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Bridget Johnson

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June 17, 2013 - 8:29 am
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In a live chat on the Guardian website this morning, NSA leaker-on-the-run Edward Snowden claimed he fled because the U.S. government “immediately and predictably destroyed any possibility of a fair trial at home.”

“Openly declaring me guilty of treason and that the disclosure of secret, criminal, and even unconstitutional acts is an unforgivable crime,” Snowden said in the chat hosted by the author of the leak article, Glenn Greenwald. “That’s not justice, and it would be foolish to volunteer yourself to it if you can do more good outside of prison than in it.”

“Let’s be clear: I did not reveal any US operations against legitimate military targets. I pointed out where the NSA has hacked civilian infrastructure such as universities, hospitals, and private businesses because it is dangerous. These nakedly, aggressively criminal acts are wrong no matter the target,” Snowden continued.

“Not only that, when NSA makes a technical mistake during an exploitation operation, critical systems crash. Congress hasn’t declared war on the countries – the majority of them are our allies – but without asking for public permission, NSA is running network operations against them that affect millions of innocent people. And for what? So we can have secret access to a computer in a country we’re not even fighting? So we can potentially reveal a potential terrorist with the potential to kill fewer Americans than our own Police? No, the public needs to know the kinds of things a government does in its name, or the ‘consent of the governed’ is meaningless,” he said.

“All I can say right now is the US Government is not going to be able to cover this up by jailing or murdering me. Truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped.”

When asked why he didn’t fly to Iceland, his preferred country for asylum, Snowden said “leaving the US was an incredible risk, as NSA employees must declare their foreign travel 30 days in advance and are monitored.”

“There was a distinct possibility I would be interdicted en route, so I had to travel with no advance booking to a country with the cultural and legal framework to allow me to work without being immediately detained. Hong Kong provided that,” he said. “Iceland could be pushed harder, quicker, before the public could have a chance to make their feelings known, and I would not put that past the current US administration.”

Snowden checked out of his Hong Kong hotel a week ago and hasn’t been seen since.

When asked whether he lied about his salary — Booz Allen Hamilton said he earned $122,000 in Hawaii, while Snowden told Greenwald he walked away from $200,000 a year — Snowden said he was referring to his “career high” salary. “I had to take pay cuts in the course of pursuing specific work. Booz was not the most I’ve been paid,” he said.

One questioner asked why he waited until President Obama’s term to leak the information about the surveillance programs.

“Obama’s campaign promises and election gave me faith that he would lead us toward fixing the problems he outlined in his quest for votes. Many Americans felt similarly,” Snowden responded. “Unfortunately, shortly after assuming power, he closed the door on investigating systemic violations of law, deepened and expanded several abusive programs, and refused to spend the political capital to end the kind of human rights violations like we see in Guantanamo, where men still sit without charge.”

Snowden promised “more detail on how direct NSA’s accesses are [sic] is coming.”

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
All this hacking and exposing going on and still no one has hacked Obama's college records.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
The fact that this administration is doing it's best to spin these revelations is good enough for me. I. along with 54% of those asked do not trust this president. My only concern is 46% still trust him.... that's appalling.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (13)
All Comments   (13)
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In this non-war in which we are engaged what is a truly legitimate military target? The same kid who takes candy from a GI one day may not hesitate to blow him up the next. The same for women and the elderly. I can'r recall exactly what Manning dumped but I think a show of disgust ie capital punishment might be in order regarding both men.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Who has more credibility?


A fun-loving computer geek?

...or...

The US government?
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
All this hacking and exposing going on and still no one has hacked Obama's college records.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
The fact that this administration is doing it's best to spin these revelations is good enough for me. I. along with 54% of those asked do not trust this president. My only concern is 46% still trust him.... that's appalling.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mr. Snowden, do you have evidence that Microsoft and Facebook are lying about having less than 10,000 NSA requests (involving up to 32,000 humans) in a six-month period? If so, it is time to produce it. Microsoft and Facebook are now on record.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
I do not think that Snowden was insisting on any particular number of the requests received by Microsoft, AT&T or your relatives.

He says that NSA routinely getting detailed info about you from Microsoft servers, AT&T servers or your family computers without any requests.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Perhaps you are correct. My request to him is to produce evidence that Microsoft and Facebook are liars and that the NSA collection effort is much more than our government advertizes. If he can, it would be huge, if he cannot, it would be nothing.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment

Snowden's politics don't pass the smell test, but his information does. The Left and it's omnipotent state is getting ratted out by one of it's own, and the establishment Right is defending the Left.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
His politics are truly silly:

"So we can potentially reveal a potential terrorist with the potential to kill fewer Americans than our own Police?"

It's also tellinng that Snowden has not (to my knowledge) talked about our diligent failure to stop terrorists right under our noses by such analog methods as reading a business card, watching PowerPoint presentations, and dropping in on your friendly neighborhood mosque.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yeah, that police thing is a red flag. fugum. He's some broken nut who's right twice a day. Call me when the police kill hundreds of civilians in one day, or drop bombs on Pearl Harbor for that matter.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Agreed, it's nonsense, but let's not mix up the messenger with the message. Snowden seems to be young, idealistic and narcissistic -- about par for the course for most who went thru high school in the last two decades -- but that doesn't make his revelations valueless.

The hang-him-and-flog-him people reveal much about themselves too, none of it flattering.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is no doubt that a surveillance state is in the works, and Obama Inc (and surrogates) are furiously backpedaling to cover their tracks. And while it is more palatable to pretend that ones leadership are above the fray, this would be delusional, at best, and highly dangerous, at worst.
In fact, corrupt, racist, anti-semitic Rep Maxine Waters actually spilled the beans, backing up Snowden's contentions - http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/06/15/rep-maxine-waters-corrupt-to-her-core-a-racist-to-boot-revealed-obama-incs-surveillance-game-plan-commentary-by-adina-kutnicki/

Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Valiant try Snowden, but the smear machine is in full operation here in the states. They aren't going to make you the next Manning. Today's spin is (seriously): Manning wasn't a traitor because he dumped indiscriminately, while Snowden leaked one particular project. Before you ask, I don't know if anyone's head exploded while they said it.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
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