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July 08, 2013 AT 4:31 PM
Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden remains, as far as the public knows, stuck in the transit area of a Moscow airport. But two newly published interviews reveal more about why he decided to go public with documents confirming the NSA's domestic surveillance of American citizens. The interviews, separately published today by the Guardian and Spiegel Online, were conducted over a month ago -- before his identity as the NSA's most famous leaker became public. Snowden predicted how the documents he divulged would be received by Washington officialdom: "I think the government's going to launch an investigation. I think they're going to say I committed grave crimes, [that] I violated the Espionage Act. They're going to say I aided our enemies." Which is exactly what happened.