.

There the story reaches a fork in the road. Some claim Boyce acted out of principle, others out of greed. Whichever, he, in conjunction with his childhood buddy, dope dealer Daulton Lee, sold the information Boyce gathered to the Soviets at their embassy in Mexico City. Both were ultimately caught and were sent to prison.

However, that short description of their activities was not my main point; but rather how 2 young men, Boyce and Snowden, both with limited educations and top secret clearances were given access to such sensitive information. Don't know about Snowden but Boyce and his co-workers at TRW were subjected to cursory security reviews and naturally passed with flying colors. Kinda gives you a chill when you think about it. If these 2 amateurs could pull these off what about some professionally trained spies?

Couple of follow up items: a rather good movie, if occasionally factually inaccurate, was made (1985) about Boyce and Lee called "The Falcon and the Snowman". 

Lee was paroled in 1998. Boyce escaped custody in 1980, was recaptured, was paroled in 2003, and married a woman who corresponded with him and helped him to get his parole.

Was justice served by giving him parole? Boyce did what Ellsburg and now Snowden did but instead of revealing his information to the American press, he sold it to a foreign power.

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_John_Boyce
http://www.funtrivia.com/en/subtopics/Christopher-Boyce-and-Daulton-Lee-195673.html
We shall never be abandoned by Heaven while we act worthy of its aid ~~ Samuel Adams


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