R.K.: We're going to get to that, but I want to stay a little bit longer with your meeting with Snowden. Is there a way for you to continue to stay in touch with him?
C.R.: Well I think so. I am probably not the one but there are other people that have made contact with him. In fact, what might not be well-known is Snowden, by proxy, provided a statement to the European Union Parliament just about a week prior to our visit and that statement was written and delivered by Jess Radick of the Government Accountability Project, that she was reading his statement.
So there is, because he is a person who really knows this stuff and so for all of the various countries now that are looking at this , as well as our own Senate and House when they have these hearings, there hopefully will be a way for Snowden to communicate directly. Not in person of course but he can actually through writing and written statements and obviously somebody else will probably have to read them if they want them read, actually to submit his own statements for the record and so, and which he did at the European Union Parliament, just a week before.
R.K.: Okay. Did he have anything to say about Clapper or Alexander, the people who lied to Congress?
C.R.: Did he say anything about that? Yes he did. What he said was how astonishing it is that the people, he thought apparently that lying to Congress should be treated a lot more seriously than it has been so far. And he was astonished that there has not been any outcry for their removal.
You know, I will just add to that because two days before we traveled to, or three days before we traveled to Moscow, there was a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee that featured both Clapper and Alexander and they were not even put under oath. So here we have two individuals who have both been caught lying, outright providing untruthful responses to the Senators and when they're brought in again they're not asked to tell the truth.
I think that's pretty amazing and it was actually in contrast to the second part of that hearing had two law professors and a professor on technology and the professors who are only giving opinions about their opinion of the law, not fact witness as were Clapper and Alexander, they were forced to raise their right hand and swear to tell the truth.
I mean this makes no sense whatsoever that the same Committee would make law professors raise their hand and swear to tell the truth about their legal opinions which you really can't even do because it's just their opinion and then Clapper and Alexander were allowed to go give some more unsworn testimony. So it is -
R.K: We're almost done, we're almost done talking about Snowden I guess, I am really trying to really pick your brain about any nuggets that you learned from him about his, what his experience, his state of mind, his health, how does he look? What was his attitude? Was he stressed out? Was he cheerful?
C.R.: He looked very healthy, he's not overweight at all, he's not one of these people who obviously sits on or lays on a couch all the time. He's in good shape and he was very happy to see us since we were I think some of the first Americans he's, I think we were the first Americans he's seen, at least in a long time. His father came the next day after this meeting and I believe he met with his father a couple of times.
So I think he was pretty happy about the visits in general and you know a chance to get to talk about these issues with people, especially Tom Drake who is in the know. He was very centered, you know some Whistle Blowers, and you probably come in contact with that, are really thrown off balance by everything that happens and he is somebody who is not in this category.
He seemed very, very focused and centered and again, like I said he doesn't so much care about his own personal situation as he does about what's going to come of this and what kind of reforms will happen.
R.K.: So did he have any priority message that he wanted you to bring back?
C.R.: Yes he wanted to, he wanted us to constantly stay focused on these issues. I mean, I've said this a million times but the story, you know how they always say you get fifteen seconds of fame or whatever it is? That's the way the news cycle runs. There will be some kind of a fame, but fame is fleeting so you can be on the pinnacle one day and fall to the bottom, the News kind of likes that kind of thing. Eliot Spitzer is a great example of this.
There's many other examples but they're like that, you know? You're a hero and then the next day you're a, he really and we talked about this phenomenon. That is a silly way to approach these things. These are extremely important issues and people can actually be doing extremely heroic actions. That doesn't mean the person is perfect and it doesn't mean they will always do the right thing but I mean, for a period of time they can take heroic action and that's the way to view this.
So we talked, we read Camus, there's some great quotes about that Camus gave, Albert Camus, about the solitude of really choosing to go this route and how it has to be done and you have to find ways of dealing to some extent with this kind of very solitary path. Edward Snowden has had a wikileaks journalist at his side since Hong Kong, Sarah Harrison, and so to the extent that he has at least somebody there, kind of moral support, and also dealing with these human rights issues of seeking asylum and all the requests, etc. he's has some assistance that way and you know I think what I was struck by is he is not at all one of these people who have been knocked off his game or knocked off balance by this type of persecution.