Edward Snowden Denies Being a Russian Spy

Says allegations made by members of Congress are "absurd"

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National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden denied allegations that he was acting as a Russian spy when he took classified intelligence documents and later fled the U.S.

“This ‘Russian spy’ push is absurd,” Snowden told the New Yorker in an interview conducted over what that publication called “encrypted means.” Snowden added that he “clearly and unambiguously acted alone, with no assistance from anyone, much less a government.”

Snowden’s comments follow remarks made by Senate Intelligence Select Committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence chairman Mike Rogers on Sunday.

Rogers, appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press, raised the possibility that Snowden acted with Russian support. “I believe there’s a reason he ended up in the hands, the loving arms, of an FSB agent in Moscow,” said Rogers, referencing Russia’s main internal-security apparatus. “I don’t think it was a gee-whiz luck event that he ended up in Moscow under the handling of the FSB.”

Feinstein was then asked by Meet the Press host David Gregory if she agreed that Snowden might have had Russian support. “He may well have,” she responded, before adding that “we don’t know at this stage.”

Snowden told the New Yorker the Russian spy allegations “won’t stick” because they’re “clearly false, and the American people are smarter than politicians think they are.”

[New Yorker]

78 comments
JakeStone
JakeStone

Contrary to what Obama, Rep Peter King (R NY) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein(D CA) are telling the American Public. Metadata is a weapon of Government Power. Metadata tells the government who you associate with, when you associate, where you associate and for how long. The government should not have this information about you, because individuals in the government can use this data in the future to harass, suppress, intimidate and control its population. This goes against the core of who we are as Americans. Our forefathers gave us rights greater than the government; let’s not give them away for false sense of "security".

Incompetence in Obama’s administration (we saw a lot of this last year and disappointed I vote for him) and luck of oversight of the NSA has allowed these young people in the NSA to do whatever they want just because they technically can even if it’s wrong.

ChandraPanchabhikesan
ChandraPanchabhikesan

Truth certainly hurts!  Snowdon and Assange are determined to sow hatred for America: a fruitless exercise according to me. In reality President Obame is doing his utmost to protect the world against callous terrorists.


Pancha Chandra Brussels.

ChandraPanchabhikesan
ChandraPanchabhikesan

Snowdon and Assange are birds of the same feather, determined to embarrass the United States at every stage. Snowdon, in particular,used his contract status at the N.S.A to use sensitive documents to 'build' his 'case'. These are the hall-marks of a traitor. The central question is 'why did he stoop so low? The same question can be asked of Assange! The mind boggles.


Pancha Chandra Brussels.   

MMadera
MMadera

Why look for other names to call him? He placed our intelligence gathering in peril, thus, helping our enemies. He is a traitor and should pay the consequenes. Today, our enemies have found a way to communicate among themselves, thanks to him, and detecting their plots have become more difficult if not impossible. If a terrorist act happens in this country, we know who is to blame. If he plotted with others, it's besides the point in this argument.

SaetaRubia
SaetaRubia

Snowden's actions have certainly provided an opportunity to discuss Privacy and the role of Government in the age of the internet, data bases and the like.  To this end, I think Snowden and his supporters in the Press have contributed quite a bit.  Having said that, it is premature to call Snowden a "hero".  His methods were those inspired (and guided) by Julian Assange (Wikileaks), and Snowden has, so far, faced a similar and, in MY opinion, misguided fate.  Had Snowden utilized a different path, I feel he 1) wouldn't have violated as many laws, 2) would have been more effective, 3) would have garnered more broad-based support and 4) wouldn't have left the country.  What he should have done:  Without leaving the country, Snowden should have gone to a few select, sympathetic  reporters, and told his story.  Without revealing any specific information, he could have made a major statement, as well as have been provided with a captive audience and forum.  The main discussion would have been centered on the substance of the Privacy Issues rather than on HIM, i.e. is Snowden a traitor or hero, etc.  

Unfortunately, Snowden painted himself into a corner, with no planned escape route.  Now, the opinions on the subject matter are strong For and Against which takes away from the main points he wanted to make. 

He chose to follow Julian Assange's advice, so now he's (predictably) in a similar situation as Assange!

PrettyEnRouge
PrettyEnRouge

The FISA court is beholden to politicians.  Its powers are not derived from its own branch of government under Article III of the Constitution, like that of other federal judges.  The politicians created their own secret FISA court to put a rubber stamp approving all their spying actions.  The conflict of interest is analogous to Wall Street paying the salaries of stock rating agencies.  Since politicians made the FISA courts secret, it was unavailable to us common folk to challenge the spying as violation of our 4th amendment rights.  Until Snowden blew the whistle, the NSA had effectively and unfairly avoided impartial judicial review by Article III federal judges, and consequently, the Supreme Court of the land.  This is a constitutional issue that needs to be decided by the highest court of the land, not by secret judges who are creatures of Congress.


Aside from the illegitimacy of the FISA court, the big question that we as a nation really need to discuss is whether Congress should be able to pass a law (i.e. the Patriot Act) that authorizes itself to take broad, practically limitless action to "root out terrorism," enshrouding potentially unconstitutional spying behind the veil of a government security clearance?  The constitutional protects the people, even from its own government.  We have a system of checks and balances, but when the government seems to be violating the Constitution IN SECRET, and those who know are bound by oath to keep the secret, what are the checks to that type of government overreaching?  Whistleblowing and martyrdom?  To do your people a favor and be called a traitor?  That's not working out so well.  We need to set up procedures allowing whistleblowers to challenge government action before an Article III judge in such a way that would protect both the whistleblower and the interests of national security.  Is anybody talking about that??!!??

CandiCane
CandiCane

Funny thing. When Snowden is asked a direct question and he answers it, I believe him.


However, I don't feel the same way about Obama.  He's lied to me so many times.


If you like your health plan, you can keep it.

It was because of a terrible youtube video.

Fast and furious

IRS targeting opposition groups

.....


I believe Snowden.  He broke the rules, but he was more honest than our commander in chief has been.

JRuss
JRuss

When your government says it appreciates and embraces whistle blowers then at the least ignores them and at the most threatens to prosecute them they reap the whirlwind of the Snowdens of the nation. It's obvious so far that Snowden did a lot more good for the nation and its allies than any actual proven harm, hysterical Mike Rogers to the contrary. Our government is acting like any petulant child caught with their hand in the cookie jar and it doesn't like it. Snowden did the American people and our allies a big favor revealing gross government Constitutional overstep by spying on their own citizens, a practice we should have already been aware. Pardon Snowden and put him on the talk show circuit I'd like to know more.

vicc27
vicc27

Snowden may not necessarily be a Russian spy, but he is still a Traitor.

I am former military

I once had a Top Secret clearance and had access to very sensitive information in regards to my government’s activities during the cold war.

I signed a contract and more importantly. I raised my right hand and wore an oath never to divulge what I knew.

I have kept that pledge for more than 50 years.

Anyone who does otherwise under those same circumstances is a traitor.

Those of you who think Snowden was justified in what he did are uninformed and politically naive.

The grim and unpleasant reality is that we have enemies living among us who hate this country and everything for which many of us have fought and some of us have died.. Those enemies mask themselves as our friends and neighbors. Some of them have come to our shores masking themselves as political refugees. At the same time, they use the very freedom of communication that we enjoy and our laws guarantee against the very country that has taken then in as they plot to kill, injure and maim innocent people in the name of their misguided causes.

Drastic circumstances occasionally require drastic corrective measures. It is truly unfortunate that our government has to take such drastic actions as spying on all of us in order to root out these enemies who may be few in number, but dedicated to do us harm in order to protect all of us.

This is not a partisan issue into which some misguided people have tried to distort it.

Whether we are Democrats, Republicans, Liberals or Conservatives, we are Americans. Snowden is not a hero as too many people want to paint him.  He is a traitor to us all. Period!!!

It is my fervent hope that he will be caught, arrested, extradited, tried, convicted and given a sentence that is in keeping with the offence that he has committed and the damage that he has done.

VC

Veteran, USAF

YanniSorolov
YanniSorolov

The comments below show how  stupid and brainwashed most American are.

What "secret"  did he give out?

You would have to be living in some dark closet not to have known this was going on.



cgwhitl
cgwhitl

Whether or not Snowden is a Russian spy is yet to be proven, however, he did seem to know where to go for protection. Calling him a whistle-blower is being kind; he is nothing less than a traitor to our country. What he exposed was approved by Congress and supported by both Bush and Obama. The only good that came from his theft of government documents is to expose the lack of security at NSA. The NSA should be investigated as to why a lone, non-educated, contract employee would have access to secret documents. Edward Snowden should be tried as a traitor and executed once proven.

ChandraPanchabhikesan
ChandraPanchabhikesan

Snowdon had an axe to grind. He will continue to play the innocent role and will continue to have Russia's support. America's enemies would certainly like to bring America's standing a couple of pegs down.


Pancha Chandra Brussels

DavidSchachne
DavidSchachne

Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.  Those of you who want to hang Snowden from a tree because he helped our "enemies" are fools. Prove it. The level and importance of military info he exposed is unknown by the public.  Don't assume. Given the nature and potential hack-ability of all electronic data from anywhere in the world, I'd say Snowden did our intellengence community efforts a favor in showing how easily electronic military "secrets" can be expxosed. Further, I personally believe this data could have and would have eventually been accessed by non-US sources.

Snowden is a true American hero, putting his persosnal welfare on the line in order to expose the corruption and secrecy of the US government's NSA program designed for Machiavellain spying on U.S. citizens. Hero.

MiMiLLawsonn
MiMiLLawsonn

Since I can NO LONGER POST ON HUFFINGTON POST....I will post here.  Edward Snowden did AMERICANS CITIZENS A HUGE FAVOR by revealing what the government was ALLOWING THE NSA to do.  ALL AMERICANS SHOULD HAIL HIM....It is a SHAME AND DISGRACE that anyone would even think he should be punished.  HE IS NOT A TRAITOR******it is sad that so many people DO NOT HAVE A CLUE WHAT THE GOVERNMENT CAN DO TO THE REST OF US AND GET BY WITH DOING IT.

DanBruce
DanBruce

Whether he intended it or not, he aided and abetted enemies of the United States. Snowden can't get around that fact.

karenjustica
karenjustica

Snowden is a self important prig. He has set our country back, and still is spilling his gut. No wonder he went to China and Russia. Too bad he didn't stop over in North Korea - they would know how to "welcome" him.
There was an old (1940's, I believe) movie about Ali Baba and the 40 thieves. In it, the King is about to order the death of the Grand Wizeer, or some such, and the Wizeer offers his own daughter to the King for his use. The King looks at him and says: "You traitors are a breed apart!" Captures it, I think.

TakaHike
TakaHike

He is more of a national hero than a russian spy..unlike obama, he followed the law and constitution

cantstandpoliticians
cantstandpoliticians

Diane Feinstien is a paranoid, right stripping, traitor in my opinion.  She, along with many others in our government, need to be the ones behind bars.  Californians who voted her in are idiots.

Megadave1994
Megadave1994

In all honestly, we should've revolted the moment the cold war was over. 

Ruleoflaw10
Ruleoflaw10

It does not matter who he did it for, Snowden is a traitor for his actions. He has narcissistic personality disorder, and he did this so he can be hero worshipped by the misguided and ignorant. Those who think he is a hero should be ashamed of themselves for arguing so forcefully against the good of their country. Do you know what we call someone who flagrantly disregards our law to sell our national intelligence secrets to whatever country will give him the most? We call that person a traitor. Snowden is that person

foolmeonce2much
foolmeonce2much

@vicc27 What are we fighting and dying for again? Name one good war since WWII that we have been a part of. Vietnam? Yes, very necessary. Desert Storm? Y'all saved the day with that one. Afghanistan, Iraq? Do you even know why they sent you there? No, you just follow orders. Orders that come from political decisions which come from big business. Your government is the one who betrayed you, not Snowden. Wake up buddy. What drastic measures needed to be taken for 9/11? Making sure Hussein didn't have WMDs? Keep telling yourself that it's to protect freedom. You are completely naive 

CandiCane
CandiCane

@vicc27 Obama swore to uphold the U.S. Constitution....so help me God.


However, he's committed acts of tyranny and has violated the constitution with his so-called executive orders.


The U.S. Supreme court didn't rule on special exemptions given to political bedmates....but that is what he did. 


By what authority?


I see this as a high crime and misdemeanor and that makes it an impeachable offense.


While he's at it....he should give back the Nobel peace prize. He didn't earn it.



Ruleoflaw10
Ruleoflaw10

Yes, lets expose our country's weaknesses by selling it out to our adversaries. Brilliant. Simply brilliant.

Snowden. Traitor. You. Clown.

CandiCane
CandiCane

@MiMiLLawsonn Dude.  I get it. We need to recognize the fear that this government is creating for all residents. We are the enemy....and the government has an interest to protect itself above anything else.



JakeStone
JakeStone

@DanBruce He told us the government treating all Americans like terrorist. 

Ruleoflaw10
Ruleoflaw10

Nope. Actually he managed to betray all three branches of government, who all signed off on the nsa programs. Although courts disagree on the extent now, someone who decides he knows better than the branches of government elected by the people and established by the constitution is a serious threat to our democracy. He didn't just betray the president. He betrayed you and me and all of us. This is all beside the fact that he doesn't even believe in his cause enough to face the consequences of his actions.

JoeAmericanTime
JoeAmericanTime

@Ruleoflaw10You have the weakest argument I have ever seen, so this should be easy.

1) It does matter who he did it for. If he did it for the citizens of our country, is it not against all reason and sense that he should be deemed a traitor for giving Aid to his countrymen?

2) If he were known to have such a personality disorder, could this also mean that others working for the same organization might also have narcissistic personality disorder? The screening process should have caught this, in any case. Even if true, it is not evidence to support your claim. One can be motivated to very noble deeds in hopes of approbation. For instance, the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal is given for long lasting contributions to the Intelligence community. Snowden, because of his actions, meets all the qualifications for such a medal.

3) I am arguing most forcefully for the good of my country. You evidently think a Gestapo-like agency whose agents flagrantly violate the Constitution (despite Oaths to defend it) upon which the country bases all of its laws is good for your country. You believe that due process should be disregarded and that we should be forced once again to prove ourselves innocent when accused instead of the burden of proof to be on the accuser. You believe in modern-day Writs of Assistance once written by Tories but now written by secret courts. You believe in general warrants, the type that sparked the Revolution against King George III. I believe that the rights enumerated and referred to in the Constitution should be defended against such men who would violate that due process through electronic spying. That men have a right to a fair and open trial and due process of law. That the citizens of a free nation should be free from such general and unspecified warrants to search all times and all paces. Which is better?

4) No actual evidence. Again. Also... what law are you referring to? Law has been absolved when the government itself doesn't follow it. That isn't law - it's Tyranny. A traitor is someone who aids a country's enemies. Snowden aided his countrymen. Are you saying that the NSA considers our countrymen enemies? They have on more than one occasion declared it to be so. You don't find that problematic? It does indeed matter who he did it for.

cantstandpoliticians
cantstandpoliticians

What are you a sock puppet, Ruleoflaw10?  Maybe you are just a sheeple.  Maybe Snowden could have done it differently, but we need more whistleblowers because our government loves to trample on us anyway they can. 

ChristopherNason
ChristopherNason

@Ruleoflaw10 so the gov violating the Constitution is okay with you and not a traitorous action? Obama is more of a traitor... Various times this president has violated the constitution,,, .. Snowden is not a hero , but he is a true American, gave up his life to let us know the President and the Gov, are spying on all of us. Sickening, the way you liberal people think.

FranciscoGomez
FranciscoGomez

@Ruleoflaw10  I think the United States has a Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The United States is the traitor to the nations of the world. IT BOMBED 250,000 INNOCENT PEOPLE AND CELEBRATED THEIR DEATHS AFTER WW2. You're the traitor to the rest of the citizens of this world. 

JakeStone
JakeStone

@foolmeonce2much @vicc27 We have spent a lot blood and treasure to defend the constitution(4th Amendment) and American values. Thank you Snowden. 

foolmeonce2much
foolmeonce2much

@Ruleoflaw10 what weaknesses? How is it weak that a government spies on it's own people? That only proves that we don't have a true democracy. The people don't want that! Your logic doesn't make sense that we appear weak. If anything people will think twice about doing something on American soil because they know that everything is being monitored.

CandiCane
CandiCane

@Ruleoflaw10 And let's spy on our Citizens, too.  Let's gather data on everyone so that we can deprive them of life, liberty and property without due process of law.


What happened to the notion of a reasonable search based on probable cause?  There is no probable cause behind these searches and seizures. Certainly, it cannot be based on consent....


The government is there for one reason. To benefit the government and protect it.


We are so screwed.

JakeStone
JakeStone

@JerryFrey2010 @MiMiLLawsonn Obama government propaganda. Two wrongs do not make a right. Just because Terrorist use google does not mean everyone that uses it is a terrorist. Mass spying on 300+ Americans is just waste of money, thank you Snowden. 

Ruleoflaw10
Ruleoflaw10

And one more thing, Joe. Since you apparently like talking about the revolutionary period without clear understanding, let me suggest Benedict Arnold's letter to the American people shortly after his own treason. You will certainly find much of Snowden there. In fact, their reasoning is almost the same.

Ruleoflaw10
Ruleoflaw10

Hey, Joe. I'm glad you are so confident in yourself. I'm sure that keeps you going when everyone around you thinks you're an idiot.

Your argument is starting from all the wrong premises: that Snowdens only motivation was for the country, that due process is absent (it's not, there are courts, which were created by legislature, which was elected democratically), and most of all that you are arguing forcefully. Again, as for others who rant and not debate about us living in a fascist state, etc., read a history of Nazi Germany. For yourself. When you are more informed, perhaps a bit more mature, but certainly when you are more capable, try again.

Ruleoflaw10
Ruleoflaw10

You are only talking about 10% of the issue and that's why I know you're wrong. He revealed some issues like metadata tapping, which can be debated, AND THOUSANDS OF OTHER LEGITIMATE DOCUMENTS. He did a mass grab and hoped to find something to make him a hero. What does spying on China violate your rights? Why is your liberty threatened because we pay attention to diplomatic undercurrents abroad? Maybe you should not be so narrow minded.

Ruleoflaw10
Ruleoflaw10

That's hilarious because I'm conservative and my allegiance is to the nation, not a party. As for the clown that posted before you, I am not a citizen of the world but of the USA. It's people like you two who dumb down our citizenry by spouting nonsense that is better suited for the side of a bathroom stall. Snowden is a traitor because he is betraying our democracy, not the political party of the president. Grow up.

PrettyEnRouge
PrettyEnRouge

@Ruleoflaw10You are ignorant of constitutional law.  You erroneously conclude that the FISA court rulings are legitimate on grounds that they were created by legislature, with the wack claim that they were elected democratically.  They were SECRET courts.  No democratic election there.  To the contrary, the FISA court is beholden to politicians.  Its powers are not derived from its own branch of government under Article III of the Constitution, like that of other federal judges.  The politicians created their own secret FISA court to put a rubber stamp approving all their spying actions.  The conflict of interest is analogous to Wall Street paying the salaries of stock rating agencies.  Since politicians made the FISA courts secret, it was unavailable to us common folk to challenge the spying as violation of our 4th amendment rights.  Until Snowden blew the whistle, the NSA had effectively and unfairly avoided impartial judicial review by Article III federal judges, and consequently, the Supreme Court of the land.  This is a constitutional issue that needs to be decided by the highest court of the land, not by secret judges who are creatures of Congress.

Aside from the illegitimacy of the FISA court, the big question is whether Congress should be able to pass a law (i.e. the Patriot Act) that authorizes itself to take broad, practically limitless action to "root out terrorism," enshrouding potentially unconstitutional spying behind the veil of a government security clearance?  The constitutional protects the people, even from its own government.  We have a system of checks and balances, but when the government seems to be violating the Constitution in secret, what are the checks to that?  Whistleblowing and martyrdom?  That's not working out so well. 


FranciscoGomez
FranciscoGomez

@Ruleoflaw10 Look at you hypocrite; When the United States gets attacked by Al Qaeda you run to the UNITED NATIONS and cry for help. BUT WHEN YOUR COUNTRY ATTACKS JAPAN'S CITIZENS WITH NUCLEAR BOMBS YOU ASK THEM TO SURRENDER. 


It's painful to watch someone like you speak because every time you open your mouth you make the Babylonians look like Jesus.  

Ruleoflaw10
Ruleoflaw10

RyanKarl, I certainly appreciate your sentiments. It's a debate we should have and I am glad someone like you finally did so with sincerety. However, Snowden did not just ask for a debate among USA citizens. He gave the data to journalists who have a very different goal than us, namely, to sell newspapers. Even if their motives of informing the citizenry were the forefront, it is not this citizenry they care about because they were foreign journalists. He grabbed more than just information about metadata programs, he grabbed as much information as he could about many clearly legitimate programs and gave them to everyone but us. Do you feel safer by his open letter to Brazil offering his services in revealing all the ways we can spy in Brazil? Is your liberty more secure because everyone now knows that we listen to diplomatic undercurrents like all nations do? He did hurt the powers that be. But the thing is, the people are the power that be.

Jbkulp
Jbkulp

@ryankarl39 @Ruleoflaw10 That must be why the most recent court decision found it perfectly legal.  Because you say it's illegal.

ryankarl39
ryankarl39

@Ruleoflaw10  Anyone saying Snowden has a "narcissistic personality disorder," and that "he did this so he can be hero worshipped by the misguided and ignorant" is a little misguided by the "powers that be." 


This is a debate the Citizens of the USA, and the world for that matter, should be having and if it weren't for Snowden, we would still have no idea how deep this really goes and the government would be even more emboldened to take it even further.  


Snowden is no traitor and with the amount of whistle blowers indicted under the Obama Admin, I would be afraid to run it up the chain of command as well. What he did was illegal but what our government was doing was illegal in the eyes of our constitution as well and we are required, as citizens, to confront our government when we feel it is acting in a tyrannical way.



Ruleoflaw10
Ruleoflaw10

Wow. Please. Not for me but for yourself. Read any basic history of Nazi Germany. Seriously. The most basic.

LeeWorkman
LeeWorkman

@Ruleoflaw10 What democracy?  obama has turned this into a socialistic nazi government very similar to that of hitler's Germany.  he continues to ignore the constitution and violate citizens' rights and states that he has the right to kill or imprison American citizens with NO DUE PROCESS any times that he wants.  You are living under and encouraging a tyrant.  WAKE UP!!!!


Jbkulp
Jbkulp

@cantstandpoliticians Uhh, lots of them being spied on were in the US.  And how do you tell someone is a US citizen on a phone call?  Ask for their passport?

cantstandpoliticians
cantstandpoliticians

I have no qualms with spying on other countries, just not American citizens. 

Jbkulp
Jbkulp

@Ruleoflaw10 Yes, indeed.  According to these idiots, we should have told the Japanese and Germans during WWII that we were violating their privacy rights because we were spying on them.  Then we would all be fluent in Japanese and German.

cantstandpoliticians
cantstandpoliticians

I'm a conservative too, with allegience to our country.  You are a conservative who follows the government blindly.