NSA Whistleblower Comes Out of the Shadows

Despite the risks to his personal safety, the whistleblower who leaked the FISA court order and NSA surveillance programs to The Guardian has revealed himself. Prior to giving the tapes to columnist Glenn Greenwald, the 29 year old Edward Snowden chose to leave the US for Hong Kong because of it long history of respect for freedom of speech. Like six other whistleblowers, he expects that he will be charged by the Obama administration under the 1917 Espionage Act. In the 12 minute video that was produced and copyrighted* by American documentary film director and producer, Laura Poitras, he explains his decision to give the secret warrant and programs to Greenwald and leave the United States.

Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations

by Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill and Laura Poitras, The Guardian

The 29-year-old source behind the biggest intelligence leak in the NSA’s history explains his motives, his uncertain future and why he never intended on hiding in the shadows

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.


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  1. TMC
  2. tahoebasha3

    Despite the consequences of whistleblowing for so many, still more whistleblowers are coming to fore.  THIS is exactly what is needed. These individuals from Assange, Manning, Kierui(sp?) and others, we may not know about, and now, this brave soul, Snowden, have taken courageous stands for what they know is “wrong” from right.  All of these dear souls deserve the uttermost support from ALL peoples the world over, for they are the voice of truth and, possibly, our “saviors.”


  3. tahoebasha3

    Since warrantless wire-tapping and spying on all types of communications was being utilized way back, after 2001, on suspected “terrorists,” it leads one to wonder why would it be necessary to spy on all Americans, in other words, broadening the NSA efforts to expand to any and all Americans!  WHY?  

    My take is, it probably has little to do with searching for would be or real terrorists, but, rather, has to do with putting Americans on notice, should they become too dissident with their government:  suppression.  What led me to think this?  Well, think about all the whistleblowers and the treatment they have received.  Think about the suppression of the Occupy movement.  Think about the many outrageous Police actions, with their goon outfits.  Think about the FBI and their “false flag” events.  Think about the Martial Law literal enactment played out after the Boston Marathon.  Just some examples of how there is a definite pattern being played out, and one that is all too reminiscent of past history!

  4. polm

    (meaning U. S. citizens) tend to sort of play the ostrich and stick their heads in the sand.  Inotherwords, they have the attitude of  “Oh, I have nothing to hide, I don’t have to worry about it, and if they want to search me, or whatever, I won’t worry about it.”  Far too many of my friends and neighbors cultivate that attitude, and it’s virtually, if not downright impossible, to put it past them!

  5. terryhallinan

    Drown the bastards with data I say. :-)

    I had a minor role in the spy business as a young enlisted soldier in Vietnam before most Americans knew there was a Vietnam.

    We used to get reams of translations of Radio Hanoi.  The fictional stories of the depredations of American “cowboys” [cow-bois] were hilarious at the time. “Cowboy” had become a Vietnamese word that could be translated as outlaw from the beloved American westerns.

    That was all before JFK sent in assassination squads.  Eisenhower had resisted efforts to expand our efforts though he was no hero either.

    I used to send some of the copy home instead of disposing of it all in the classified trash.  I must have turned green when a major came into the office loudly demanding to know what happened to some of the copy.  Maybe the major thought I was just one of those soldiers who had taken too much quinine for too long to ward off malaria. :-)

    You can’t know how ugly Obama’s witchhunts for traitors are to one who has had reason to be concerned unless you are a Latino who knows of even Americans born in this country being shipped to Mexico as aliens.

    Best,  Terry

  6. polm

    That’s what’s needed here in the United States, more than ever.

  7. banger

    I think they’ll be very careful when they give people top secret clearance this will cause more delays and more expense for the gov’t which already spends extraordinary amounts of money on security. They’ll have to, eventually, only hire Mormons or something if they want to be sure none of their secrets will come out.

    The more of this, the better–this incident showed, again, the government with it’s pants down lying as usual. Once the idea gets into people’s minds that the government lies about everything important then it become harder to rule and leaves people looking around for alternatives.  

  8. Compound F

    Yer feet hurt because yer kicking ass on our behalf.

  9. terryhallinan

    Yer feet hurt because yer kicking ass on our behalf.

    McCain just called down the hounds of hell on Paul Rand for his absolutist position that manages to shift with the wind.

    There really are difficult lines to draw.

    Dick Tracy used to send fingerprints off to the FBI to find perps but those days a real life detective was allowed to ask the FBI to check fingerprints of a maximum 5 named suspects that may or may not have been on file.

    A million is a lot of anything.  You wouldn’t know it with all the numbers thrown at you today but I was once tasked with finding a few cards in a file of 2 million data points.

    The problem was bad elevation data points that could cause planes to run into mountains.  The data was stored on magnetic tape but all efforts with the tapes had failed.

    I did find the problem (it was in the COBOL language with its structured code that caused high elevations to bleed over into other data).  It was that kind of problem that had caused nightmares with the end of the last millenium.

    The mountain of 2 million cards was another kind of nightmare that encouraged diligence in the automated search.

    Far more massive fingerprint files today can be searched for murderers, rapists, bombers, etc., with increasing accuracy though a local state trooper was caught planting fingerprints with scotch tape.

    Obviously today’s DNA is even better but it too can be faked, misread, etc.

    No real easy answers to catch the bad guys but leave the protesters alone.  Could help to not put people on the Supreme Court that think international corporations are persons best suited to rule the country.  Restoring “We the people” instead of “Moneyed interests” to the preamble of The Constitution would be a nice start.

    Best,  Terry

  10. TMC

    I’ll have you know I shower and wash my feet every time I kick someone’s ass. 😉

    I found it kind of strange to be agreeing with Antonin Scalia. He written dissent was “kick ass.”

  11. terryhallinan

    I found it kind of strange to be agreeing with Antonin Scalia.


    I knew an honest-to-god psychopath who had an astonishing record of prior convictions when he added incest to convictions for murder reduced to manslaughter, rape, arson, grand theft embezzlement and grand theft auto -the ones I can recall.

    In prison, he talked some nuns into successfully pleading for the government to return him to his family.  The nuns even set him up in business.  The peace didn’t last long, as you probably guessed.

    I was stunned once when this fine fellow made a stirring speech against union violence during a strike.

    I am stunned again.

    Best,  Terry

  12. TMC

    with the similar or the same security clearance that Snowden had. The monster they created bit them again. Good

  13. tahoebasha3

    But the more I think about this whole thing of Snowden’s revelations to The Guardian, the more angry I become about the thit that goes on behind our backs.  But, also, as you are no doubt aware, they are trying hard to attach a breach of the Espionage Act to Snowden, because he stated that the U.S. had been hacking their computers.  Yet, the U.S. has been accusing China, of hacking U.S. computers for months. It’s always a one-sided deal for us.  Whatever we do is O.K., but not for another country to do!  Anyway, suffice it, that everyone spies on everyone (country-wise, that is), in some shape or form.  I don’t think there’s much there that is new!

  14. tahoebasha3

    had been hacking China’s computers. . . . “

  15. terryhallinan

    Surely, tahoebasha3.

    Was the Ayatollah Khomeini an innocent lamb then for committing an act of war when he learned [gulp] that the American Embassy was spying on Iran?  

    Whether Khomeini was naive or diabolical, the consequences have been catastrophic.  A truly bumbling innocent, Jimmy Carter, was surely responsible.  

    Even Eisenhower played the fool in the famous straying “weather plane” [piloted by Gary Powers] by admitting it was a spy plane.  Khrushchev was left no out.  The epilogue could have been far more horrific.

    Did we then need a truly sick, antisemitic paranoiac in Nixon to give us a chance for peace, turned into a nightmare by his successors?

    Seems like it could be in retrospect.

    The world is a weird place is it not?

    Best,  Terry

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