Today, we kinda learned that at least twenty different NSA people had to be talked by Ed Snowden....into giving up passwords to certain programs and hardware systems.....for him to be successful at his overall goal.
NSA knows the twenty to twenty-five folks. News reports won't say much after that point. So I'll fill in the holes and add speculation to the mess.
After Ed Snowden "ran"....the twenty-odd folks sat there....each soon figuring out that Ed had their password, and wondering if this would come to be a problem.
Weeks would pass, and someone from NSA would call them up and ask for them to come by and make a statement. There's likely three people in the room, and the conversation is being recorded to flip into a statement.
Eventually, each of the twenty tell the story of how Ed spoke of some critical problem, some system error, some issue of importance, and he desperately needed them to release the password to him. They complied.
The statement is printed out. The twenty end up signing the statements, and then it goes to a security committee of sorts.
Basically, if you are a contractor.....you are relieved immediately and will be given a notice of termination within your contractor company for failure to comply with government regulations. Contractor companies don't keep guys in this situation around. They dump them. Of the twenty-odd folks, we have no idea how many are contractors, military, or government-service.
The military folks? You can't fire them, but you can determine a punishment that would suit the issue. Maybe a stripe taken away.....maybe your clearance completely revoked back down to secret-only.....maybe you get an Article-15 judgement.
The government-service folks? If you are near sixty, they'd let you walk out and retire. If you aren't near retirement age....an evaluation might be produced at the next cycle and rate you near the bottom. Basically, you could forget about moving up for a decade or two, and you could forget about any leadership positions. Firing? It'd be hard, but you crossed the line on the security rules....so there's ample room to fire you.
My humble guess is that twenty-odd folks are peeved, angry, frustrated, and hostile toward Ed Snowden now. Their lives are completely changed forever. None will ever trust anyone for any reason.
Ed, in some odd way, is a guy who has no real friends. The news media has often picked up the bits and pieces of Ed's life, and rarely speak on the issue of friends who knew him closely, or people who speak up for him. Ed seems to be a guy with an agenda, and no hesitation to screw over just about anyone around him.
Hero-status from the twenty-odd folks? No....don't expect any of them to have that opinion. Ed isn't a friend, a competent co-worker, a trusted associate, or guy they rely upon. It probably wouldn't take much for any of the twenty to get angry enough to hunt down Ed, and extract some brief moment of revenge.
For Ed....he's not just worrying about the US government or NSA hunting him down. He's also worrying about some individuals with a fixation on teaching Ed now a lesson.