After one month of waiting, The Guardian has finally released part two of journalist Glenn Greenwald's interview with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The interview was conducted in Hong Kong on June 6, 2013, and the first part was released shortly thereafter.
You can watch part two of the interview here.
Here are the most important statements made by Snowden in the second half of this bombshell interview:
1. He Predicted How the U.S. Would Respond
In the interview, Edward Snowden predicted fairly accurately how the United States government would respond to his leaking of classified NSA documents:
I think the government is going to launch an investigation, I think they are going to say that I have committed grave times, I have violated the espionage act, they're going to say that I have aided our enemies in making them aware of these systems.
Edward Snowden predicted this just right, because weeks after this interview the Director of the National Security Agency, General Keith Alexander, sat before the U.S. Senate and told them that Snowden had caused "irreversible and significant damage" to the mechanisms of national security. Later that week, Snowden was charged with espionage.
2. He Joined the Army to Free Oppressed People Overseas
Snowden was asked by Greenwald what his motivation was for joining the military and governmental apparatus and Snowden gave an almost naive response saying:
I joined the intelligence community when I was very young, sort of the government as a whole, I enlisted in the army shortly after the invasion of Iraq and I believed in the goodness of what we were doing, I believed in the nobility of our intentions to free oppressed people overseas. But over time, over the length of my career, as I watched the news, and increasingly exposed to true information that had not been propagandized in the media that we were actually involved in misleading the public and misleading all the publics not just the american public in order to create a certain construct in the global mindset.
3. The Government Works With Major Tech Companies
Speaking about the most damning documents that he leaked, Snowden talked about how truly terrifying the ramifications of the United States' PRISM program is for the American people.
PRISM, which is a demonstration of how the US government co-opts U.S. corporate power to its own ends. Companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft they all get together with the NSA and provide the NSA direct access with the back ends of all of the systems you use to communicate to store data to put things in the cloud and even just to send birthday wishes and keep a record of your life. And they give the NSA direct access that they don't need to oversee so they cant be held liable for it.
4. He Doesn't Want to Live in a World of Surveillance
In the interview, Snowden claims that part of what motivated his leak was desire to live in an American that allowed the citizens the high standards of privacy and freedom assured in its ideological foundation.
I grew up with the understanding that the world I lived in was one where people enjoyed a sort of freedom to communicate with each other in privacy without it being monitored without it being measured or analysed or sort of judged by these shadowy figures or systems anytime they mention anything that travels across public lines.
5. No One is Standing Up For the People
Snowden concluded the interview with probably the most disconcerting fact of them all, no one is standing up for the American people. He said that at first, he held his tongue assuming that eventually somebody or some government entity would exert effort to downscale the massive intelligence operations. He said that instead he saw that,
we are compounded the excesses of prior governments and making it worse and more invasive and no one is really standing to stop it.