INTERVIEW: Snowden Insists He Is Patriotic and Regards U.S. as Fundamentally Good
Whistleblower says he became disillusioned with government during army stint
Whistleblower Edward Snowden, in an exclusive interview with Glenn Greenwald with the Guardian newspaper, insists that he is a patriot who regards the U.S. as fundamentally good. In the interview, Snowden says that he predicted while in hiding in Hong Kong that the U.S. government would seek to demonize him, telling and be accused of aiding America's enemies.
"I don't want to live in a world where everything that I say, everything I do, everyone I talk to, every expression of creativity or love or friendship is recorded," Edward Snowden says.
The interview, conducted on June 6 in a hotel room in Hong Kong. The first part of the interview was released on Sunday June 9, setting off a media firestorm to find his whereabouts.
Snowden says that he would eventually be portrayed as a spy. "I think they are going to say I have committed grave crimes, I have violated the Espionage Act. They are going to say I have aided our enemies in making them aware of these systems. But this argument can be made against anyone who reveals information that points out mass surveillance systems," he said.
The 30-year-old Snowden said he had joined government service by first enlisting in the U.S. army immediately after the invasion of Iraq out of a belief in "the goodness of what we were doing. I believed in the nobility of our intentions to free oppressed people overseas."
He became increasingly disenchanted with the U.S. government. "We were actually involved in misleading the public and misleading all the publics, not just the American public, in order to create certain mindset in the global consciousness and I was actually a victim of that.
"America is a fundamentally good country. We have good people with good values who want to do the right thing. But the structures of power that exist are working to their own ends to extend their capability at the expense of the freedom of all publics."
Snowden also revealed his intentions in making the sensitive information known. "I don't want to live in a world where everything that I say, everything I do, everyone I talk to, every expression of creativity or love or friendship is recorded," he said. "And that's not something I'm willing to support, it's not something I'm willing to build and it's not something I'm willing to live under."
He also insisted he had continued with his job while waiting for political leaders to rein in what he described as "government excesses . as I've watched I've seen that's not occurring, and in fact we're compounding the excesses of prior governments and making it worse and more invasive. And no one is really standing to stop it."
A recent poll conducted by the Huffington Post has suggested a shift in support away for Snowden, with 38 percent saying they feel he did the wrong thing in leaking documents against 33 percent who felt he did the right thing. After the first interview, 35 percent said he did the wrong thing while 38 percent said he had done the right thing.
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
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