His name is Edward Snowden, 29, and he’s now seeking asylum through the Chinese government while currently holed up in Hong Kong.
The posted transcript of the Q&A at The Guardian is slightly edited, but there’s video explaining his actions, here.
Josh Marshall seems unimpressed, and I think rightfully so.
Snowden talks about potential for abuse, but doesn’t really produce any proof, other than the slippery slope argument. And the idea that an NSA Cookie Monster data collection system has indiscriminately gobbled up junk like a whale swallowing up plankton is an unconvincing argument.
He also says this:
Q: When did you decide to leak the documents?
A: “You see things that may be disturbing. When you see everything you realise that some of these things are abusive. The awareness of wrong-doing builds up. There was not one morning when I woke up [and decided this is it]. It was a natural process.
“A lot of people in 2008 voted for Obama. I did not vote for him. I voted for a third party. But I believed in Obama’s promises. I was going to disclose it [but waited because of his election]. He continued with the policies of his predecessor.”
Q: What is your reaction to Obama denouncing the leaks on Friday while welcoming a debate on the balance between security and openness?
A: “My immediate reaction was he was having difficulty in defending it himself. He was trying to defend the unjustifiable and he knew it.”
Pot meet kettle. I find his explanation for his actions lacking substance and ideologically-driven. Because “abusive” is a subjective term, used over and over in some variation to justify his leaking of government intelligence gathering methods, especially in the absence of specified abuses. Suggesting that the potential exists for abuse is not an example of abuse(s).
He sounds like a rogue Libertarian who thinks China wouldn’t execute him in the street if he pulled this shit with their intelligence gathering methods.
But, other than revealing a general, Obama= Bush libertarian ideology at play, I see very little from Snowden that would justify such drama. Quite frankly, I’m a little disappointed.