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NSA leaker Snowden: 'Mission's already accomplished'

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 10:49 p.m. HST, Dec 23, 2013

WASHINGTON » National Security Agency leaker and former Waipahu resident Edward Snowden said his "mission's already accomplished" after leaking NSA secrets that have caused a reassessment of U.S. surveillance policies.

Snowden told The Washington Post in an interview published online Monday night that he was satisfied because journalists have been able to tell the story of the government's collection of bulk Internet and phone records, an activity that has grown dramatically in the decade since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

"For me, in terms of personal satisfaction, the mission's 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," Snowden told the Post. "Because, remember, I didn't want to change society. I wanted to give society a chance to determine if it should change itself."

President Barack Obama hinted Friday that he would consider some changes to NSA's bulk collection of Americans' phone records to address the public's concern about privacy. His comments came in a week in which a federal judge declared the NSA's collection program probably was unconstitutional. A presidential advisory panel has suggested 46 changes to NSA operations.

Snowden was interviewed in Moscow over two days by Post reporter Barton Gellman, who has received numerous leaks from Snowden. The interview was conducted six months after Snowden's revelations first appeared in the Post and Britain's Guardian newspaper.

Gellman described Snowden as relaxed and animated over two days of nearly unbroken conversation, fueled by burgers, pasta, ice cream and Russian pastry.

In June, the Justice Department unsealed a criminal complaint charging Snowden, a former NSA contractor, with espionage and felony theft of government property. Russia granted him temporary asylum five months ago.

The effects of Snowden's revelations have been evident in the courts, Congress, Silicon Valley and capitals around the world, where even U.S. allies have reacted angrily to reports of U.S. monitoring of their leaders' cellphone calls. Brazil and members of the European Union are considering ways to better protect their data and U.S. technology companies such as Google, Microsoft and Yahoo are looking at ways to block the collection of data by the government.

Snowden, now 30, said he is not being disloyal to the U.S. or to his former employer.

"I am not trying to bring down the NSA, I am working to improve the NSA," he said. "I am still working for the NSA right now. They are the only ones who don't realize it."

Asked about the Snowden interview, White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said: "Mr. Snowden faces felony charges here in the United States and should be returned to the U.S. as soon as possible, where he will be afforded due process and all the protections of our criminal justice system."

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awahana wrote:
"...where he will be afforded due process and all the protections of our criminal justice system."
Yeah. The same government that is doing all this illegal violations of the 4th amendment of our constitution?
Give us a break.
Better yet, give us our rights back.
on December 24,2013 | 03:43AM
MalamaKaAina wrote:
did Clapper lie to Congress?
on December 24,2013 | 03:50AM
pcman wrote:
IRT Malama on Clapper. Yes, it collects non-intrusive data: phone numbers, time of calls. No names or conversations. The standard answer he should have given is, "I cannot confirm or deny the answer in this forum." Then he should have clarified his reply in a classified forum without the press involved. In truth, Phone companies, Social Security, IRS, Google, VISA, etc. have more data saved on you than does NSA. If you have no dealings with terrorists, you have nothing to worry about.
on December 24,2013 | 10:30AM
I believe after all that has been turned up and the courts themselves see what constitutional rights have been infringed upon and therefore he should be able to get a fair trial. Say what you want, but we have the best judicial system in the world.
on December 24,2013 | 08:49AM
eoe wrote:
Except all the laws favor the government, corporations, and the rich.
on December 24,2013 | 10:29AM
dyw001 wrote:
He might have accomplished his so-called 'mission', but one thing is sure...he can't come home. He can't even go to the country of his choice. It's ironic that only Russia will give him a haven, a country that notorious for its surveillance of its citizens. I'm quite sure Russia is tracking his every move, his every correspondence and every contact.
on December 24,2013 | 04:59AM
honokai wrote:
At this point, Snowden will do what is best for Snowden. He knows he is under their watch. So what? That is the choice he made. And he has millions of supporters throughout the world. People from other places like to mock the USA for our massive indulgence in hypocrisy.
on December 24,2013 | 05:46AM
bsdetection wrote:
And the NSA is tracking your every move, email, and phone call.
on December 24,2013 | 07:23AM
Time to start learing how to send smoke signals, and learn how to connect 2 cans and a string to communicate.
on December 24,2013 | 08:51AM
pcman wrote:
IRT bs on NSA. Actually, VISA does a better job tracking you than NSA. If you travel to another city and try to use your VISA card, VISA will immediately call you to determine if you are using that card or if it was stolen, physically or digitally. If you Google your name, you can sometimes find they have data on you for the past 50 years or more. I am sure any search engine can do a better job tracking you, your thoughts and intentions than all of the NSA programs combined. NSA is not authorized to track US persons but the FBI does. The FBI is the primary user of the NSA megadata.
on December 24,2013 | 10:41AM
RandolphW wrote:
Those who got spied on did not receive due process. Think about it, and then draw your own conclusions.
on December 24,2013 | 05:14AM
pcman wrote:
IRT Randolph on spying. Like VISA, Google, T-Mobile, SSA. IRS etc, NSA collects non-intrusive data until FBI asks for the phone number information. Investigation is not spying, but it becomes intrusive when FBI, IRS, DOJ are investigating you for cause. They have to go through the court systems to obtain what they want for their investigations.
on December 24,2013 | 10:50AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Sounds like George Bush.
on December 24,2013 | 05:44AM
honokai wrote:
The interesting thing is that people like to ignore facts and grasp on to their stereotypes about how great a country we are. And how bad everyone else is. You see the post above, one poster talks about how bad Russia is. It is much healthier to let go of that. We are the notorious ones here.
on December 24,2013 | 05:53AM
HOSSANA wrote:
I don't care about all the idiots that support this PUNK and feel he was justified in leaking these secrets about our spy agencies but as far as I'm concerned, he is NOTHING BUT A PUNK AND A TRAITOR AND DESERVES TO BE SHOT. He is a typical liberal protester and as far as I'm concerned, he can rot in Russia and when or if he decides to return and give himself up, I would put a bullet through him then he can live as a martyr....as far as I'm concerned.
on December 24,2013 | 06:56AM
awahana wrote:
We left England as pilgrims and changed the world and ourselves.
You need to study US History.
What made our country so great today, is the revolutionary thinkers, and you are not one of them.
Catch him if you can.
Snowden has more courage than all of us SA trollers combined, to stand up for all of our rights, at his own peril.
on December 24,2013 | 07:50AM
false wrote:
He's no different than the other famous guy who lived in Hawaii for a short while, before determining he was destined for greatness, and shot John Lennon. Same twisted logic, but bottom line it was because he wanted to be famous. This nut took his perception of what was good for him and forced it upon the rest of us by stealing and publishing wire taps (like, big wow). The US is not a tyrant. Not perfect, but when compared to tons of other countires, so what. When the nuts in the rest of the world trigger a nuclear device on US soil, we may well have Snowden to thank. You cannot give lip service to our brave soldiers fighting for our safety, then praise this insecure spoiled child as someone of courage. Like Mark David Chapman, he's delusionary (and a sociopath) THe proof? Declaring his mission done, as if he was his own superior.
on December 24,2013 | 08:32AM
pcman wrote:
IRT awahana on Snowden. Actually, Snowden has not revealed much that what was not already known. CBS had shown the NSA Meta Data Center on 60 Minutes a year before Snowden flew the coop. Spying on foreign leaders is a basic function of our embassies worldwide under the US State Department. Foreign leaders do not always openly reveal their plans and intentions on issues of concern to Americans and America. Foreign departments of state do the same with us, although we are an open society, whereby you can get any information you want on US plans and intentions on any subject. There is a fine line between courage and stupidity. IMHO, Snowden is far on the stupidity side.
on December 24,2013 | 11:11AM
Fred01 wrote:
on December 24,2013 | 09:25AM
XML808 wrote:
Agree with him or not, one thing is sure, Snowden forced everyone to open their eyes. When you look at history, the parallels between totalitarian regimes and the current state of affairs within the US is frightening. Let's hope Hollywood fantasy does not portend the future.
on December 24,2013 | 07:10AM
eoe wrote:
Lt Col Wolfgang Schmidt of the East German Stasi on NSA spying: "You know, for us, this would have been a dream come true."
on December 24,2013 | 10:33AM
eoe wrote:
But don't worry, we're the good guys. If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. /sarc
on December 24,2013 | 10:34AM
pcman wrote:
IRT XML on Snowden. The only people who were forced to open their eyes are the Congressmen and Senators who sit on the Intelligence Oversight committees and did not know what was going on. Even Hollywood has a better idea of what is going on in the intelligence business.
on December 24,2013 | 11:21AM
Anonymous wrote:
The CIA should go after him and elliminate him! He is a traitor!
on December 24,2013 | 07:24AM
aomohoa wrote:
And you are scary! He did nothing but make the people of USA aware of what is going on with the NSA. Collecting data on citizens without cause is just wrong. How are suppose to have enough manpower to go through everything they collect anyway? Waste of time and taxpayers money. They should concentrated on real threats. Maybe improve security at the airports. That is a joke. Anyone can get anything though and then they will keep you from having a snow globe. It' a joke.
on December 24,2013 | 08:45AM
jimbone wrote:
Send in seal team 6, and this will all be cleaned up..
on December 24,2013 | 07:50AM
aomohoa wrote:
Your attitude is what is making this nation a scary place. Be careful what you ask for.
on December 24,2013 | 08:47AM
localcitizen wrote:
Send him where he belongs Prison
on December 24,2013 | 09:05AM
Fred01 wrote:
Actually, dingbats like you should be rounded up and put in a camp.
on December 24,2013 | 09:26AM
localcitizen wrote:
Now, that's just such an intelligent response! SnowDumb really did this for his own celebrity. When there is some sort of terrorist incident that we realize could have been avoided by good intel., remember to call the families of those lost and tell them what you think snowdumb did for them! Academic, not realistic, just wishing all the bullies will go away........you get no where doing nothing..
on December 24,2013 | 12:01PM
OldEnoughToRemember wrote:
It is interesting that the actions taken to create our country are in themselves, now illegal activity. Using the monetary instruments issued by my government (paying cash) puts me under suspicion by my government. I like what Snowden did, if only for exposing the illegal actions by our government on us, the citizenry. Actions that are clearly illegal by what's left of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. The sad part is that it took this type of action to wake up a lot of the population to what is really going on in our country. Revile Mr. Snowden all you want, but a little anarchy once in a while is a good thing.
on December 24,2013 | 09:19AM
DownSpout wrote:
Yes! Mission accomplished and dream realized: our dear boy now able to spend the rest of his life in Mother Russia!
on December 24,2013 | 09:31AM
mcc wrote:
Leave him in Russia, he is done with us we are done with him.
on December 24,2013 | 09:58AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Because of him we all learned so much about what our government does to spy on us and intrude on our lives. Everything we've learned has been bad. Without him we would not know this information. That makes him a pretty good guy.
on December 24,2013 | 10:46AM
Fred01 wrote:
But ignorance is bliss. So he's hated by the majority of the sheeple.
on December 24,2013 | 11:37AM
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