Edward Snowden (3rd R) receives the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence Award alongside UK WikiLeaks journalist Sarah Harrison (2nd R), who took Snowden from Hong Kong to Moscow, and the United States government whistleblowers who presented the award (L-R) Coleen Rowley (FBI), Thomas Drake (NSA), Jesselyn Raddack (DoJ) and Ray McGovern (CIA) on October 9, 2013 in Moscow.© Getty Images\Fotobank.ru
Originally posted at 20:45
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MOSCOW, October 10 (RIA Novosti) – US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has met with former US security officials who now campaign against what they call the misuse of state secrecy, WikiLeaks said Thursday.
The meeting with former officials from the US Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency (NSA), the FBI, the Department of Justice, and WikiLeaks representative Sarah Harrison, took place in the Russian capital on Wednesday.
WikiLeaks tweeted a link to a gettyimages photo of Snowden, Harrison and the group, which identifies the others as US government whistleblowers who were in Moscow to present Snowden with the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence award.
Coleen Rowley, Thomas Drake, Jesselyn Radack, and Ray McGovern, who formerly worked with the FBI, NSA, DoJ and CIA respectively, gave an interview to the Russia Today TV channel after the meeting.
Snowden, a computer specialist and former contractor for the US National Security Agency, was the focus of international attention over the summer after he leaked classified evidence of US government surveillance programs to the media.
He fled to Hong Kong and then to Moscow, where he was granted temporary asylum in Russia in late July despite repeated extradition demands from Washington.
The US leakers interviewed on RT were unanimous in their praise for Snowden – the man and his actions.
Jesselyn Radack said Snowden “looked great, he seemed very centered and brilliant, smart, funny […],” while McGovern called Snowden “an extraordinary person” who “has made his peace with what he did, is convinced that what he did was right,” and is ready to face “whatever the future holds for him.”
Updates with quotes from interview on RT
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- chinamikeMy hero23:58, 11/10/2013I am American, and I am so proud of Snowden! He exposed the terribly corrupt actions of our current gov't agencies. I strongly believe there should be mass firings and jailings of officials here in America. Snowden did a great thing. He exposed the hypocracy of the American gov't agencies that violated multiple privacy laws of every day Americans. Snowden deserves more awards and praise! Thank you Russia for taking care of our American hero!
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Edward Snowden is not an isolated case but part of an independent community which is increasingly resolute in asserting itself and rejecting “raison d’Etat” and behind-the-scenes manipulation. The direct results of Snowden’s disclosures are most clearly evident in the context of Russian-American relations. The Snowden case has humiliated Europe, which Putin took the opportunity to remind them of.