Edward Snowden, after months of NSA revelations, says his missions accomplished
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Washington Post
Posted: December 30th, 2013
Taken together, the [Edward Snowden] revelations have brought to light a global surveillance system that cast off many of its historical restraints after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Secret legal authorities empowered the NSA to sweep in the telephone, Internet and location records of whole populations. Six months after the first revelations ... Snowden agreed to reflect at length on the roots and repercussions of his choice. He was relaxed and animated over two days of nearly unbroken conversation. Snowden offered vignettes from his intelligence career and from his recent life as an indoor cat in Russia. But he consistently steered the conversation back to surveillance, democracy and the meaning of the documents he exposed. For me, in terms of personal satisfaction, the missions already accomplished, he said. I already won. As soon as the journalists were able to work, everything that I had been trying to do was validated. Because, remember, I didnt want to change society. I wanted to give society a chance to determine if it should change itself. All I wanted was for the public to be able to have a say in how they are governed, he said. Snowden ... had come to believe that a dangerous machine of mass surveillance was growing unchecked. Closed-door oversight by Congress and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was a graveyard of judgment, he said, manipulated by the agency it was supposed to keep in check. The NSAs business is information dominance, the use of other peoples secrets to shape events. At 29, Snowden upended the agency on its own turf.
Note: For more on the realities of intelligence agency activities, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.