Speaking during an interview that he recently did for the PBS show NOVA, Edward Snowden wants critics to know that life in Russia is far from the depressing void that most Americans think that it is, and to spite personal attacks against him and Russian life, living in Russia does not actually turn you into a raging alcoholic.
"They talk about Russia like it's the worst place on earth. Russia's great."
Snowden spoke out against the disparaging comments made by Michael Hayden, the former NSA and CIA director who had predicted that Snowden's new life in Russia would make him "isolated, bored, lonely, depressed," and turn him into an alcoholic. Ironically, Snowden pointed out that not only does he not drink, he's never even been drunk in his life, and only drinks water.
Snowden's life in Russia began about a year ago, after the United States attempted to prevent him from reaching a safe haven elsewhere and canceled his passport when they learned that he was in a Russian airport. Since that time, he has applied for political asylum with a number of nations, and has been given safe haven in Russia for at least three years, where he lives in an unidentified location.
Edward Snowden is the former NSA contractor who blew the whistle on the United States' secret, and possibly unconstitutional, surveillance programs at home and abroad, which have come under heavy scrutiny ever since with a number of lawsuits around the nation challenging the legality of such actions. Since he first blew the whistle on the activities of the NSA, Edward Snowden has been heralded as a hero and a true patriot by many, and as a traitor by others. U.S. authorities announced that they intended to go after him on charges of espionage.
The initial story was reported in a number of articles from both the Washington Post in the United States and the Guardian in the United Kingdom, and most recently the award-winning documentary, CitizenFour. The film tells the full story of how this high ranking employee became the subject of an international man hunt who is both loved and hated by many.
Currently, it is unclear how long Edward Snowden's life in Russia will last and where he will ultimately call home. But much like Julian Assange, who exposed a number of the government's questionable politics and actions on wiki-leaks, Snowden's exile from his homeland is not likely to end any time soon. Russian authorities do not appear to be in any rush to sacrifice him to the U.S.
[Image: Washington Post]