Snowden: If 'Country Is Helped,' Ending Up in Ditch 'Worth It'

Edward Snowden says that even if he ends up in “a ditch” some day, if his acts help his country, then it will all have been worth it.

Mike Rogers, a Republican congressman from Michigan who is the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, took to the Sunday news show circuit to make unsubstantiated claims that whistleblower Edward Snowden was possibly working for Russian intelligence when he downloaded and subsequently leaked a trove of internal documents from his one-time employer, the National Security Agency.

But in an interview with The New Yorker magazine, Snowden called such claims ‘absurd,’ telling investigative journalist Jane Mayer, using encrypted email, that he “clearly and unambiguously acted alone, with no assistance from anyone, much less a government.”

“This ‘Russian spy’ push is absurd,” Snowden told Mayer, and made the point that he wasn’t welcomed in Russia with open arms, but was stranded in the Sheremetyevo International Airport (stripped of his passport by the U.S. government it’s worth nothing) for over a month before his temporary asylum was granted. “Spies get treated better than that,” he said.

No evidence, including from the FBI’s active investigation into Snowden, has turned up any evidence that he received any outside assistance or was acting as a foreign agent.

“It may sound trite, [but if] I end up disgraced in a ditch somewhere, but it helps the country, it will still be worth it.” —Edward Snowden

As Mayer writes:

Click Here: Putters

Throughout the online interview with Mayer, Snowden remains adamant about his motivations to expose the NSA surveillance programs that have fueled a major international debate about government spying since the stories based on the documents first starting appearing in The Guardian newspaper in the spring of last year. Despite the growing interest in him personally and his reasons for acting, Snowden remains thoughtful on a range of issues in his exchange with Mayer. A sampling follows.


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