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Edward Snowden: Traitor or hero?

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It's been almost a year. Will he stay in Russia after his asylum runs out this Summer? Will he ever come home and face charges? Might the Obama Administration cut a deal? Edward Snowden answered those questions, and more in an exclusive interview with NBC Nightly News Anchor Brian Williams.

"If I could go anywhere in the world, that place would be home", Snowden told Williams in the one hour special that aired on NBC Wednesday night.

For now, Snowden is in Russia, charged with espionage here in the U.S. 
 
He blew the cover off the American government's mass surveillance programs, and considers himself a patriot.

"Being a patriot means knowing when to protect your country, knowing when to protect your constitution, knowing when to protect your countrymen from the violations and encroachments of adversaries," said Snowden. "And those adversaries don't have to be foreign countries. They can be bad policies."

During the interview, Snowden insisted that he tried to work within the system, and complained repeatedly to supervisors before fleeing the country and going publics with classified documents. Those documents contained extensive details about the National Security Agency's phone and online surveillance programs.
 
"How can it be said that this harmed the country when all three branches of government have made reforms as a result of it?"

For now, there's no "out" for Snowden. Even after this interview, Secretary of State John Kerry called him "a traitor".

Snowden insists, he did the right thing.
 
"What is right is not the same as what is legal. Sometimes to do the right thing you have to break a law," said Snowden. "I may have lost my ability to travel but I've gained the ability to go to sleep at night."

The U.S. government says otherwise. They have talked with Snowden's lawyers, but the administration says dropping the charges isn't even worth discussing.

Photo Credit: larry1235 Shutterstock

 

 

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