"I don't want to live in a world where there's no privacy and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity."
Edward Snowden took a stand for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, but will the American Sheeple give a shit? or will the mouth-breathing Sheeple simply change the channel back to the "Slut Housewives of New Jersey"?
Except for a few sane voices like Senators Rand Paul and Ron Wyden, most Democrats and Republicans are circling the wagons to defend the unconstitutional 1984 Police State that they have been busy creating.
Our whistleblower Snowden left the CIA in 2009 in order to take his first job working for a private contractor that assigned him to a functioning NSA facility, stationed on a military base in Japan. It was then, he said, that he "watched as Obama advanced the very policies that I thought would be reined in", and as a result, "I got hardened."
The primary lesson from this experience was that "you can't wait around for someone else to act. I had been looking for leaders, but I realised that leadership is about being the first to act."
Over the next three years, he learned just how all-consuming the NSA's surveillance activities were, claiming "they are intent on making every conversation and every form of behaviour in the world known to them".
Once he reached the conclusion that the NSA's surveillance net would soon be irrevocable, he said it was just a matter of time before he chose to act. "What they're doing" poses "an existential threat to democracy", he said.
Having watched the Obama administration prosecute whistleblowers at a historically unprecedented rate, he fully expects the US government to attempt to use all its weight to punish him. "I am not afraid," he said calmly, "because this is the choice I've made."
He predicts the government will launch an investigation and "say I have broken the Espionage Act and helped our enemies, but that can be used against anyone who points out how massive and invasive the system has become".