‘Truth Cannot Be Stopped’: Edward Snowden is Giving a Live Q&A

Lindsay Mills, Edward Snowden Girlfriend, NSA whistleblower.

A supporter holds a sign at a small rally in support of National Security Administration (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden in Manhattan’s Union Square on June 10, 2013 in New York City. About 15 supporters attended the rally a day after Snowden’s identity was revealed in the leak of the existence of NSA data mining operations. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Over at the Guardian’s website, NSA whistleblower and leaker of classified documents Edward Snowden is giving a live blog-style Q&A answering questions from across the web.

edward snowden

An answer to the question: What would you tell potential future whistleblowers?

Here are the highlights:

He Refuted Claims of Being in Contact with the Chinese Government:

Edward snowden China

‘I Did Not Reveal Any US Operations Against Legitimate Military Targets’

In the wake of controversy over the decision to leak information regarding the U.S. cyber attacks on Chinese targets, Snowden justified his actions saying:

I did not reveal any US operations against legitimate military targets. I pointed out where the NSA has hacked civilian infrastructure such as universities, hospitals, and private businesses because it is dangerous. These nakedly, aggressively criminal acts are wrong no matter the target. Not only that, when NSA makes a technical mistake during an exploitation operation, critical systems crash. Congress hasn’t declared war on the countries – the majority of them are our allies – but without asking for public permission, NSA is running network operations against them that affect millions of innocent people. And for what? So we can have secret access to a computer in a country we’re not even fighting?

‘What I Said When I Was 17 or What My Girlfriend Looks Like..’

While fielding a question, Snowden criticized mainstream media’s coverage of the story saying:

Edward Snowden Girlfriend

He Have President Obama a Little Bit of Advice Saying:

This disclosure provides Obama an opportunity to appeal for a return to sanity, constitutional policy, and the rule of law rather than men. He still has plenty of time to go down in history as the President who looked into the abyss and stepped back, rather than leaping forward into it. I would advise he personally call for a special committee to review these interception programs, repudiate the dangerous “State Secrets” privilege, and, upon preparing to leave office, begin a tradition for all Presidents forthwith to demonstrate their respect for the law by appointing a special investigator to review the policies of their years in office for any wrongdoing.

‘Bathtub Falls and Police Officers Kill More Americans Than Terrorist’

When asked about the claim that massive drag-net surveillance has stopped dozens of terrorist attacks Snowden responded:

Journalists should ask a specific question: since these programs began operation shortly after September 11th, how many terrorist attacks were prevented SOLELY by information derived from this suspicionless surveillance that could not be gained via any other source? Then ask how many individual communications were ingested to acheive that, and ask yourself if it was worth it. Bathtub falls and police officers kill more Americans than terrorism, yet we’ve been asked to sacrifice our most sacred rights for fear of falling victim to it.

The NSA Have ‘Anything They Want’

Snowden attempted to confirm exactly what Barack Obama has been denying: that the NSA has access to the content of phone calls, and that the “warrant” process is not as official as we think:

More detail on how direct NSA’s accesses are is coming, but in general, the reality is this: if an NSA, FBI, CIA, DIA, etc analyst has access to query raw SIGINT databases, they can enter and get results for anything they want. Phone number, email, user id, cell phone handset id (IMEI), and so on – it’s all the same. The restrictions against this are policy based, not technically based, and can change at any time….. Even in the event of “warranted” intercept, it’s important to understand the intelligence community doesn’t always deal with what you would consider a “real” warrant like a Police department would have to, the “warrant” is more of a templated form they fill out and send to a reliable judge with a rubber stamp.

edward snowden questions and answers

‘The Truth is Coming, and It Cannot Be Stopped’

When asked if an arrest or assassination would end the leak of his documents, Snowden responded:

All I can say right now is the US Government is not going to be able to cover this up by jailing or murdering me. Truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped.

The US Government..’Destroyed Any Possibility of a Fair Trial’

Snowden also reiterated his reasoning behind fleeing to Hong Kong after leaving the United States:

First, the US Government, just as they did with other whistleblowers, immediately and predictably destroyed any possibility of a fair trial at home, openly declaring me guilty of treason and that the disclosure of secret, criminal, and even unconstitutional acts is an unforgivable crime. That’s not justice, and it would be foolish to volunteer yourself to it if you can do more good outside of prison than in it.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x