“The confirmation in December that former CIA Director Leon Panetta let classified information slip to ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ screenwriter Mark Boal during a speech at the agency headquarters should result in a criminal espionage charge if there is any truth to Obama administration claims that it isn’t enforcing the Espionage Act only against political opponents.”
“I had reported these clearly problematic programs to more than ten distinct officials, none of whom took any action to address them.”
Edward Snowden, explaining that he raised concerns over 10 times internally before choosing to leak any information, during testimony to the European Parliament released on March 7th, 2014.
In an August news conference, President Obama said there were “other avenues" available to someone like Snowden "whose conscience was stirred and thought that they needed to question government actions." Obama pointed to Presidential Policy Directive 19 — which set up a system for questioning classified government actions under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. However, as a contractor rather than an government employee or officer, Snowden was outside the protection of this system. “The result,” Snowden said, “was that individuals like me were left with no proper channels.”