Edward Snowden | News | NSA

NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden Speaks Out: VIDEO


Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA who currently works for defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, revealed his identity and spoke out about why he leaked information about the NSA surveillance state in the U.S. in an interview and video released yesterday.

Watch his video, AFTER THE JUMP...

In a Q and A, Snowden says he fears for his partner:

"My family does not know what is happening … My primary fear is that they will come after my family, my friends, my partner. Anyone I have a relationship with … I will have to live with that for the rest of my life. I am not going to be able to communicate with them. They [the authorities] will act aggressively against anyone who has known me. That keeps me up at night."

The Guardian reports:

Snowden will go down in history as one of America's most consequential whistleblowers, alongside Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning. He is responsible for handing over material from one of the world's most secretive organisations – the NSA.

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."

HongkongSnowden is seeking safe haven in Hong Kong:

On May 20, he boarded a flight to Hong Kong, where he has remained ever since. He chose the city because "they have a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent", and because he believed that it was one of the few places in the world that both could and would resist the dictates of the US government.

In the three weeks since he arrived, he has been ensconced in a hotel room. "I've left the room maybe a total of three times during my entire stay," he said. It is a plush hotel and, what with eating meals in his room too, he has run up big bills.

He is deeply worried about being spied on. He lines the door of his hotel room with pillows to prevent eavesdropping. He puts a large red hood over his head and laptop when entering his passwords to prevent any hidden cameras from detecting them.

He remains deeply concerned:

"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.

"We have got a CIA station just up the road – the consulate here in Hong Kong – and I am sure they are going to be busy for the next week. And that is a concern I will live with for the rest of my life, however long that happens to be."

Watch his video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. If they wanted him, they'd get him. Bottom line. Pillows lining the door? Really? That's well and good for sleepovers.. but not the NSA.

    And he's in Chinese controlled Hong Kong in the first place? Really? Who is he trying to fool?

    Who is this boy's handler?

    Posted by: Zeta | Jun 10, 2013 8:09:55 AM

  2. Since 9/11 the USA has become a force for incredible evil in the world.

    The threat of 'terrorism' is merely an excuse to remove more and more of our liberties.

    Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning are national heroes, even if the government pretends otherwise.

    Posted by: MaryM | Jun 10, 2013 8:15:35 AM

  3. This guy is not only on a severe ego trip, but he appears to be paranoid. At any rate, this whole "scandal" has been overblown.

    Posted by: Tyler | Jun 10, 2013 8:20:29 AM

  4. MaryM, have you read the wiki article on Bradley Manning? He had severe emotional issues, severe anti-authoritarian issues, and severe lack of self-control issues, but he was given TS/SCI clearance anyway.

    Must be nice to be white and legacy (his dad was also military intelligence).

    If he were a straight man, and had directed those 'lack of self-control' issues towards a woman instead of his drill sergeant, would it still be okay? I say that, because somebody like that, doesn't keep it out on the field. They take it home with them.

    Of course, it took hitting a woman for them to try to get rid of him.

    But to the meat of the matter, to me (after reading his wiki page) Bradley Manning wasn't leaking information in order to be a patriot. To me, he was leaking information because he could. He was just a regular /b/-tard, who had access and abused it in order to impress other people and have some control over them and over himself.

    Posted by: Zeta | Jun 10, 2013 8:30:06 AM

  5. Having said all that, you are correct about the United States and being a force of evil, MaryM. But that had happened long before 9/11. Blacks, Indians, Pacific Islanders, Latins and Arabs already knew the drill. I guess that in the same way 9/11 was a wake up call for idiot well-meaning American Irish who romanticized what was happening in Northern Ireland, 9/11 was also a wake up call for the rest of mainstream America, though. So you're right.

    I think the snooze button has been hit a couple times since then, though. I still want to know who Snowden's advisers and handlers are. Again, going to Hong Kong is suspicious because of the China connection.

    If they have the world's strongest anti-extradition laws, I guess a guess could be made for it as a haven. But do they?

    I wonder what the wake-up call -- the point where 'hey this isn't cool that this is happening to us, now, instead of someone else' -- is going to be for American Jews who support Israel through hell and high water.

    Posted by: Zeta | Jun 10, 2013 8:37:18 AM

  6. Regardless of Mamning or Snowden's motivations for their leaks it is clear that the US government is opposed to democracy and is perfectly happy to spy on its own citizens.

    That is not up for debate any more.

    The US government is fast becoming the enemy of the population.

    It's a good think they invested all that money in unmanned drones, in case they need to start murdering US citizens who ask the wrong questions.

    Posted by: MaryM | Jun 10, 2013 8:39:33 AM

  7. I smiled when I read that he'd skipped to Hong Kong: the first sensible thing that he appears to have done, after the mess that he created. Intelligent self-preservation is never foolish.

    The foolish part was making himself a target.

    Posted by: James in Toronto | Jun 10, 2013 8:42:06 AM

  8. Dunno. If my family, friends and lived ones were potentially put in harms way, I personally would not have done what he did. He hasn't really told us anything any half way intelligent person already surmised, that our intelligence agencies engage in duplicitous, nefarious activity and spying, and that signal corps [NSA] suck up every bit of data they can get their hands on. So what is the point? Seems egotistical to me. Manning is a somewhat different case in that he's a clear head case [I do feel sorry for the guy], and has literally nothing to lose. Snowden has a lot to lose.

    It's been reported for a long time now that one of the ways intelligence agencies get around laws restricting their ability to legally spy on domestic targets is to ask one of our close allies to do the dirty work. No doubt they have similar arrangements, such as the Brits using intelligence gathered by NSA and CIA on British targets to get around their laws regarding domestic spying.

    Anywho, I think Snowden is pretty hot. Hey, it's not gratuitous, this is a gay oriented site.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jun 10, 2013 8:45:12 AM

  9. @James in Toronto,

    The Chinese want NOTHING to do with him. They'll gladly turn him back over to the U.S. government. They don't want to create any waves with the U.S. or vice-versa.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jun 10, 2013 8:46:36 AM

  10. So Obama doesn't appear to be bothered that US citizens are being spied on by government agencies, without any controls on them.

    Then again why would he care. The US government is in the service of big business alone, and we must always remember that.

    Posted by: MaryM | Jun 10, 2013 8:53:05 AM

  11. Such gratitude for a man who risked his life for your country!

    Posted by: Charles | Jun 10, 2013 9:13:47 AM

  12. @ratbastard

    ...but, I don't think that China would wish to appear to capitulate to U.S. demands either.

    Makes Hong Kong, that "not quite really" China possession, an interesting limbo. It's a more interesting choice than an embassy in London.

    Posted by: James in Toronto | Jun 10, 2013 9:23:28 AM

  13. @James in Toronto,

    Don't kid yourself. If the Beijing wished to, they could crack down on HK democracy in a NY minute. They have the guns, the nukes, the power. It just suits their current purpose to not tarnish Hong Kong's brand.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jun 10, 2013 9:30:51 AM

  14. He's kinda hot. I'd do him.

    Posted by: Frank | Jun 10, 2013 9:31:10 AM

  15. He broke the law (whether you like or agree swith the law or not). He's a traitor. Extradite him. Bring him back to the U.S. Then, try him and find him guilty.

    Then, execute him.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Jun 10, 2013 10:12:57 AM

  16. Fabricated "issue", laced with loads of paranoia. I'm actually really annoyed by it all.

    Anyway, Edward is VERY cute, to me.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Jun 10, 2013 10:27:33 AM

  17. By "partner" does he mean that he's gay? Thought I read something about a girlfriend. Either way, he has s crusader's dedication but also a touch of their arrogance and martyr complex. Just because a system COULD be abused doesn't mean that it IS. The whole PRISM system seems a bit like watching traffic patterns. The unmarked police cars stay hidden, watching all but only going after the erratic drivers. The potential for abuse exists, and it does happen sometimes, but the concept itself is not a bad one. It might even do more good than harm.

    Posted by: Yeek | Jun 10, 2013 10:51:14 AM

  18. The Guardian Story is actually falling apart. The collection of phone call data and email patterns has been going on since the Patriot Act and was well publicized in several 2006 new stories. There is nothing being done now that wasn't done then. The governments still requires a warrant to actually review the content of emails, or to listen in on a telephone call, the government has no more information than is on your telephone bill or in your browser/email history. However, lets be honest, if we know some group wants to plan a terrorist attack, isn't it smart to know if anyone on US soil is calling or emailing this group's members? We have created a situation where we criticize the government as evil if they do everything possible to prevent an attack, and then incompetent if an attack is successful...well folks, you can't have both.

    Posted by: Chris | Jun 10, 2013 10:53:53 AM

  19. Just go live in the woods!

    Posted by: Fenrox | Jun 10, 2013 11:09:45 AM

  20. The more I hear about this man the more comes into question as to his motives and his ability to have known the amount of information that he did. Apparently he's only worked for Booz Allen Hamilton for 3 months. Is a High School drop-out, didn't finish his computer course at a community college, so it seems highly unlikely he's knows the amount of things he does in 3 months. Some callers on Stephanie Millers radio show were suggesting he might be a plant.

    Posted by: jakeinlove | Jun 10, 2013 12:27:10 PM

  21. I see so many poeple here are CONTENT and MELLOWED living in a massive surveillance police state. That's right, couch potatoes, enjoy your cool electronic gadgets and kitteh pics on your ipad and wave your rainbow flag and then SPIT on others who try to expose the injustices & excesses of the surveillance going on in the government.

    Sometimes I detest the empty contentless bitchery of some in the gay community and this thread is one of those times.

    Posted by: will | Jun 10, 2013 12:51:16 PM

  22. This kid Snowden has upset the apple cart (if he has) which is a very stupid thing to do. He should have learned from Manning, another maladjusted twit. These are not hero's they're morons throwing their freedom, reputations and lives away for nothing.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Jun 10, 2013 12:59:21 PM

  23. @jakeinlove,

    He got his GED so he is a HS grad. But he must be very good at what he does or he would never have been hired by the CIA. They also do very complete background checks. He was a CIA technical expert, and stationed in Switzerland and elsewhere for years. He is who he says he is. Make what you will of it.

    The more I hear about this, the more I think the current story line stinks. There's more to this than meets the eye. And quite a coincidence it explodes on the scene just as POTUS is meeting the Chines president for talks where Chinese espionage and hacking will feature prominently. And he escaped to Chinese territory, HK! I can't believe this is a coincidence. He could be working for the Chinese, or he's part of some kind of complex operation. Occam's razor says he could well be working for the Chinese.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jun 10, 2013 1:28:12 PM

  24. Definitely a thread I feel is important to comment. Here's my personal opinion. Unfortunately, we've always known the government is capable of probing into private lives. That's been a given since day one. We now live in a post-911 world. We can't turn back the clock and change the course of events having already taken place. Terrorism is still very much rampant today. The recent incidents such as Boston should prove that.

    How else are we (or the government) to weed out those who threaten our daily lives in the name of some extremist view that doesn't jive with how they feel?? Unless you'd like to go back to the many past events that have already taken place historically and start putting them in camps to keep an eye on them?? (Japanese-Americans during WWII, anyone?)

    I'm sorry but I am not jumping on Edward Snowden's bandwagon simply because he felt the need for privacy was tantamount knowing fully well why it was going on. No one was wrongfully taken into custody (Yet. Doesn't mean it can't happen. But I haven't read anything stating the contrary.)

    Considering the recent past, there was no other recourse without being unjustified. Unfortunately, we've all given up privacy since the advent of the internet. (Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Blogspot, Tumblr, etc. etc.)

    Worse when we have various underground groups threatening the internet with certain viruses that would cause us (and other nations) to become defenseless from whatever attack. Edward Snowden is NOT Bradley Manning. Every time I watch his interview...it's almost as if he's taking this whole thing lightly.

    (The way he snickers when he mentions the fact of a CIA headquarters just down the road from his position. As if it's entertaining for him to know how close they are. Knowing that he's having his 15 minutes of fame. That doesn't settle well with me.)

    Unless anyone else has a better idea of how to weed out the ones living among us that plan on threatening our existence? Please let us know. Other than that, they can listen in on my conversations any day. (And they more than likely already have.)

    Posted by: MickyFlip | Jun 10, 2013 1:44:43 PM

  25. @ratbastard Thank you for bringing that up. I completely agree with you. Something wasn't right about the whole thing with me as well. And I'm wondering if you're right. Because their certainly is more to this than we are getting.

    Posted by: MickyFlip | Jun 10, 2013 1:49:27 PM

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