No, Edward Snowden was never a Green Beret
Well, this story is going in a fairly idiotic direction.
First, for those who haven't watched TV in the past few days, this clip from FoxNews to set the stage:
OK, so the first story came from the Guardian, and contained this tidbit:
By his own admission, he was not a stellar student. In order to get the credits necessary to obtain a high school diploma, he attended a community college in Maryland, studying computing, but never completed the coursework. (He later obtained his GED.)
In 2003, he enlisted in the US army and began a training program to join the Special Forces. Invoking the same principles that he now cites to justify his leaks, he said: "I wanted to fight in the Iraq war because I felt like I had an obligation as a human being to help free people from oppression".
He recounted how his beliefs about the war's purpose were quickly dispelled. "Most of the people training us seemed pumped up about killing Arabs, not helping anyone," he said. After he broke both his legs in a training accident, he was discharged.
The US army has confirmed an aspect of surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden's military service to the Guardian.
As Snowden told the Guardian in announcing his responsibility for detailing multiple mass surveillance efforts by the National Security Agency sweeping up Americans' communications data, Snowden indeed tried to join the elite special forces.
Snowden was unsuccessful.
Unsuccessful would be one way to phrase it, but I would prefer, "Dude didn't even come remotely close" as Politico notes today:
The former CIA computer technician who leaked last week’s explosive details about American classified surveillance programs spent just five months in the Army Reserve before he was discharged, records show.
Edward Snowden, the self-proclaimed whistleblower who sent the information to The Guardian and The Washington Post, joined up in 2004, but separated just five months later, an Army official told POLITICO.
Special Forces training lasts 2 years, how close did he come....
“His records indicate he enlisted in the Army Reserve as a Special Forces Recruit (18X) on 7 May 2004 but was discharged 28 September 2004. He did not complete any training or receive any awards,” the spokesman said.
That means he didn't even make it out of basic training. It's correct to say he "tried to join Special Forces" but so did I, a venture which lasted about a day and a half back in 1997 when I went to the SFIP with 20th Group at AP Hill. I don't even bring it up normally because I've slept longer than I was at the SFIP. (Special Forces Introduction Program, it's an assessment thing before they even consider sending you anywhere.)
I was a hell of a lot closer than this guy, since I actually graduated basic, but I would be embarrassed beyond belief if anyone brought it up.
Oh, and his employment with BAH (Booz Allen Hamilton)? Less than 90 days.