In a sweeping seven-hour interview with the Guardian newspaper last week, NSA leaker Edward Snowden said he “could live with” being incarcerated if that’s what it came down to.
“There’s always questions of asylum, you know, where I’m going to stay and how these things work out, but regardless of what happens, if I end up in chains in Guantanamo, I can live with that,” Snowden told the Guardian’s editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger and intelligence correspondent Ewen MacAskill in Moscow July 10.
When asked if he thought he would be acquitted if he returned to the U.S. and was given fair trial, he said that while he couldn’t presume to know what the jury would say, he thinks his peers would be sympathetic.
“I think it would be very difficult to find any 12 Americans in the United States right now who would uniformly agree that the last year’s revelations about the NSA’s unconstitutional surveillance programs did not serve the public interest,” Snowden said.
The interview covered a broad range of topics, including startling aspects of NSA culture. Ultimately, Snowden said he was happier in Russia than he would be facing an unfair trial in the U.S.
“We’ve asked the government again and again to provide for a fair trial and they’ve declined and I feel very fortunate to have received asylum,” he said.
Snowden, who has been in asylum in Russia for a year, asked Russian authorities last week to extend his stay in the country and is likely to win approval, The Wall Street Journal reported last week.