Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who leaked top secret documents revealing a vast surveillance program by the US government to the Guardian newspaper. (photo: Guardian UK)
A very public high-speed chase will serve to paint Snowden as a criminal and, of equal or greater value, divert attention from what Snowden exposed.
Before the chase scene begins it bears noting what Edward Snowden said, and the sacrifice that he made.
- "I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant."
- "I really want the focus to be on these documents and the debate which I hope this will trigger among citizens around the globe about what kind of world we want to live in ... My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them."
- [Communicating with Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman]: The U.S. intelligence community, he wrote, "will most certainly kill you if they think you are the single point of failure that could stop this disclosure and make them the sole owner of this information."
- "I had full access to the full rosters of everyone working at the NSA, the entire intelligence community, and undercover assets all around the world ... Any analyst at any time can target anyone ... I, sitting at my desk, certainly have the authorities to wiretap anyone -- from you or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the President."
- "The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight. The result is people like myself have the latitude to go further than they are allowed to."
- "I'm willing to sacrifice all of that because I can't in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they're secretly building."
- "I don't see myself as a hero," he said, "because what I'm doing is self-interested: I don't want to live in a world where there's no privacy and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity."