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.
He was asked, because of a "joke" Hayden, Michael Hayden made; he says it was a joke but who knows if it was a joke or not, but he made some comment about putting Edward Snowden on the kill list and then Mike Rogers joined in and said something like I "could help you do that" or something so there was this, it made some press about how they were talking about putting Snowden on the kill list. So that came up in conversation and essentially, instead of saying "Oh I'm really worried about that" or whatever, he just more or less rolled his eyes. That was it. I mean it shows that he was very much in control of his situation and he very much appreciated the challenge of no one knowing exactly what the future holds, and that's a very scary thing for most people when you can't really count on what you're going to be doing next year.
He was only given one year of temporary asylum and so, to most people that would be a very scary thing because it's precarious. Politics can change, you know, he doesn't know what his future holds. I brought up the example of Benjamin Franklin because Benjamin Franklin was a Whistle Blower in 1774 and lost his job as Post Master for the colonies.
He was called every name in the book, traitor, the same names that Edward Snowden is being called, and of course he became one of the Founding Fathers and it was a during a very short time that he was actually vilified; and that can happen. It all depends on what happens in the future and none of us know what the future holds. Of course we know that people like Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr, it took decades after they were persecuted for them to finally have everything change and be seen as great heroes and -
R.K: Okay, so I want to nail this down. Was there a priority message that he wanted you to bring back? You've already said that he would like to see the repeal of at least parts of the Patriot Act -
C.R.: Well the other, there was two parts to this, I mentioned the Patriot Act but the other one is the FISA Amendment Act and that one actually has not gotten much public attention, that's Section 702 and that's what they've interpreted FISA to mean, well they didn't interpret it, there was actually a lot of illegal collection being done and then they tried to patch it up and again this was through fear-mongering in Congress in two thousand seven when Hayden went in there and said that we're going to have another 9/11 attack unless you give me authority to keep doing what James Risen had just exposed in the New York Times and so the Congress were, what's the word, they were bowled over and knuckled under and they gave him this temporary authority, and then it became the FISA Amendments Act and that's the other part that has not gotten much attention. So to the extent that I know, he actually wants people to start talking about reform of that as well. Which is 702 of the FISA Amendments Act.
C.R.: And actually reduce secrecy. I mean, overall that's the underlying problem here which is this excessive secrecy. If secrecy could be reduced and American people and other agencies, of course this would reduce the compartmentalization, and all of these things.
R.K: Did he say anything specific about secrecy?
C.R.: I'm trying to think of an exact quote. He did, but I can't quite remember exactly. We talked a lot about secrecy and how this was wrong, and I think he did say something like, "well obviously there's some necessity for limited secrecy but not to -"
R.K.: Did he bring up -- any names of people in the government or Whistle Blowers or people helping him or anything like that?
C.R.: Yes, he did say that he had learned a lot from seeing the example of other Whistle Blowers and of course mostly I think pointing to Thomas Drake and the other NSA Whistle Blowers, Benny and Curt Weeby [inaudible names 39:16] and the others, there's like four NSA Whistle Blowers who had spotted these problems years before Edward Snowden was even - this would have been when he was a teenager- he was a teenager when 9/11 happened.
So he did point to the example of other Whistle Blowers and learning from their example.
R.K: Okay, any other names? Any people in government? Any media people? Did he have anything to say about Glen Greenwald or Laura Poitras? The people who brought him to the attention of the world?
C.R.: I think he's appreciative of the news coverage and that it sparked a debate but nothing real specific about any individual journalist.