The latest promotional clips from Brian Williams’ interview with NSA leaker Edward Snowden illustrate again the overwhelming ego-centrism of the Snowden/Greenwald self-narrative. When Williams asks Snowden, “What are you doing in Russia?” Snowden replies that the US stranded him there, and we should ask the State Department why they were so mean to him.
Snowden is a world-class narcissist; if you take him at his word that he didn’t intend to end up in Russia, he actually seems to believe the US (or any country for that matter) should simply let him travel freely without a care, wherever he wants, carrying millions of stolen top secret documents. To Snowden, revoking his passport is unconscionable oppression. He doesn’t just think he did nothing illegal, he expects the entire world to agree, and give him carte blanche.
In the clip above, Secretary of State John Kerry answers Snowden’s claim that the mean old State Department stranded him in Russia for no reason, but I don’t think it’s the answer Snowden had in mind.
“For a supposedly smart guy, that’s a pretty dumb answer, frankly,” Kerry said. “If Mr. Snowden wants to come back to the United States today, we’ll have him on a flight today.
“We’d be delighted for him to come back. He should come back. That’s what a patriot would do. A patriot would not run away and look for refuge in Russia or Cuba or some other country. A patriot would stand up in the United States and make his case to the American people,” Kerry added.
“He can come home but he’s a fugitive from justice which is why he is not being permitted to fly around the world,” he said.
The massive Snowden ego is contained within a very thin skin; the descriptions of him as a “hacker” or “system administrator” have really irritated him, obviously, because he takes this opportunity to float a new way of looking at the greatness of Snowden: as a master spy and man of many faces.
In the sit-down, Snowden also fought back against critics who dismissed him as a low-level hacker — saying he was “trained as a spy” and offered technical expertise to high levels of government.
“I was trained as a spy in sort of the traditional sense of the word, in that I lived and worked undercover overseas — pretending to work in a job that I’m not — and even being assigned a name that was not mine,” Snowden said.
I keep waiting for the point where the egomania maxes out, but the self-glorification just keeps getting more grandiose.