The Swiss government has formally asked the U.S. for "clarification" on a claim from alleged NSA leaker Edward Snowden that CIA agents in Geneva pushed a banker to drink and drive as part of a dangerous recruitment ploy.
Snowden, the man who claims to have given top secret documents on the National Security Agency's vast surveillance programs to two major newspapers, briefly discusses the scheme in an interview with the U.K. newspaper The Guardian, saying it was a "formative" moment that led him to question the "rightness" of U.S. intelligence.
In an attempt to learn secret financial information, Snowden alleged that undercover CIA agents would get the banker drunk and "encourage" him to drive home in his car. When the banker was eventually arrested for drunk driving, the CIA operatives offered to help him out of the jam, paving the way for recruitment as a source.
"Much of what I saw in Geneva really disillusioned me about how my government functions and what its impact is in the world," Snowden told The Guardian. "I realized that I was part of something that was doing far more harm than good."
A spokesperson for Switzerland's Federal Department of Foreign Affairs told ABC News the department had "taken note" of Snowden's claims and has sent a "diplomatic note" to the U.S. Embassy in Bern asking "for clarification of the matter."
"In accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, Switzerland expects the members of the diplomatic missions in Bern and the members of the permanent mission in Geneva to comply with the laws and rules of the country of residence," a statement from the foreign ministry read. ...Rest of ABC News story at Yahoo!