Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor that leaked details of the agency’s surveillance programs to newspapers around the world, is still hiding out somewhere in Russia. That didn’t stop the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence from delivering their most prestigious award to him though.
Now, the award is pretty big news, but what’s even bigger is that Snowden actually spoke on camera. It’s been months since he last gave any kind of spoken statement, but here we are with three short clips of his talk from WikiLeaks.
The first is a short bit where Snowden speaks on the unsurprising revelation that Intelligence Director James Clapper lied to Congress about the NSA’s capabilities. He points out the absurdity of a Justice Department that refuses to prosecute Clapper, but will do everything its power to go after whistleblowers like himself and others.
Another clip touches upon the government’s constant assurance that everything the NSA does is done with the consent of Americans. He doesn’t say that’s a lie, but rather points out that the secrecy in which the NSA’s activities are conducted make it impossible for the American people to understand, let alone consent to, what’s going on.
The third clip shows Snowden talking about the NSA’s mass surveillance programs and how they make us less safe. He argues that these programs not only do little to stop terrorist activities, but that the existence of the programs themselves threaten Americans’ freedoms and way of life.
There’s obviously more here than what WikiLeaks has posted, but the whole talk has not been put online yet. We’ll let you know if, and when, the whole thing is posted. Regardless of how you feel about Snowden, he’s an intelligent man with some very interesting things to say.