A profile in courage
The leaker reveals himself to the world:
The individual responsible for one of the most significant leaks in US political history is Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency for the last four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz Allen and Dell.
The Guardian, after several days of interviews, is revealing his identity at his request. From the moment he decided to disclose numerous top-secret documents to the public, he was determined not to opt for the protection of anonymity. "I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong," he said.
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."
Read on. It's an amazing story, like something out of a spy novel.
I'm already hearing people speculate about his commie ties and other truly stupid stuff. But I've got to believe that going public is potentially his best protection. It's hard to know if the public will support this fellow, but considering what he's done I'm going to guess he's more comfortable being out in the open than in the shadows.
Please go to the site to see the video of his interview, which is fairly amazing. Whistleblowers are often an odd lot. You have to be to take on the powerful like this. I know that I would never in a million years have the balls to do what he has done. Except for his amazing bravery, he seems surprisingly normal.
Update: By the way, those who are also blithely claiming that Glenn Greenwald can never return to the United States or his home in Rio now are confirming why we should be concerned about all this. Last I heard we still have a First Amendment that protects both Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press. If we believe in those things we should believe that it absolutely protects Greenwald and allows him to travel freely in his own country. If it doesn't we have bigger problems than this NSA spying.