15 Shocking Facts About The Notorious Edward Snowden
Ever heard of Edward Snowden? I bet you have. Edward Snowden is an ex-CIA agent who leaked United States confidential information to a few news agencies about the existence of a data mining government program christened PRISM.
These leaks exposed very vital information about the US Government and specifically the workings of US secret surveillance. His acts according to the government and American law amounts to espionage.
There’s a lot of controversy about Edward Snowden, and when it comes to his patriotism, different people have different views about his actions. Most people feel Edward Snowden is a patriot and a national hero because he cared about our privacy. However, others view him as a traitor who exposed national secrets of the United States to the world. While Edward Snowden is indeed a vivid persona, there are so many facts about this famous computer specialist that most people do not know about. The geeky ex-NSA Contractor had a past, and while it’s hard to get anything on him from his past on popular social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, Edward Snowden’s young past can be visualized through Ryuhana Press, which was a defunct start-up that sold anime art. We compiled a list of 15 facts you did not know about Edward Snowden.
15. Snowden Was A High School Dropout
Well, like all great innovators in America, Bill Gates and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had to drop out of college at some point to pursue their ventures, but one odd thing about Edward Snowden is that he was a high school dropout. Unlike other teens who drop out of school to do drugs and live a hopeless life, Edward Snowden was already making $200k a year by the time he dropped out. Before setting out to Hong Kong to release U.S. confidential information, he had worked for Booz Allen Hamilton, a known prominent defense company that contracts with the U.S. intelligence unit the NSA among other intelligence agencies. He also worked at a facility in Hawaii.
14. Edward Snowden Was A Ron Paul Supporter
Very few people know about Edward Snowden’s political life, as he didn’t speak out much until the leak. But in 2012, according to an article in the Washington Post, Edward Snowden had made a $250 donation to Ron Paul’s presidential campaign in March of the same year. He was also quoted stating that, while a lot of people were fans of both major parties, he wasn’t; he voted for a third party candidate in the 2008 elections. According to The Guardian, Snowden stated, “I believed in Obama’s vision and policies. I was going to disclose it, but I waited because of his election. He continued with the policies of his predecessor.”
13. Edward Snowden, Enlisted And Joined The US Army
A lot of people believe in Snowden because of this fact. Snowden was enlisted in the US Army, he was passionate about the Iraq War and wanted to join the Special Forces. Attributing the same principles that justify his leak, he stated that he wanted to fight in the Iraq War because he felt like he had an obligation as a human being to help free people from oppression. He was discharged during training because he realized most people training the soldiers seemed more pumped up about killing Arabs, than liberating the people of Iraq from oppression.
12. Edward Snowden Is Paranoid
Well, after spending years working for US intelligence, Edward Snowden has increasingly become very paranoid. According to The Guardian, Edward Snowden lines the doors of his hotel rooms with pillows to prevent eavesdropping. When entering passwords into his computer, he puts a large red hood over his head and laptop to prevent hidden cameras from detecting his inputs. Snowden is very calculated about the moves he makes, and to ensure his safety, he plans every move he makes precisely to ensure his whereabouts are not compromised.
11. Petition Calling For Edward Snowden Pardon Was Rejected By The White House
In 2015, 167,000 people signed a petition in support of Edward Snowden. This petition was promptly rejected by the federal government. The US government believes that Edward Snowden compromised US confidential information, and leaked it to the world, exposing vital information and the workings of the US government. The US government to this date believes Snowden’s actions amount to espionage, and that he should return to the US and face criminal prosecution. Most people are still divided about Snowden’s actions, but his revelations shocked a large population of Americans.
10. Snowden’s Leaks Have Caused Tremendous Damage To US National Security
In 2016, House Intelligence issued a 36-page report that exposed the extent of which Snowden’s leaks have caused damage to US national security. This report had a detailed outline of how the leaks by Snowden were selective insofar as they revealed information on the US intelligence and defense programs, and this was of major interest to a lot of American enemies. The government still insists that the leaks have not only compromised confidential national secrets, but also the lives of citizens and people living in America.
9. It Is Believed That Edward Snowden Cooperated With The Russians
Everyone understands the extent to which Vladimir’s Putin’s government values American intelligence, and especially an individual with a whole lot of it. According to critics, there is no way Russia would let anyone live comfortably in their backyard with a head full of information about US surveillance and live a quiet life unmolested. Some critics are also skeptical about Snowden’s reluctance to critique his asylum givers’ abuse of civil liberties. While the former NSA contractor might want Americans to believe that his live video feeds are done independently, critics believe the truth is Edward Snowden’s singularly negative focus on the US deliberately plays into Russia’s anti-West propaganda Machinery.
8. Edward Snowden Has Been In Contact With The Russians
While this might hurt the common Snowden fan, a report that was released back in December 2016 states that Snowden has indeed been in contact with Russian Intelligence since he arrived in Russia. Snowden was quick to respond to these allegations through his Twitter handle, and stated, “They claim without evidence that I am in cahoots with the Russians.” Edward Snowden’s critics, together with the US government, fail to believe Snowden’s theory that he is happily living on Russian land without any interventions from the government. The latter claim makes it impossible for anyone to think otherwise.
7. Snowden Has Been On Low Profile Since 2013
Snowden has made a point of disappearing from the public since 2013; he has rarely been spotted in public. In 2015, he created a Twitter handle that gained close to 110,000 followers in less than an hour of making his account with the social media giant. He, however, routinely posts about the US government domestic policy and matters that are related to civil liberties, privacy, and national surveillance. So far, Edward Snowden only follows one Twitter handle: The NSA.
6. Edward Snowden Was Discharged From The Military After 5 Months
Edward Snowden’s Special Forces interests were short-lived, and he did not live to realize them. According to the US Army, Snowden broke both his legs during a Military training session accident and had to be discharged. A lot of people still think the accident was premeditated since his revelations state that his ideologies of joining the Army changed after he found out that most of his trainers were obsessed with killing Arabs rather than liberating the people of Iraq from oppression. It would have been interesting to know what path Snowden would have taken if he went on to complete his training.
5. Snowden Loves Anime
Anime is a Japanese hand-drawn or computer animation. This word is the abbreviated pronunciation of “Animation” in Japanese. Edward Snowden was in love with Japanese culture as a young teenager, and at some point in his life, he worked for an anime company in Maryland and had always dreamed of visiting Tokyo. The Anime Company was run by a group of his friends. He later took a position working for the NSA as a contractor that stationed him right outside Tokyo.
4. Snowden Worked For The CIA
While this might be common knowledge, what you actually do not know is that Edward Snowden’s time in the CIA is what actually prompted him to leak information about the US government surveillance. Edward Snowden accepted a position with the CIA after attending a job fair that was dedicated to intelligence agencies. After working in Switzerland for the CIA and finding out the US surveillance works, it triggered Snowden into thinking about exposing the government. According to Snowden’s revelations. CIA operatives in Geneva purposefully got a Swiss Banker drunk to arrest him; the banker was bailed out by a CIA undercover agent so that he would be indebted to the CIA.
3. Snowden Planned To Seek Asylum In Iceland, Not Russia
After the leak, when Snowden was planning his next move back in Hong Kong, he had identified Iceland as the perfect spot to seek asylum. However, after the turn of events, his passport was revoked, and he was soon stranded in Moscow.
His attempts to gain Icelandic citizens failed terribly as Iceland’s parliament mysteriously failed to place his proposal on their voting agenda. However, there is a specific Icelandic member of parliament who believes Snowden should be granted Asylum in Iceland.
2. Snowden Thought His Features Were Girlish
At a tender age, Snowden thought his shape was girlish. He even joked on his profile about attracting nubile young girls because of his girlish figure. While most young teenage boys tend to have such distinct girlish features before they get to puberty, Snowden felt his features were exaggerated and looked more girly than most of his friends. But by looking at some of his pictures as a teen, it’s hard to point out any girly features. Clearly, Snowden’s paranoia didn’t start after he began working for the CIA.
1. Edward Snowden Boasted Of Sex Marathons
Edward Snowden enjoyed post-coital Kremes, and this is evident in how he boasted of his sex marathons according to a series of online posts over the decades. Apart from his wild side, he also enjoyed how employers fought over him. Snowden’s concern over government snooping didn’t start recently, chats as far back from 2006 reveal his concerns over the US spying on the Ars Technica site, joking to a forum user that the officials were spying on him through his Xbox. It’s reported that Snowden posted on the Ars Technica site at least 753 times in the last 15 years.
Sources: cnn.com, boomsbeat.com, mic.com
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