Coleen Rowley, former FBI agent and a whistleblower, was part of a delegation to Moscow to present the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence to Edward Snowden, former National Security Agency systems analyst now living in Moscow. She spoke with The UpTake upon her return.
He's a very astute, very concerned… he's completely motivated. I wish I had more time to explain. He's motivated as a whistleblower. You know, you see a lot of people that will, you know, sell information. I mean the difference between espionage are people trying to make a buck off of selling information to, you know, certainly to enemy countries. But even making money off of just for regular, regular news and stuff. People do. They write and they sell and they make money. Well Snowden is merely concerned about the situation in our country. And he's a patriot because he's trying to get this fixed because he knows it's not going to let… it's not going to work. It's not working. It's hurting the United States. Economically, we're looking at, you know, trillions of dollars being spent for this massive data collection.
Yes, we were able to talk a few hours at night and even after his attorney left, we were, you know, we went on almost into early morning hours of talking about the situation. Not so much about personal issues. You know, he's, he's taken this on himself. He knows that his own situation is is bad. And his family, of course, have been hurt to some extent. His father came to visit the day after we left. So he did get a visit with his father. But he of course lost his girlfriend, and there's a lot of things on the personal level that he sacrificed. Not terribly different than Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela talks about having sacrificed his family life.