In an exclusive interview with NBC’s Brian Williams, Edward Snowden revealed what he knows about the omnipotent NSA, why he did what he did, and how the 9/11 terror attacks affected him.
Snowden is a former National Security Agency contractor who leaked thousands of classified documents that detailed how the U.S. government spies on every person in America. He’s now staying in Russia, who granted him amnesty, because he’s wanted in America on treason charges for leaking the information. Some view him as a patriot who did the right thing by exposing the massive spy network the government has created while others believe he turned his back on our nation.
“I take the threat of terrorism seriously, and I think we all do,” he said. “And I think it’s really disingenuous for the government to invoke and sort of scandalize our memories to sort of exploit the national trauma that we all suffered together and worked so hard to come through, and justify programs that have never been shown to keep us safe but cost us liberties and freedoms that we don’t need to give up, and our Constitution says we should not give up.”
Snowden explained that he was in Fort Meade, Md. at the NSA’s headquarters on the day of the attacks. He also told of how his grandfather, who worked for the FBI at the time, was in the Pentagon when the hijacked plane hit the building.
He also said to Williams that he considers himself to be a “patriot.”
“Being a patriot means knowing when to protect your country, knowing when to protect your Constitution, knowing when to protect your countrymen from the — the violations of an — and encroachments of adversaries,” he said, then adding “And those adversaries don’t have to be foreign countries.”
When news broke that Snowden would be doing a televised interview on an American network, John Kerry said in a statement that if Snowden were a patriot that he would return to America and make his case in court. However Snowden has repeatedly claimed that he fears for his own safety should he return to the states.
So is Snowden a patriotic hero or is he a treasonous turncoat? Let us know with a comment!