National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden on Monday declared that he is determined to continue disseminating the truth about sweeping U.S. surveillance programs and said U.S. authorities will not be able to “cover this up” by jailing or “murdering” him.
In a live online chat on the Guardian newspaper’s website, the 29-year-old defense contractor who exposed the NSA’s massive spying program and fled the U.S., seeking asylum in Hong Kong, responded to questions from reporter Glenn Greenwald, as well as random readers who posted questions on the newspaper’s website as well as Twitter (#AskSnowden).
“All I can say right now is the U.S. government is not going to be able to cover this up by jailing or murdering me. Truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped,” he wrote in an initial post.
He also stressed his desire not to reveal active U.S. operations against what he called “legitimate military targets,” saying he did not wish to harm people.
Here’s his first post:
1) 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.
Second, let’s be clear: 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? So we can potentially reveal a potential terrorist with the potential to kill fewer Americans than our own Police? No, the public needs to know the kinds of things a government does in its name, or the “consent of the governed” is meaningless.