June 9, 2013

Edward Snowden, NSA Whistleblower: 'I Do Not Expect To See Home Again'

USA TODAY: NSA whistle-blower hero or villain? Our view

Now that the story has a face, the answer could say a lot about how it ends -- with Snowden in chains and the government continuing its spying without restraint, or with Snowden lionized and the government backing off. If purity of motive is the measure -- and if Snowden's account of his actions holds up -- he might well fit the hero's mold.

Edward Snowden: I mistakenly believed in Obama’s promises.

Copy at YouTube: "Edward Snowden, NSA Whistleblower: GO TO guardian.co.uk read the whole article THERE. Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former employee of the CIA who has spent the last four years working with the NSA in conjunction with various defense contractors.

Snowden handed over a bulk of highly classified material from the secretive organization to Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, who describes the initial set of materials: In a note accompanying the first set of documents he provided, he wrote: "I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions," but "I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant." [...] Despite these fears, he remained hopeful his outing will not divert attention from the substance of his disclosures. "I really want the focus to be on these documents and the debate which I hope this will trigger among citizens around the globe about what kind of world we want to live in." He added: "My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them."

"After copying the last amount of information, Snowden asked for some time off, and disappeared from his domestic life in Hawaii rather mysteriously. He has since been hiding out in a hotel room in Hong Kong."

"Snowden is well aware that the United States government will almost certainly arrest and prosecute him: He predicts the government will launch an investigation and "say I have broken the Espionage Act and helped our enemies, but that can be used against anyone who points out how massive and invasive the system has become". The only time he became emotional during the many hours of interviews was when he pondered the impact his choices would have on his family, many of whom work for the US government. "The only thing I fear is the harmful effects on my family, who I won't be able to help any more. That's what keeps me up at night," he said, his eyes welling up with tears."

"All my options are bad," he said. The US could begin extradition proceedings against him, a potentially problematic, lengthy and unpredictable course for Washington.

Or the Chinese government might whisk him away for questioning, viewing him as a useful source of information. Or he might end up being grabbed and bundled into a plane bound for US territory. "Yes, I could be rendered by the CIA. I could have people come after me. Or any of the third-party partners. They work closely with a number of other nations. Or they could pay off the Triads. Any of their agents or assets," he said. Edward Snowden: the whistleblower

Posted by gerardvanderleun at June 9, 2013 9:11 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Edward Snowden is going to have an interesting life from now on.

Posted by: David McKinnis at June 9, 2013 9:50 PM

Private Manning, a slick sleeve no-information boot, committed treason and I believe he should face that music.

Mr. Snowden, on the other hand... is a different chapter in a different book altogether.

I hope that the Chinese decide he's worth more alive than dead. Because responsibility for a dead Snowden will be laid squarely on the wingtip-toed feet of the Obama administration, and there has to be a pretty sizable minority of Plantation liberals looking hard for an exit strategy. Will be laid regardless of who, what, where, when or why results in Mr. Snowden's exit.

Fine old times, ain't they?

Posted by: TmjUtah at June 9, 2013 10:17 PM


May God watch over this man. I hope that the risks he's taken will not be in vain.

Posted by: Julie at June 10, 2013 7:01 AM

Obama can't afford to bring this guy back and can't allow him to taken by the Chinese. The obvious solution is not positive for Snowden, but if his health takes a sudden fatal turn, everyone will assume Obama pulled the trigger.

Posted by: Ray Van Dune at June 10, 2013 7:10 AM

This gent has chosen to take up a rather sticky wicket indeed.

If he is as careful and as wise as I believe him to be, then he has squirreled away an ample stack of thus far unreleased information which will function as an insurance policy and a way to distribute said information in the event of his untimely disappearance or demise.

In listening to his interview I got the distinct impression that he was sending a between the lines message to those who would pursue him saying "Hey guys...I could have released this, this, and this...but I didn't. [Yet]" With the "Yet" being a silent implication.

We shall see.

Posted by: Aye at June 10, 2013 9:32 AM

Looking around today, it is revealing how few Republicans are not on board with the lords of government. In truth, an Orwellian state may be necessary for a society that refuses to make important distinctions.

I do not know Mr. Snowden. He believed in Hope and Change, and spilled to a left-wing propagandist. Still, the only person under thirty I am aware of who had a thorough grasp of politics was Alexis de Tocqueville. Say what you will about Snowden, he has made an important distinction.

Posted by: james wilson at June 10, 2013 10:45 AM

He's headed for a long stay in Leavenworth, twenty years I should think, either that or a couple of years being debriefed by the ChiComs, followed by an inglorious death.

Posted by: Casca at June 10, 2013 11:50 AM

James W, well said.

The willingness of prominent GOPers touting the need for PRISM and their anger at the scope being revealed struck me as well.

Far more than anything, this event makes it clear where the lines are really drawn between those who seek to represent the people and those who seek to rule.

Posted by: dan at June 10, 2013 11:52 AM

I don't know if his information is bullshit, but his story is. I've heard that same bullshit story in so many bars: "Yeah, I never graduated high school, but I was training for Special Forces after I was in the Army for 9 months when I broke both legs. Then I was a security guard for the NSA, but I was such a L33t H4ck3rz that they recruited me to go undercover in Switzerland and this is my gorgeous wife, Morgan Fairchild. Yeah, that's the ticket..."
Bullshit! Go away. Go sit at the other end of the bar!
So much of his backstory is bullshit.

Posted by: Gray at June 10, 2013 9:14 PM

It is like an unbelievable spy novel. Imagine the propagandist making two hundred thousand dollars and living in Hawaii, but having no formal education, not even a GED, but handling such a responsible position and being able to throw it all away. I am at a loss. Is his life like BO's and nothing is real ?

Posted by: Grace at June 10, 2013 10:59 PM

Grace it's starting to look that way. *sigh* I'm usually more skeptical about these things.

I don't know what his story really is. I do know, however, that the NSA stuff is still deeply troubling. Then again, it's been an awfully long time since I've had any expectation that anything I do using modern electronics is truly private.

Posted by: Julie at June 11, 2013 1:52 PM