Water skiing in the morning, supervising the torture of a prisoner of the global war on terror in the afternoon — that’s just a typical day for National Security Agency personnel.
That’s one of the many glimpses of National Security Agency life found in newly released documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden’s leaks, which reveal the NSA’s intimate involvement with Guantanamo Bay interrogations and the Iraq War, as well as the dramatically increased demand for intelligence after 9/11.
On May 16, The Intercept released 166 new documents from the thousands leaked by Snowden, comprising a partial archive of an internal electronic newsletter called SIDtoday.
In an introduction to the release, Peter Maass describes the publication as resembling a “small-town newsletter” for the Signals Intelligence Directorate, one of the most important departments within the NSA. SIDtoday opens a window into the NSA’s internal corporate culture, and because they were written purely for NSA employees, the documents include some surprisingly candid disclosures about employees’ actions around the world from an underground bunker in Belgium to Guantanamo Bay and the Middle East.