Greenwald calls out Obama officials after Edward Snowden is granted full Russian citizenship

Whistleblower Edward Snowden who blew the lid off the government’s domestic snooping on law-abiding citizens and who has been trapped in Russia since his passport was revoked, was granted full citizenship by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, news that comes roughly two years after he was granted permanent residency.

In 2013, the former NSA contractor made off with a cache of documents detailing the extent to which domestic surveillance was being carried out while Barack Obama was in the White House, meeting with journalist Glenn Greenwald in a Hong Kong hotel room where he told his shocking story which ignited a firestorm over civil liberties at the time but has largely been forgotten today as omnipresent surveillance has become normalized and sadly, widely accepted.

The 39-year-old Snowden was included on a list of 75 foreign individuals who were given citizenship by a Putin decree, a development that comes at a time when U.S. relations with Russia are at the lowest point since the Cold War era and such a provocative move likely has tempers boiling in Washington.

“Our position has not changed,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a reaction to the news, “Mr. Snowden should return to the United States where he should face justice as any other American citizen would,” he added, suggesting that Snowden would receive a fair trial in what would almost certainly be a D.C. court.

Greenwald, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the story, took to Twitter to counter the official narrative on Snowden, slamming Obama and his top deputies for leaving him stranded in Moscow.

“When Snowden left Hong Kong and landed in Moscow to transit to Latin America, Obama officials like @brhodes did everything possible to prevent him from leaving, to trap him in Russia,”  he wrote, referring to West Wing whiz kid Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security advisor. “Rhodes boasted of it in his book. Ever since, they’ve use this to imply he’s a Russian agent.”

“Think about it: if Obama officials believed Snowden had possession of an extremely sensitive archive of top secret documents – as they insist but Snowden denies – why would they *want to trap him in Russia*?” Greenwald asked in another tweet. “Because they knew it’d be easy to convince idiots he was a Kremlin spy.”

Snowden told Greenwald that the U.S. government will say “I aided our enemies in making them aware of these systems but that argument can be made against anybody who reveals information that points out mass surveillance systems because fundamentally, they apply equally to ourselves as they do to our enemies,” telling the reporter that revealing sensitive information to foreign governments as the names of deep intelligence assets and locations of CIA stations was never his objective.

(Video: YouTube/The Guardian)

Some of the programs that Snowden’s leaks revealed to the American public included PRISM, a mass surveillance system capable of tracking anybody including top officials, and XKeyscore, a tool that collects vast amounts of internet data from social media and email activity or, as Greenwald put it, “nearly everything a user does on the internet.”

A controversial figure who, prior to the left’s dark plunge into open authoritarianism after the 2016 election, was viewed by many as a heroic figure. But his name wasn’t included on the list of pardons by former President Donald J. Trump before he left office, something that many were hoping for although one of them wasn’t the malevolent force that is Liz Cheney who raged that such a pardon would be “unconscionable” in December 2020.

Becoming a full Russian citizen comes with a certain amount of peril for Snowden who could potentially be conscripted into the military and sent to Ukraine where the bloody fighting rages on, a prospect that some on Twitter are drooling over.

Snowden sounded the alarm years ago but mass surveillance has now become the “new normal” in a country where freedom is slowly being drained away, especially for political opponents of the Biden regime.

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