Whistleblower reveals himself

The person who made the bombshell revelations to The Guardian and other newspapers has revealed himself. He is 29-year old Edward Snowden, a former employee of the CIA and currently working with the NSA for a major defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.

The above link has an interview where he explains his actions and how the NSA does its snooping. It is a must see interview.

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.”

In a Q&A he talks about the scope of what the government is capable: “You are not even aware of what is possible. The extent of their capabilities is horrifying. We can plant bugs in machines. Once you go on the network, I can identify your machine. You will never be safe whatever protections you put in place.”

He is currently in Hong Kong. The US will undoubtedly seek to extradite him.

Once again, like Bradley Manning, we see a young person disturbed by what his own government was doing, being ignored by his superiors, and deciding to sacrifice his career to make the news public.

I wonder how many more like him are in similar positions.


  1. Vicki says

    I fear he is over-optimistic about Hong Kong’s commitment to freedom of speech.

  2. dickspringer says

    I just realized that I have made it impossible for me to get a security clearance because I have made several online comments praising Mr. Snowden.

  3. says

    I just realized that I have made it impossible for me to get a security clearance because I have made several online comments praising Mr. Snowden.

    Bad idea. We need people who doubt the system to be on the inside not the outside.

  4. Mano Singham says

    Absolutely correct. Also look for suggestions that he is mentally unstable.

  5. slc1 says

    Another aspect of this demonstrates the extent to which activities that were performed by government employees 60 years ago are now outsourced to private contractors like Booz, Allen. This is the dirty secret of the privatization campaigns of government functions that has been going on during that time in the interest of “saving money”. Actually, there is not the slightest evidence that privatization saves money. The entire purpose of the privatization campaign is so that the politicians can claim that they’re not increasing government employment, a totally fallacious claim because it’s taxpayers funds that pays the salaries of the employees of these companies. The employees of these companies are to all extent and purpose employees of the government, except that the civil service rules don’t apply to them. What’s even worse is that some of the investigation of potential employees of these companies for security clearances has also been privatized.

    Don’t expect the Congress or the lame stream media to conduct an investigation of privatization, they’re too busy investigating non-scandals like Benghazi and the IRS. I would be willing to bet that Mr. Snowden, who once worked for the NSA, left to join Booz Allen for a hefty increase in remuneration (or perhaps his unit at the NSA was subjected to an A76 study and was privatized).

  6. left0ver1under says

    The things Israel did to Mordechai Vanunu (kidnapping from a sovereign country, torture, imprisonment, house arrest after release from prison, Apartheid-style “banning”) will look like child’s play if the US gets their hands on him.

    I would have done the reverse: I would have permanently kept my head down, and I would have released ALL the information. With some bureaucracies and systems, total destruction and evisceration is the only way to stop them. Death by a thousand cuts won’t work on them.

  7. jamessweet says

    The Beeb is already working on it:

    A neighbour told ABC that the couple usually kept the blinds and doors closed and “didn’t really talk to anyone at all around here”.

  8. slc1 says

    Hey, at least they eventually let Vanunu out of the slammer. Snowden, if China agrees to extradite him (not a forgone conclusion; remember that Hong Kong is now part of China) will be locked up and the key thrown away if he’s lucky enough to escape lethal injection.

  9. jamessweet says

    Although on the optimistic side, Snowden is young, attractive, articulate, and doesn’t come across as a radical or a weirdo of any type. This could be a whisteblower “perfect storm”, if you know what I mean… i.e. much more challenging to demonize than Assange or Manning.

  10. Marshall says

    Totally agree with you--he seems to be incredibly level-headed. And honestly, the fact that he wasn’t a stellar student makes him seem even more “normal” in my book. He’s not a crazy over-achiever with radical views, he’s just a regular guy who’s pretty good with computers and happened to end up, through life’s capricious, working at the NSA. His sense of morality is intact and it was alerted by the information gleaned from his experience.

    I think slander pieces are going to have a tough time beyond finding that he probably smoked weed with his buddies in college.

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