Eight years ago, Edward Snowden revealed government secrets. He told the world that America, illegally, spies on Americans, and most everyone in the world.
Some now call Snowden a traitor. I talk with Snowden about that.
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I say to Snowden, “You went to work for the government. You signed agreements saying you wouldn’t talk about what you did.”
“I did sign up to work for the government,” Snowden agrees. He was patriotic: “I volunteered for the army when everyone else was protesting,” he notes.
But then his view of his government changed.
While spymasters told Congress and the public that the NSA did not spy on Americans, Snowden, on the inside, working for the CIA and then the NSA, could see the truth.
“I saw everything… we were capturing everything that your family is doing online, that your friends are doing online,” he said.
“This became such a concern to me, that I was willing to risk a great deal to tell people,” he adds.
He did risk a great deal. Now he’s in exile.
“You really got screwed!” I tell him.
After all, the government officials who misled Americans are doing fine. National Security Agency head James Clapper lied to Congress, and he wasn’t fired. Now he has a gig at CNN.
But Snowden, for telling the truth, is in exile.
Snowden and I discuss that in the video above.