Snowden has the goods on the NSA, and he will use them if threatened.  Snowden's extradition has become a battle of egos. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Snowden has the goods on the NSA, and he will use them if threatened. Snowden’s extradition has become a battle of egos.
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

IN AN interview with the Associated Press, Glenn Greenwald insisted that Edward Snowden, who is still in Russia because he cannot travel without U.S. interception, would not release documents that would reveal the inner workings of the once highly secret spying programs. Greenwald said it, “would allow somebody who read them to know exactly how the NSA does what it does, which would in turn allow them to evade that surveillance or replicate it.”

“In order to take documents with him that proved that what he was saying was true he had to take ones that included very sensitive, detailed blueprints of how the NSA does what they do,” Greenwald said in Brazil, adding that the interview was taking place about four hours after his last interaction with Snowden.

“I think it would be harmful to the U.S. government, as they perceive their own interests, if the details of those programs were revealed,” said the 46-year-old former constitutional and civil rights lawyer who has written three books contending the government has violated personal rights in the name of protecting national security.

[Associated Press]

The documents in question are encrypted to protect the secrets they hold.

Edward Snowden remains on a tightrope over a very deep ravine.

“I haven’t sensed an iota of remorse or regret or anxiety over the situation that he’s in,” said Greenwald, speaking at a hotel in Rio de Janeiro, where he’s lived for the past eight years. “He’s of course tense and focused on his security and his short-term well-being to the best extent that he can, but he’s very resigned to the fact that things might go terribly wrong and he’s at peace with that.”

Snowden has also made arrangements for the documents to be disclosed if his life becomes imperiled further or even worse, if he is killed. It sounds overly dramatic, but when you consider what’s at stake for the United States it’s not outlandish for Snowden and his supporters to be concerned that the Obama administration will go to extreme lengths to apprehend Snowden.

That this happened on President Obama’s watch is undoubtedly part of the package here. Presidential and administration egos on someone getting away with secrets is wrapped up in this drama.

What Snowden released to the public threw open the doors on the extent to which the Obama administration and the United States government is spying on average citizens without their knowledge and without any proof of wrong doing.

Whatever Barack Obama’s presidency once promised the information released by Mr. Snowden has revealed to his fans and die hard supporters the opposite. No one expected the Bush era secrecy to be held over under Barack Obama, let alone that policies would be implemented that Bush-Chency would applaud.

On the other hand, leaking national security secrets, even if they include information the public should know, is a crime the way laws and policies have been written in the post 9/11 world. The rubber stamp of the FISA court, as well as the gagging of Congress, aren’t seen as a big deal by everyone, even if these actions completely alter the meaning of a representative democracy.