Update by Alan L. Chrisman
Edward Snowden just had his first interview with American TV. A stern faced Brian Williams, NBC news anchor, not trying to be a charming Barbra Walters, asked him the hard questions, from a secret location in Russia. And Snowden was fascinating to watch. For this just-turned 30 year old seemed remarkably calm and self-assured for his situation, perhaps with a hint of arrogance as well.
But he confirmed what the Vanity Fair article, etc. (see my review of below), had said as to how and why he had taken U.S. government secrets. As I said, he's an unlikely James Bond. He says he had joined the military, after 9/11, but had to drop out when hurt. And he maintains that he was more than a lowly systems analyst and claims he had actually been trained as an undercover spy for both the N.S.A. and the C.I.A., something the government has dismissed.
I think he shocked Williams, for example, when he told him he would have had the ability and the U.S. and other governments do, to even turn on William’s phone and use it as a microphone and camera, without him knowing it or anyone else’s.
Snowden also said he wasn’t naïve enough to travel to Russia (which he planned to only transit through on the way to South America) with classified documents, but the U. S. had revoked his passport and he was stranded there.
So this is no usual young man. He sees himself as a patriot even and working for his country still by exposing his government’s excesses. He even admitted to the irony of being stuck in a place now that’s hasn’t got the best human rights and privacy record, Russia. His temporary stay there is up for renewal in August and it’s clear he would like to come home, if possible. But that’s unlikely in the near future, after U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry’s angry response to Snowden’s comments. Kerry still sees him more as a traitor and coward, as some still do, and the debate will continue. But there’s little doubt we, the public, wouldn’t even be aware of our governments’ far reaching programs and the invasive abilities of the technologies in their hands, without Snowden
In time, the U.S. may want to make some kind of deal, if for no other reason, than just to find out just what information Snowden still has yet to be released. And the journalists he had passed the files onto are hinting there are more perhaps bigger bombshells to come.