Snowden says mission ‘accomplished’

American whistleblower Edward Snowden says his mission is Å“already accomplished” after he disclosed documents that exposed the scale and scope of Washingtonâ„¢s spying activities across the globe.

Å“For me, in terms of personal satisfaction, the missionâ„¢s already accomplished,” Snowden said in an interview with The Washington Post published on Monday.

Å“I already won. As soon as the journalists were able to work, everything that I had been trying to do was validated. Because, remember, I didnâ„¢t want to change society. I wanted to give society a chance to determine if it should change itself,” he added.

Documents disclosed by Snowden since June have shown, among other things, how the US National Security Agency collects phone records of all American citizens and tracks the use of US-based Web servers by all people around the world.

Snowdenâ„¢s leaks that altered the US governmentâ„¢s relationship with its own citizens even changed President Barack Obamaâ„¢s tone when he said in his year-end press conference on Friday that Washington might change the way it collects Americansâ„¢ phone records.

During his 60-minute news conference at the White House, Obama endorsed a proposal put forth by his panel of experts that said Americansâ„¢ phone records should be collected and stored by phone companies instead of the NSA.

Å“It is possible that some of the same information .‰.‰. can be obtained by having private phone companies keep those records longer” and allowing the US government to have access to them, he said.

Snowdenâ„¢s disclosures have also altered Washingtonâ„¢s relationship with the rest of the world.

Revelations showed the US government eavesdropped on phone calls of at least 35 world leaders, spied on Russiaâ„¢s leadership with the help of Sweden, spied on the 2010 G8 and G20 summits in Toronto as well as the 2009 G20 summit in London with the help of the host countriesâ„¢ governments.

Snowden had fled to Hong Kong before exposing the NSAâ„¢s spying programs and on June 23 flew from Hong Kong to Russia where he was granted temporary asylum on August 1.

Rick Ledgett, head of the NSA task force responsible for assessing the damage Snowdenâ„¢s leaks have done to the US spy agency, has said Å“itâ„¢s worth” allowing Snowden safe passage back to the US and granting him amnesty in exchange for a promise to end further revelations about the NSAâ„¢s spying activities.

However, some US officials, including former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton and former CIA director James Woolsey, say Snowden should be hanged if he is convicted of treason.

My view is that Snowden committed treason, he ought to be convicted of that, and then he ought to swing from a tall oak tree,” Bolton told Fox News.

Å“I think giving him amnesty is idiotic,” Woolsey said in another interview with Fox News. Å“He should be prosecuted for treason. If convicted by a jury of his peers, he should be hanged by the neck until he is dead.”

ISH/ARA

Source: Press TV